The Philippines got caught up in the WWII when Japanese invaded the country. Since Americans were still staying in the country, the Filipinos together with the Americans fought against the invading Japanese. The Ateneo campus was affected by the war and was devastated. The only statue that remained standing from the destruction during the WWII was the statue of St. Joseph and the Child Jesus that now stands in front of the Jesuit Residence. Other usable remains of the old structures from the previous Ateneo campus was also saved and used as remnants of the old Ateneo Campus. Such structures that still live one are the iron grillwork and the statue of Immaculate Concepcion.
WWII caused lots of destructions but fortunately the Ateneo de Manila University survived the calamity. After the war ended, the Padre Faura Campus soon reopened a year after the war ended. The Third Philippines republic was also established. More progress and development happened during the Third Philippine Republic. It was a time to strive to become better again and the Ateneo did not fail to get up back on its feet. In 1952, the Ateneo, under the American Jesuit named Fr. William F. Masterson S.J., was relocated. Most of the Ateneo units were moved to its current campus – the Loyola Heights Campus. Over the years, the Loyola Heights Campus gained popularity and became the center of a dynamic community. The Padre Faura Campus still continued to house the professional schools of the Ateneo.
Even after such calamity and devastation, the university and its students persevered. In the year 1958, Fr. Francisco Araneta S.J. was appointed as the Ateneo’s rector and became the first Filipino rector of the university until the year 1965 when the Marcos Era started. In 1959, the Ateneo de Manila celebrated its centennial year. In 1960, Fr. Francisco Araneta S.J. founded the MBA program, later known as MBM program, in the Ateneo.
During the next few decades, the Ateneo experienced an escalating instability that overwhelmed the university as an active movement of Filipinization. There was also a growing awareness of the problems of the country that needed change. Through the 1960s, the Ateneo strived to become a university that rooted important Filipino values onto its students and was active in the reformation of the country’s needs for poverty and injustice.