University Presidents



George Lucas Adamson (1932-1967)
George Lucas Adamopolous (1899 - 1978) is recognized as the founder and first president of Adamson University. He was a renowned educator, industrialist, diplomat, and pioneer in the Philippines and overseas.

George Lucas was born and raised in Madamia, Greece. He grew up into a driven young man with a relentless thirst for knowledge inspired by the teachings of Socrates and Plato. He lived the greek virtue of philotomo, or love of honor, as seen in his deep sense of obligation, nobility, and moral pride.

After his secondary education, George Lucas initially enrolled in a two-year diploma course in telecommunications and postal services in Athens Technical College, and was one of the first enrollees of the Bachelor of Science degree during the inaugural year of the University of Athens School of Chemistry (1918).

The Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922) interrupted his studies when he was called to serve in the Greek Civil Military. He was assigned to the telecommunications and postal services section at the Ministry of Public Works from 1918 to 1924. He also continued his university education as part-time student, and graduated in 1924 with a degree in Chemistry.

George Lucas opened a college-level preparatory school after his graduation. He taught returning war veterans and prepared them for University Entrance Examinations which they could take after their tours of duty. Despite the success of his venture, George Lucas set out for a personal quest and left Greece for Australia in 1927.

During his voyage, he studied the English language and was soeaking fluently upon his arrival in Sydney, Australia. He had also changed his surname to Adamson (Adamopolous means ‘son of Adam’ in ancient Greek language) to adapt better to an English-speaking country.

Given the favorable market situatios in Sydney, George Lucas thrived, creating innovations such as a mineral table water, and a mineral batch liquid under the brand name Rayospa. He was aslo co-publisher and editor of the Greek-English newspaper Ethniko-Vima (The National Tribune), and technical consultant of the Australian Cotton Wool Products company.

Although his success was undeniable, his businesses were also affected by the Great Depression which hit the world from 1929 to 1932. Industrialized countires severely suffered, including Australia. This prompted him to seek better opportunities in Japan.

On his way to the orient in 1930, he decided to visit the Philippines, then under the American colonial rule. He met a Greek national, John Talambiras, who has been living in the country for years. Talambiras led him to a venture with Ciriaco Chunaco and the Chunaco family, and the eventual establishment of the Chunaco-Adamson Chemica Company. The venture used Adamson’s system that prevented wine from turning sour in their production.

George Lucas, upon his return to Manila, founded the Adamson Testing Laboratory which provided valuable metal and ore testing services to various industries (fuel, textile, chemical, medical, soil, agriculture) in the Philippines.

Despite finding success in business, the fire for education remained, leading him to establish the Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry(ASIC), the first of its kind in the country. ASIC continued to gain students, and apply academic and technical upgrades, evolving into the Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry and Engineering (ASICE) in 1936, and Adamson University in 1941.

George Lucas Adamson was bestowed with the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Athens in January 1938 as recognition for hos achievement of founding the first school of Industrial Chemistry in the Philippines.

The University was severely damaged during the Japanse occupation of the Philippines, prompting George Lucas to relocate Adamson U. In 1946, he accepted the invitation of the Fathers of San Vicente de Paul Church to occupy their property in San Marcelino Street. Adamson University re-opened on June 20, 1946.

Aside from his duties as University President, he also took an active part in nation-building, serving as member of the Board of Directors of government and private organizations under the education, science and technology, mining, textile, pharmacology, and agriculture sectors. He also organized the Philippine Chamber of Technology, a group of architects, engineers, chemists, and other technologists promoting technological advancement in the country.

He was also appointed as Greek Consul General, representing the Greek government on official and social functions, and assisting in the conclusion of an Air Agreement between the Philippines and Greece. He was also the Chief Delegate and Signatory to the Treaty of Friendship between the two nations.

Despite Adamson’s management transfer to the Congregation of the Mission in 1964, Dr. George Lucas Adamson remained president until his retirement on April 1927. He remained on the University Board of Trustees, and was given the tite of President Emeritus.

He passed away in his home country on February 1974.

Alexander Athos Adamson
Alexander Athos Adamson (1911-1993), initially took up Dentistry in college but eventually finished a three-year Mechanical Engineering program from the Sydney Technical College after he joined his cousin, George Lucas, in a business venture in Australia.

Upon George Lucas’ departure from Australia to the Philippines during the Great Depression, Alexander Athos followed suit, and helped out in his cousin’s newly-eatablished Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry. He served as vice president, treasurer, registrar, and janitor at the same time, and was credited for his capacity and sagacity as a financial executive and administrator in running and developing the institution.

Alexander Athos reaffirmed his commitment to the Philippines by acquiring Filipino citizenship on September 1942, and serving as Consul General of Greece to the Philippines. He still continied to work in Adamson even after the turn over to the Congregation of the Mission in 1964, and stood as member of the University Board of Trustees.

