It would seem that May is a month of many firsts for the Thomasian Alumni Community as former UST Rector Fr. Rolando dela Rosa, O.P. was appointed as the very first Asian Rector of Rome’s Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas also known as the ‘Angelicum’. Despite not being an alumni or a member of any distinguished roster of the faculty from the said university, it is without any doubt that Fr. dela Rosa is the next pillar to serve and sustain the pontifical institution come September 1st of this year.
In an article published by the Varsitarian, the offer of Rectorship came as a shock for Fr. dela Rosa as he doesn’t know the Angelicum well and the only information he knows about the place were bits of information from the internet, some of his research and stories from fellow Domincans in UST who were able to study there. Even after expressing his hesitation on accepting the rare opportunity during an audience with the Master of the Order of Preachers, Fr. Bruno Cadore, O.P., last May 4 at the Spem Miram Internationalis (a Dominican foundation where Fr. dela Rosa is a board member), the Master wouldn’t be swayed from his decision.
Albeit hesitant of the responsibility he is going to bear, as any true Thomasian would when faced with an honorable challenge such as this, Fr. dela Rosa is getting ahead of his studies of the Italian language and preparing for his Rectorship by familiarizing himself with the place, the culture and the people. “For now, my only plan is to go there, study Italian, and familiarize myself with the university. Good planning requires a certain familiarity with the place, people, structures, culture, finances, procedures, and operations of the institution in which one is working,” he said.*
Fr. dela Rosa was a three-term former UST rector from years 1990-1994, 1994-1998 and 2008-2012 and the current dean of the UST Faculty of Sacred Theology.
We at the Office of Alumni Relations would like to express our warmest congratulations to Fr. Rolando dela Rosa in his new appointment.
*Quoted from the article by Varsitarian
**Photo credits to Jilson Tiu and graduateschool.ust.edu.ph