Roosevelt College was born in 1945 as Roosevelt Memorial High School along the busy J.P. Rizal Street in Barrio San Roque, then a part of Rizal province.Marikina used to be an agricultural town. Popular education was limited to the “Katon Kristiyano” and to the primary and elementary grades available in a few barrio schools.
A few affluent families would easily send their children to high school and college in Manila while those who had hardly enough would still need a lot a time and money to leave shoemaking and take trips to and from Rizal. It was natural that a good number of boys and girls missed their secondary and tertiary schooling.
Mayor Wenceslao C. dela Paz, pre-war town executive of the late 20’s foresaw that the town will not remain agricultural for long. It was his obsession to let the young go beyond grade school and learn something more than shoemaking and farming.
Realizing the futility of seeking public financial support for high school town, he mustered his own family resources and established in 1933 a secondary school he called Marikina Academy as a self-sustaining, non-sectarian private institution of learning.
The first graduation exercises took place in 1936 with only 10 “pioneer” graduates. In an examination given by the government for recognition purposes that year, the Marikina Academy placed 19th among the 70 private schools all over the country. By 1941, enrolment swelled to 272. This necessitated the transfer of the school from its original site in barrio Sta. Elena to a rented old “hacienda-type” house in barrio San Roque.
In 1944 the Marikina Academy ceased operations after the death of its founder. Meanwhile, a group of prominent citizens and educators, anticipating the enormous task of postwar reconstruction and rehabilitation felt that, more than ever before, the town of Marikina needed a secondary school. They moved to retrieve the Academy and invited all concerned to join them in the noble effort.
So, in 1945, and in keeping with the trend of the times, a corporation was organized to operate a Secondary School in the same, old hacienda house.
In a gesture of loyalty and gratitude to the Americans, the school was named Roosevelt Memorial High School in honor of the late wartime US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Engr. Deogracias F. dela Paz, one of the incorporators was elected first President of the Board of Trustees, a position he had to hold for 33 years.
The decade of the 90’s was greeted by bold steps taken by the Board of Trustees. The Roosevelt College Foundation Center for Teacher Education was established with a substantial amount as initial outlay with no return in investment expected except for the chance to hire teacher education graduates who are highly trained and qualified for the job. It was to become the Roosevelt College’s contribution to the improvement of Philippine education.
Roosevelt College System faces the challenges of the 21st Century with wisdom from the past-committed to pursue the vision of creating the highest standards of academic excellence by providing resources for success and holding the members of the academic community accountable for the learners “liberation from the bondage of ignorance and poverty.”