Former UST rector appointed first Asian head of 439-year-old Roman University

  • Former UST Rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. was appointed as the rector of a Roman University
  • The Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas is a 439-year-old University built in 1577
  • De La Rosa will be serving as the first Asian rector of the University

The former rector of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila, Rev. Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P., was recently appointed as the first Asian head of the 439-year-old Angelicum University in Rome after being elected by the Dominican Order.

In an article written by Paterno Esmaquel II for Rappler on May 28, 2016, it was disclosed that De La Rosa, who will be replacing Rev. Fr. Miroslav Konštanc Adam, O.P., will be serving a four-year term which will begin on September 1, 2016, and end in the year 2020.

Prior to his latest appointment, De La Rosa was the head of UST for three terms; being its rector from 1990-1998 and 2007-2012.

For two terms, he also became the president of the International Council of Universities of Saint Thomas Aquinas (ICUSTA) and the Association of Catholic Universities of the Philippines (ACUP)

In 2004, he was appointed by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the chief of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), but De La Rosa resigned from the post barely a year later.

Among the awards he received throughout his professional and spiritual career are the National Book Award in History, the Catholic Authors Award, the 1995 and 2011 Outstanding Manilan Award, Kyung Hee University Medal of Highest Honor, and the 2012 Outstanding CEO Award in Education.

Meanwhile, the Angelicum, which is more formally known as the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (PUST), was founded in the year 1577 as the Collegium Divi Thomae with the motto, “Caritas veritatis [The charity of truth].

One of its most renowned alumni is the former Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, St. John Paul II, who finished his Doctorate of Sacred Theology from the University in 1948.