A bit of history
Colégio Piracicabano has a long and beautiful history in Piracicaba because it grew up with the city. In 1881, when the school settled here, Piracicaba was just a small village, a jumble of simple houses, dirt streets where passing carts ans bullock carts lit by kerosene lanterns. Emperor D. Pedro II ruled Brazil and slavery was not abolished. However, a group of progressive people was already working here for the liberation of slaves, the Proclamation of the Republic and the creation of a modern school for young people. This group was led by the brothers Manoel de Moraes Barros and Prudente de Moraes, both lawyers and policymakers in the region.
The Moraes brothers contacted the American immigrants in Santa Barbara D'Oeste. Rev. Newmann was a Methodist minister among them, and from this friendship came the idea of creating a school in modern molds of American schools here.
With the political support of the Moraes brothers, on September 13th, 1881, the American missionary Martha Watts opened the doors of the new school: "Colégio Piracicabano".
The "Main Building" of the school, on the corner of Boa Morte and D. Pedro II streets was finished in 1884. The beautiful exposed brick and plain tile house in front of the cramped houses of the village at the time convinced people that the school had come to stay and it was a success.
The school was built and sustained by Methodist American women, and they had the main objective to promote female education in Brazil. For this reason, until the 30 there was only boarding school for girls. Education for boys was in Non-residential system. Only in 1934 the male boarding was created.
The curriculum of Colégio Piracicabano offered since the early years a varied cast of subjects and was far ahead of the curricula of schools that time.
Soon after the Proclamation of the Republic, Prudente de Moraes was appointed governor of Sao Paulo and he implemented the reform of public education, following the model of the education program from Colégio Piracicabano.
The years passed and the Methodist school had grown and evolved with the city that was no longer a poor village but become a key element of the region development.
During the history of “Colégio Piracicabano”, several programs were designed to meet the educational needs of the region. The school began to offer college courses in 1964, and the Methodist University of Piracicaba was created in 1975. Today, there are about 10,000 students at UNIMEP.
This long and beautiful history began in 1881 with a teacher: Miss Martha Watts and only one student: Maria Escobar.
Memory of the IEP
Colégio Piracicabano is part of an educational tradition that was started by the Rev. John Wesley in England in 1748. Since then, many other Methodist schools were created around the world and, in 1881 Colégio Piracicabano was founded by the missionary Martha Watts. It is the first Methodist School in Brazil.
This is an educational history that spans more than 700 educational institutions. The network of Methodist schools spread throughout Brazil and the world nowadays provides a rich and continuous exchange of learning, updates and upgrades, allowing Colégio Piracicabano to be firm and aware on the local situation and contact sister institutions in Brazil and the world.
Founded on solid Christian principles, Colégio Piracicabano receives and welcomes everyone, respecting the religious convictions of each, in an environment of freedom and mutual respect that promotes an education that helps making a fairer and more caring society.