The Visionary Leader (1967-1987; 1994-1997)

Rev. Dr. Eliezer D. Mapanao was born on December 24, 1926 in Aringay, La Union. He is the youngest of a brood of six of the couple Mr. Floro Mapile Mapanao and Mrs. Maria Cresanta Dulay Mapanao. He finished his elementary education at Aringay Elementary School and his secondary education at La Union High School in 1947.

Dr. Mapanao earned his Associate in Arts and Associate in Theology from the Union Christian College, and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Silliman University. While he was at Silliman, he worked at the Silliman University Church for many years.

Furthermore, he earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree from La Union Theological Seminary and his Master in Theology, Ethics Studies from Harvard Divinity School at Harvard University. He took his Master of Arts in Educational Administration at the University of California in Berkeley.

In 1963, he served as Resident Director of the International Study Fellowship at Princeton University. In 1964, he accepted the call to be the president of Southern Christian College, thus, he and his family left California and went home to the Philippines in August 1965.

During his presidency, he initiated the formulation of a seven-year development plan which covered the years 1967-1974. This developmental plan outlined the goals of the college. Moreover, SCC was able to acquire seven modern new buildings on campus, twenty-five housing units for the students, sixteen housing units for the faculty and a well-apportioned President’s residence.

It was also during his time that the College Hill was developed to facilitate various agricultural programs and farm laboratories, program support for the Student Rural Development Corps (SRDC) and Faculty Operation in Community Understanding and service (FOCUS), the General Endowment Fund was created, and several creative programs in partnership with the churches and other development agencies were accomplished.

Along with his job as president of SCC, Rev. Mapanao was also the General Secretary of the Consultative Council on Rurban Development (CONCORD) in 1974. In 1989, he became a consultant of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia the Pacific (UN- ESCAP).

After his twenty-two long years of service, he retired in March 1987, and became the President of Union Christian College.

However, in August 1994, Dr. Mapanao came back to serve as interim president after the retirement of Dr. Felimon Lagon as president. During his stay, the renovation of the Elementary School Building, setting up the School of theology, rebuilding of the old Bishop Proculo Rodriquez Hall and the establishment of the SCC Chapel named as Paul Minear Chapel of the Dawn were completed.

A brilliant person, he received various recognitions and awards. To name a few, he was conferred with a Doctor of Development Education degree, honoris causa, by the College of Maasin in Southern Leyte, the title President Emeritus by the Board of Trustees of Southern Christian College during the celebration of SCC’s 50th Anniversary in 1999, and was recognized as the Father of TASSEL during the first meeting of the Planning Board of CREATE-UCCP where he served as Executive Director.

As challenges came towards the sunset of his life, Rev. Dr. Mapanao continued to metamorphose into a new persona. A visionary, pastor, preacher, speaker, educator, creator of institutions and organizations, community development initiator, ecumenical leader, international personality, and even as reluctant politician, his achievements remain unsurpassed. Throughout his life, the rainbow lured him to many unexpected places in Luzon, Visayan, Mindanao, and to far-away lands in different continents of the world: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin and North America. (SCC Book Ministry, SCC-MPCD)


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