Letran Alumni Association, Inc. (LAA)
The association started as an informal organization – a gathering of alumni who wished to revive fond memories of their school days and also to learn what new events were shaping each other’s lives. They called themselves the “Asociacion de Ex-alumnos de San Juan de Letran.” Meetings were held at various alumni homes until it required the use of a bigger auditorium to accommodate all those interested to join the meetings.
In the first-recorded reunion held at the salon de actos of the school on Nov. 11, 1917 during the Dia de Letran, Jose Ma. Arroyo, the president of the Comite de los Ex-alumnos created a committee to study the proposal of then Senate President Manuel L. Quezon that will give the association a formal status and will also draft its rules and by-laws. The thrust of the proposal aside from convening the alumni during the reunions were two-fold: to provide additional educational benefits to the students, and to compile a perpetual alumni directory for the inspiration of future generations as well as to serve as a memorial of the past generations.
Ignacio Villamor, president of the University of the Philippines chaired the committee together with fellow alumni: Francisco Ortigas, treasurer, Angel Ansaldo, secretaryand the following as vocals: Gabriel La O and Honorio Ventura. In the 1918 homecoming presided by M. L. Quezon, the committee’s report dated Sept. 5, 1918 was approved unanimously. Thus was born the “Letran Alumni Association.”
Members of the 1939 Alumni Board
These men were once schoolboys, who directed the task of bringing the school and the alumni close to each other. Seated in front are: Director Quirco Abadilla and Don Eusebio reyes. In the background are: Dr. Domingo Antonio, Jr., Fr. Francisco Munoz;Acting Rector, Fr. Lorenzo Rodriguez;Don Vicente Madrigal; Don Enrique Monserrat; Dr. Bonifacio Mencias; Don Marcelino Aguas, Mr. Mariano Alimurung and Mr. Antonio M. Molina
On November 17, 1968, the Golden Jubilee year of the Letran Alumni Association was commemorated and the founding fathers of the Association (Quezon, Villamor, Ortigas, Ansaldo, La O and Ventura) were awarded posthumously and also the members of Class 1917 and 1918. Fr. Francisco Muñoz was given a special citation for devoted service to the association. Thus, 1993 marks the 75th anniversary of the Letran Alumni Association.
In 1986, the LAA Board headed by Francisco R. Liongson IV organized and registered the Letran Alumni Foundation, Inc. (LAFI). Spurred by the desire to provide a sustained assistance to Letran and its students and build its financial base in order to expand and increase its support program, several fund-raising and campaigns were undertaken to benefit the foundation. LAFI had become the repository of these funds and the fiduciary arm of the alumni body.