Enderun Colleges was founded in 2005 by a diverse group of business and community leaders, committed to building a world-class management college in the Philippines. The College’s principal founders, Jack Tuason, Javier Infante, and John Suits, had previously founded one of the Philippines’ largest business process outsourcing firms, and it was in the process of managing this operation, which ultimately grew to many thousands of employees, that they became convinced of the need for a different approach to business education one that cultivated entrepreneurial values, passion, and real-world interpersonal skills, while preparing graduates to function at a high-level in cross-cultural settings, in a rapidly changing, increasingly competitive global economy. The decision to launch the new college as a hospitality management school flowed naturally from this vision: the hospitality industry is the world’s largest, and a hospitality management education incorporates the key academic elements of a general management education. More crucially, the imperatives of hospitality management education namely, the need to build technical skill-sets, the need to gain real world experience through internships, and the need to develop high-level problem-solving and people skills offer unique opportunities to mould character and impart knowledge. Practical considerations also figured in their vision: while Filipino hospitality workers were much in demand worldwide, widely renowned for their diligence, warmth and hospitality, the vast potential of the Philippine hospitality industry was going unrealized, for want of spirited entrepreneurs and executive-level managers.
Joined by Daniel Perez, a young graduate of Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, they assembled a team of partners that included prominent Filipino business leaders such as Jean-Henri Lhuillier, Rosanna Fores, John Tiu, and Alvin Lao, along with senior US-based executives from Hyatt Corporation. They decided to name the new College after one of history’s most famous leadership academies: the Palace School of the Ottoman Empire, a school that occupied the same compound as the Ottoman Emperors’ private residence and which prepared gifted young children, culled from the far reaches of a sprawling Empire, for careers in service, whether as governors, generals, civil administrators, cabinet secretaries or state guardians. Because the original Enderun was a training ground for leaders and because it taught leadership by first teaching service, with a wide-ranging curriculum that showcased the arts, the practical sciences, the humanities, and even the martial arts, it seemed a fitting name for the new College, which would teach its young students to lead as managers, as entrepreneurs and as citizens by first teaching them how to serve, and then empowering them with a solid general education, encompassing the humanities, the arts and the practical sciences.
Under the leadership of Jack Tuason, the new College launched in June 2006 with accreditation from the Philippine Commission on Higher Education, a founding Dean in Dr. Lorraine Villanueva, a campus in Ortigas Center’s Wynsum Corporate Plaza and 80 pioneering students. The College offered one degree (in International Hospitality Management) with two majors (Hotel Administration and Culinary Arts), and completed an academic partnership with the Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, one of the most highly regarded schools in the world. This academic cooperation provided Enderun students with the same quality education without having to leave Manila. The fledgling College also opened a small, student-manned restaurant, aptly named Restaurant 101, and, under the leadership of founding Corporate Culinary Head Chef See Cheong Yan, quickly established itself as a center of excellence in culinary education.
The young College grew rapidly, adding more than 200 students in School Year 2007-2008, and establishing new partnerships, most notably with the Ducasse Education, a leading French culinary institute. This partnership offered Enderun culinary students the opportunity to earn certificates from Ducasse Education (en route to their Enderun bachelor’s degrees), and integrated the pedagogical methods of Alain Ducasse, one of the world’s most celebrated chefs, into the Enderun culinary program. By 2008, the College was establishing new milestones on a nearly monthly basis: in January, another noted businessman, Simon Bakker, joined its board of governors and financiers; in June, the College enrolled another 300 new students, and moved to its permanent campus in the McKinley Hill area of Fort Bonifacio; in September, storied Filipino conglomerate A. Soriano Corporation joined the school’s funding team; in October, the College recruited a leading US academic, Dr. Lance Masters, to be its new Provost; and in December, it launched Enderun Extension to offer short courses and continuing education for working professionals and hobbyists.
School Year 2009-2010 shaped up as an even more momentous one in the young College’s life. In June, Enderun launched its second degree program: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with highly differentiated majors in Business Process Management and Consulting, Finance and Wealth Management, and Marketing Management. Enderun has always been a management school at its core, so the move to offer a business administration program is a natural one. The potential synergies between the new business program and the existing hospitality management program are compelling: hospitality students will benefit from exposure to a deeper management faculty, while business students will gain the confidence, personal flair and real-world experience that comes from an education in hospitality. 2009-2010 witnessed the opening of new facilities (most notably the new location of Restaurant 101 and the Atrium, a spectacular student lounge and function space), the addition of intramural athletic programs, the launch of new student support programs and a collaborative drive, involving students as well as the College’s Administration, to identify synergistic new degree programs, plan new facilities, and create new traditions.
In School Year 2010-2011, Enderun offered its third degree program: Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship, with special focus on Family Enterprise. This presents students with the unique opportunity of planning, managing, and improving a family enterprise.
In 2012, Enderun held two important events. Enderun became the first Global Partner of Thunderbird Online, a professional development group of Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona, USA. Enderun integrates Thunderbird Online’s Executive Certificates into its Business Administration and Entrepreneurship programs, combining online learning with in-classroom instruction. Enderun’s Business and Entrepreneurship students will be able to graduate with an Enderun degree and Thunderbird Online Executive Certificate in Global Leadership. In the same year, Enderun launched the Ducasse Education Philippines, the first Ducasse Institute outside of France. The partnership, formerly known as ADF+Enderun, brings together the expertise of Enderun Colleges and Ducasse Education in offering excellence in practice of culinary arts in the Philippines and Asia.
June 2015 marked the launch of Enderun Colleges’ newest degree program – Bachelor of Science in Economics. It is a unique academic program that infuses competencies in management, leadership, and social entrepreneurship. The program includes a specialization in Saemaul Undong and International Development Cooperation, which provides students with theoretical knowledge and practical competence in community development and international development. It also introduces them to various global development organizations such as the United Nations (UN), World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
By 2017, Enderun had grown into one of the country’s leading and most highly-respected management colleges. Finding themselves at the nexus of a broader push to re-establish the Philippines not only as a center of education excellence in Asia, but also as a global training ground for future entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and public officials; Enderun announced an exciting development—new ownership, led by Dennis Uy of Udenna Corporation, a domestic, privately-held investment and management company with diverse interests in oil and gas, shipping and logistics, real estate, hospitality and other industries. Under the new ownership, the College looks to further strengthen its position as a world-class education institution providing the highest international standards of academic excellence.