Ateneans are rich. They are spoiled, they are elitist. But they work hard and are good at what they do. It seems that magis is a very important principle. You give your all, and then a bit more. You can give a 100%, surely, but why stop there when you can give 150? If you can exceed your expectations of yourselves, then why shouldn’t you? If there is something more to be given, then why not?
Years ago, talking about how arrogant universities can get and how petty rivalries are, my friend (who studied in Ateneo but did not like how mayabang people were), conceded: Mayabang ang mga Atenista kasi may ipagyayabang sila. Ateneo has this legacy of striving for excellence because everything is offered to God, and you can’t give him anything less.
Perhaps it is partly the legacy of Rizal, who spoke so highly of the school (very visible in school shirts that read, “Ateneo: I spent many happy years there”); perhaps it is the inspiration of St. Ignatius. Whatever the source may be, it was true then and it is true now.
Ateneo is a school for the rich. Ateneo is a community where students are given opportunities to excel and where these students exceed their own expectations, whether in terms of academics, sports, or being for God and others.