George Athos Adamson
George Athos Adamson (1908-2003) was an Assistant Professor for Chemical Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Athens before coming to the Philippines. He declined a one-year scholarship in England, and decided to join his brother, Alexander, and cousin, George Lucas, in Manila where he served as Technical Director and Dean of the Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry. He was also appointed as Dean of the College of Engineering in 1935.

During the school’s curricular expansion, George helped set up the laboratories and pilot plants, and was also the Director of Curricula. He often visited Manila’s Chinatown, then on Calle Gandara, to check out machinery stores of US Navy surplus goods that could be used as mini-manufcturing plants in ASIC’s laboratories.

After the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, he left with his wife, Sofia de Mos, and resided permanently at Pasadena, Californina in the USA until his demise on 2003.

George Athos Adamson was confereed a Doctor of Science degree, Honoris Causa, by Adamson University in 1982.

Fr. Leandro I. Montañana, CM (1967-1986)
Fr. Leandro Montañana, CM is a Spanish-born priest who became the first Vincentian president of Adamson University. He studied Philosophy at the Vincentian Fathers Seminary in Hortaleza, Madrid in 1940, and took up Theology at the Seminario de San Pablo in Cuenca from 1943 to 1946.

Fr. Montañana continued his studies at the Mary Immaculate Seminary in Hampton, Pennsylvania, and went to the Catholic University of America where he obtained a Licentiate in Theology in 1948. He was ordained as priest on October 1946, and was conferred a Doctor of Philosophy degree, honoris causa, by the San Carlos Seminary in Cebu a year after.

As an educator, he served as professor and spiritual director of the Sacred Heart Seminary in Bacolod from 1948 to 1952. He also had teaching stints with San Vicente Ferrer Seminary in Jaro, Iloilo (1952-1956); Seminario del Santissimo Rosario in Naga City (1956-1957); and San Carlos Seminary (1957-1958).

He served as Provincial Visitor of the Philippine Province of the Congregation of the Mission from 1958 to 1970, with the acquisition of Adamson University being one of the highlights of his tenure. He also served as Chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees from 1964 to 1970, and was eventually chosen to be the second president of AdU.

During his time as University President, Fr. Montaña prioritized faculty retention and salary increase, technological advancements, greater decentralization, increased autonomy, and the transformation of AdU into a Catholic institution.

He is also known as one of the co-founders of the Association of Catholic Universities of the Philippines.


  • Laying down the foundation of Adamson University as a Catholic-Vincentin institution through the eatablishment of the Adamson-Ozanam Educational Institutions, Inc.
  • Acquisition of the old Meralco Building (now Cardinal Santos Building)
  • Acquisition of the Tabacalera property where he Ozanam Building was erected
  • Acquisition of the Saint Theresa’s College (1977)
  • Establishment of linkages with international educational institutions

Fr. Rolando S. dela Goza, CM (1986-1994)
Fr. Rolando dela Goza, CM is the third president of Adamson University, and the first Filipino Vincentian to lead the institution.

Fr. Dela Goza spent his early years in Cadiz, Negros Occidental and New Lucena Iloilo. He finished his secondary educationin Saint Vincent’s Seminary in Valenzuela, and obtained his Philosophy degree from Saint Mary’s Seminary in Perryville, Missouri in 1962.

He simultaneously took his Master of Arts in History, and Bachelor of Arts in Theology degrees simultaneously, earning the latter from De Andreis Seminary, Lemont, Illinois in 1966, and the former from from De Paul University, Chicago in 1969. He also has a Doctor of Philosophy in History (Magna Cum Laude) degree from the University of Santo Tomas, and took up a Senior Management Program at Harvard University.

After his priestly ordination on May 1966, Fr. Dela Goza became Prefect of Discipline at the Saint Vincent Seminary, and taught at San Carlos Seminary in Cebu. He was then hailed as head of AdU’s Social Science Department, and was elevated to Assistant Dean, and eventually Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences until he was assigned as Vice President in 1985.

Fr. Dela Goza became AdU’s first Filipino-born president on November 1986, and was among the first comissioners of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) when it was eatablished in 1994. He also served as President of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU), and Provincial Visitor of the Congregation of the Mission from 1979 to 1986.

An active writer-historian, Fr. Dela Goza authored numerous books including The Greatest Filipino, The Vincentians in the Philippines (co-authored with Fr. Jesus Cavana, CM), and Adamson University: A History,1932-1992 (co-authored with Dr. Bernardita Churchill).


