TEN YEARS OF RECOGNITION,DECADE OF PROGRESS

By Prathip M. Komolmas
       As Bangkok, City of Angels, celebrates its bicentennial, there is cause to rejoice at ABAC for a decade of progress made by this pioneering private college in Thailand
       It is hard to believe that the founding father of this institution, now in the front lines of the private sector of higher education in Thailand , did not possess even an undergrduate degree in any field whatsoever. Principally a Catholic monk, Bro.Bernard, nevertheless, was a dynamic, dedicated and forceful personality of great vision whose dreams about this College are coming into realization.
         With no significant financial, human or physical resources but only the charm of the ASSUMPTION name Brother Bernard selected a class of 51 students (out of almost 200 cadidates) and started ABAC (then known as ASB) with one classroom, a small library, and faculty all borrowed from the Assumption Commercial College a vocational secretarial school on Sathorn Road. He then supplemented this faculty with well educated and experiencedpart timers such as Pridi Sucharickul, etc, and forged ahead laboriously. Time and again he met with obstacles that challengerd the expertise of the best and professional academicians. Yet, one after the other, he overcame these with intuitive ingenuity.
        The College had been founded under permission and authorization of the Ministry of Education. As the Private Colleges Act was promugated,it became essential for ABAC to pull out of the ACC campus in order to pbtain formal accredition from the Bureau of University Affairs (then National Education Council) that became the supreme body controlling all higher education in the country. Hence, the Brothers of St. Gabriel a catholic foundation devoted to education in this country for more than half a century donated to the College an 11 rai plot of land in Soi Mubanseri, Huamark marking the birth of a formal campus and giving ABAC a distinct legal identity as an educational trust independent from the other Assumption institutions. ABAC was then recognized by the Bureau of University Affairs as a degree granting private college on June 16, 1972 Thanks to Bro. Somphong Jiranond for the timeely revision of the academic structure and curriculum, the Assumption Business Administration College legally came into existence since that day. The ASB curriculum presented to the Ministry of Education by Mr. Trakarn was superseded by this academic masterpiece.
             The new campus in 1972 had no buildings or structures whatsoever. The founder embarked, with borrowed money, on a crash program of land development and erecting the general classroom buiding now rechristened as the Philip & Bernard Building. Instruction was moved to Huamark in 1973.
               As the Private Colleges Act stipulated that the chief executive of any private college must possess atleast a master's degree, Bro. Bernard went into active retirement after handing over the reigns over the new campus to a brilliant, young graduate from the
             As Bangkok, City of Angels, celebrates its bicentennial, there is cause to rejoice at ABAC for a decade of progress made by this pioneering private college in Thailand.
             It is hard to believe that the founding father of this institution, now in the front lines of the private sector of higher education in Thailand, did not even possess an undergraduate degree in any field whatsoever. Principally a Catholic monk, Bro. Bernard, nevertheless, was a dynamic, dedicated and forceful personality of great vision whose dreams about this College are coming into realization.
             With no significant financial, human or physical resources but only the charm of the ASSUMPTION name, Brother Bernard selected a class of 51 students (out of almost 200 candidates) and started ABAC (then known as ASB) with one classroom, a small library, and faculty - all borrowed from the Assumption Commercial College - a vocational secretarial school on Sathorn Road. He then supplemented this faculty with well - educated and experienced part-timers such as Pridi Sucharitkul, Dr. Phairat Krisnamis, and Dr. Saeng Sanguanruang, and forged ahead laboriously. Time and again, he met with obstacles that challenged the expertise of the best and professional academicians. Yet, one after the other, he overcame these with intuitive ingenuity.
          The College had been founded under permission and authorization of the Ministry of Education. As the Private Colleges Act was promulgated, it became essential for ABAC to pull out of the ACC campus in order to obtain formal accreditation from the Bureau of University Affairs (then National Education Council) that became the supreme body controlling all higher education in the country. Hence, the Brothers of St. Gabriel - a Catholic foundation devoted to education in this country for more than half a century - donated to the College an 11 rai plot of land in Soi Mubanseri, Huamark - marking the birth of a formal campus and giving ABAC a distinct legal identity as an educational trust independent from the other Assumption institutions. ABAC was then recognized by the Bureau of University Affairs as a degree granting private college on June 16, 1972. Thanks to Bro. Somphong Jiranond for the timely revision of the academic structure and curriculum, the Assumption Business Administration College legally came into existence since that day. The ASB curriculum presented to the Ministry of Education by Mr. Trakarn was superseded by this academic masterpiece.
        The new campus in 1972 had no buildings or structures whatsoever. The founder embarked, with borrowed money, on a crash program of land development and erected the general classroom building - now re - christened as the Philip & Bernard Building. Instruction was moved to Huamark in 1973.
          As the Private Colleges Act stipulated that the chief executive of any private college must possess at least a master's degree, Bro. Bernard went into active retirement after handing of the reins over the new campus to a brilliant, young graduate from the Asian Institute of Management – Bro. Somphong Jiranond. Bro. Somphong diligently continued in the footsteps of the founder.
           In 1974 Bro. Somphong was succeeded by Mrs. Wanphen Nopaket as President of the College.
          In 1976 Prof. Dr. Choob Kanjanaprakorn took over the Presidency and systematized the operational procedures and streamlined the work flow of the expanding College. He also developed the College’s first organizational structure and detailed by-laws.
         In 1979, Prof. Dr. Choob had to leave the College as he was appointed Thailand’s first Minister for Science and Technology by Gen. Kriangsak Chomanand. He was succeeded by the writer.
        The years 1973 to 1978 were concentrated on human resource development and curriculum development with the physical facilities getting less emphasis. In 1978 two additional structures were completed - the Library Building and the De Montfort Building (started in 1975). The development of physical facilities had been programmed for the 1981-1982 period; in 1981 the St. Gabriel Building was completed plus two structures for servicing students, a physical plant and workshop, in addition to two structures to house workers. This year a wooden classroom building and a chapel building are scheduled for completion. Work on a 60 million Bath ten storey classroom building has already started. Today, the college can talk of having two libraries, an English Language Center, a Computer Center, an Audio Visual Center, a Gymnasium, an Auditorium, a Book Store, a VIP. Reception Center, a Health Center, a Basketball field, 3 Parking Lots, a Modern Cafeteria and a Student Union Building that challenges any U.S. university.
          It is not the physical facilities that the College boasts about, but the atmosphere of academic ferment that it has been able to create for it is now an “international college” with an international atmosphere. ABAC’s student mix consists of not only Thais but American, Iranians, Malaysians, British, Turkish, Nigerians, Egyptians, Koreans, Indians, Polish, Hungarians, Chinese, Australians, Singaporeans and students from Hong Kong. ABAC’s faculty mix will take equal space to write about. Thus, the College is scouting around for funds to establish an International Center.
        Future plans call for the addition of majors offered in the Business Division and the addition of new Divisions in order to ultimately become a full – fledged University (if Thai law permits) and include graduate studies in a Graduate School. The Administration is totally confident that the day will soon come when these dreams of high level social service and social responsibility will be realized through its motto: LABOR OMNIA VINCIT – hard work triumphs over all obstacles. Through this motto the College will realize the ultimate dream of its visionary founder – Bro. Bernard.

*ครู อาจารย์ นักบริหารการศึกษา และนักบริหารการพัฒนา : ภราดา ดร. ประทีป ม.โกมลมาศ