LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Benguet State University (BSU) is celebrating its 98th Foundation Day as it prepares for the 2015 Asean integration.

BSU president Ben Ladilad said the theme this year is "BSU @98: Gearing up for the challenges and opportunities of ASEAN 2015," highlighting its programs in a weeklong activity starting June 25 until the 30th.

A motorcade will kick off activities on Wednesday, followed by a thanksgiving service at the university gym before formal opening of exhibits.

On Thursday, a farmers day as well as community services, will be offered on campus.

A presentation of actions and programs based from the results of the consultative meeting with farmer growers and local government officials will be made. While technical consultations for beekeeping, animal health, root crop production, poultry management, plant pests, disease management, soil analysis, strawberry runner production, bush been seed production, micropropogation of endemic plants and a nutritional assessment will be offered to the public.

Ladilad said there are now 11,000 students in the state university and 58 degree programs available.

The Mountain State Agricultural College was converted to Benguet State University by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 2010 signed by then President Ferdinand Marcos.

Initiatives for development started in the 70s when former Assemblyman Andres Cosalan filed a bill for the elevation of the Mountain State Agricultural College into a University which was later re-filed with some amendments in 1984 by then congressman Samuel Dangwa. Another local leader responsible for the attainment of university status was former Benguet Governor Ben Palispis.

From 1916 until the late forties, the school was headed by Donato Cariño, James A. Wright, J.R. Zollanger, Clayton Abbot, Glen Grisham, Russel Taylor, Clayton C. Douglas, and Luis J. Dangilan.

Succeeding heads were Constancio T. Medrana, Julian Mamaril, Amado C. Tolentino, Bruno M. Santos, Pedro Ventura, Antonio G. Dumlao, Lawana T. Batcagan, Fortunato A. Battad, Lucio B. Victor, Cipriano C. Consolacion, and Rogelio D. Colting.