  • Setup and strengthening of University academic programs
  • Transfer of administrative offices from the Saint Vincent Building to the Cardinal Santos Building
  • Construction of engineering laboratories at the Ozanaman Building
  • Construction of a Chemistry Laboratoy, once touted as s the biggest in Asia, at the Ozanam Building
  • Construction of eight (8) computer laboratories
  • A Policy of Academic Excellence resulting to Vincentian-Adamsonian Board topnotchers
  • Construction of the Falcon Footbridge of Service connecting the Saint Theresa and Cardinal Santos sites
  • Adamson University’s recognition as second largest Catholic University in the Philippines, and third largest internationally among Vincentian Institutions (1992)

Fr. Jimmy A. Belita, CM (1994-2003)
Fr. Jimmy Belita, CM is a native of San Dionisio, Iloilo. He finished his secondary education at Saint Vincent’s Seminary in Valenzuela, and obtained his Philosophy degree from Saint Mary’s Seminary in Perryville, Missouri. He also possesses a Mastertdegree in Divinity Studies from De Andreis Institute of Theology in Lemont, Illinois, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.

Fr. Belita served as Rector of the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos in Cebu from 1979 to 1982 while doing his Master’s in Management for Executives and Managers at the University of San Jose- Recoletos. During his tenure as was Chairperson of Religious Studies in De La Salle University from 1986 to 1990, he was awarded the Ariston Estrada Professorial Chair from 1990 to 1994. He was also the regional director and treasurer of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP-NCR).

In AdU, Fr. Belita was first Campus Minister, Dean of Theology and of the Institute of Religious Education (IRED), Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees before he was chosen as the University’s fourth president, which he occupied from 1994 to 2003.

A prolofict writer, he has written various books, namely From Logos to Diwa (1986), The Way of Greater Self (1991), Cast into the Deep (1994), Teaching and Being Church: Towards an Ecclesiology of Education (1997), and God was not in the Wind (2006).

Banking on the University’s history, Fr. Belita envisioned AdU as a flagship institution for science and technology that is known for competence, professionalism, and commitment to service to the poor, as well a community that enhances collaborative innovation, and productivity.

Fr. Belita also focused on empowerment, employing regimentation and motivation-building to further recognize an employee’s ‘true worth as a person’, and promoting growth of the faculty whom he saw as the core of AdU.


  • AdU received Deregulated status from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
  • Transfer of the library from the Cardinal Santos Building to the Leandro Montañana (LM) Building at the Saint Theresa site.
  • Computerization of enrollment
  • Construction of the FRC Building for the Basic Education Department, the University Gymnasium, and the Little Theater (now SV Hall).
  • Construction of the Falcon Walkway from Taft Avenue to campus premises
  • Establishment of linkages with educational institutions in Thailand, Pakistan, Indonesia, and South Korea

Fr. Greogorio L. Bañaga, CM (2003-2015)
Fr. Gregorio L. Bañaga, CM is the fifth president of Adamson University, and the first alumnus to hold the school’s highest position.

Fr. Bañaga was born in Tarlac City. He entered the Saint Vincent’s Seminary, Valenzuela in 1966, and proceeded to the Vincentian Hills Seminary, Angono, Rizal in 1970. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree from Adamson University, and a degree in Theology from the University of Santo Tomas. He was ordained to the Sacred Order of Presbyters on March 17, 1979.

He also holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Decelopment from Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Behavior degree from Weatherhead School of Management-Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Upon his ordination, he was assigned to the Vincentian Mission Team that caries the seminal works of Saint Vincent de Paul to outlying areas in Rizal, Bataan, Camarines Sur, and Pangasinan. He also served as East Asian Coordinator of the Non-Government Organization (NGO) Movement for a Better World, and Director of Students, Pastoral Director, and Professor of Pastoral Theology at the Saint Vincent School of Theology (SVST) in Tandang Sora, Quezon City.

As an adminstrator at Adamson U, he was Vice President for Student Affairs in 1999, and Vice President for Administration in 2001 before being chosen as the school’s president in 2003. He also served as president of the South Manila Inter-Institutional Consortium (SMI-IC) from 2006 to 2010, and member of the Board of Trustees and President (2011-2013) of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines.

Fr. Bañaga focused on the renewal and deepening of the Vincentian character of Adamson U, launching projects designed to promote Vincentian values and practices, and integrating Vincentian teachings into the practices of the University community. Such initiative led to the improved collaboration and network with the Vincentian Family and other Vincentian educational institutions. His tenure adopted an alternative philosophy of change, known as Appreciative Inquiry, that accentuated the postive within an organization, and a more holistic style of academic culture.


  • Adamson U awarded with Autonomous Status and CHED-IquAME Certification
  • Adamson U certified with ISO 9001:2008 Management System from TUV Rheinland
  • Acquisition of Meralco property beside Cardinal Santos Building
  • Campus fully-equipped with internet and Wi-Fi connection
  • Renovation of Adamson U Theater and University Art Gallery
  • Establishment and reactivation of local and international alumni connections
  • Construction and improvement of University Covered Court, Sewage Treatment Plant, Miraculous Medal Gardern, Plaza de San Vicente, and Museum and Archives
  • Upliftment of campus’ physical environment.

Fr. Marcelo V. Manimtim, CM