Don Salvador Z. AranetaDon Salvador Z. Araneta founded De La Salle Araneta University (formerly Gregorio Araneta University Foundation) in 1946—the first private agricultural school in the Philippines after World War II.
Born in January 31, 1902, Don Araneta was the third child of Gregorio Soriano Araneta and Carmen Roxas Zaragosa. Growing up, he was very close with his parents and siblings. One of his brothers, J. Antonio Araneta, even noted that Don Araneta was his parents’ favorite—though this has never caused envy among his other siblings.
Don Araneta was known to be a very diligent student throughout his studies, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Ateneo de Manila for his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1918. After obtaining his undergraduate diploma, he enrolled at Sto. Tomas University to take up law. In 1922, he took the Bar and passed. In the same year, he went to the United States to further his studies—staying for one year in the Law School of Harvard University.
Even as he excelled in school, but he was also a very active young man. He loved games, sports, and playtime—all of which were encouraged by his father. This kind of upbringing deeply influenced how he later viewed education: holistic, civic-oriented, and transformation.
In 1927, Don Araneta married Doña Victoria Lopez. Their 22 years of marriage resulted in the birth of five daughters: Carmina, Ana Maria, Ma. Victoria, Maria Lina, and Maria Regina.
Don Araneta was a man of many professions: a lawyer, educator, businessman, industrialist, economist, public servant, philanthropist, constitutionalist, and nationalist. Throughout his adult life, his involvement in civic affairs has made him a prominent figure in Philippine Politics—serving in several high-ranking government positions during the terms of Presidents Elpidio Quirino and Ramon Magsaysay.
In 1946, in the aftermath of World War II, Don Araneta founded Gregorio Araneta University Foundation (GAUF)—a university he named after his father. In the succeeding years, GAUF became De La Salle Araneta University but its focus remains in the promotion of interest and in the upliftment of agricultural education in the Philippines.