The 397 year-old University of Santo Tomas, the oldest university in the Far East, will install its 95th Rector, Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P., on June 10 at the UST Chapel. Immediately taking place after the centuries-old UST traditional opening mass called Misa de Apertura, Fr. de la Rosa, who is coming back into the leadership of UST will be formally installed.
The 397 year-old University of Santo Tomas, the oldest university in the Far East, will install its 95th Rector, Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P., on June 10 at the UST Chapel. Immediately taking place after the centuries-old UST traditional opening mass called Misa de Apertura, Fr. de la Rosa, who is coming back into the leadership of UST will be formally installed. This will be witnessed by representatives of the Commission on Higher Education, leaders of the church hierarchy and academic institutions, members of the diplomatic corps, alumni and the Thomasian community. Fr. de la Rosa, 54, was first elected Rector of UST in 1990 and served until 1998.
Born on June 27, 1953, in Legazpi City where he spent his childhood, he completed his basic education courses at the Aquinas University in Rawis, Legazpi City. He studied AB Philosophy and graduated Magna cum Laude from the Dominican House of Studies. He graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Bachelor of Sacred Theology in 1980. He was ordained into the Dominican Order in April 3, 1982.
In 1984, Fr. de la Rosa earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology degree, Magna cum Laude and Master of Arts in Higher Religious Studies, Summa cum Laude, both from UST. Armed with a scholarship grant, he went on to study at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium where he completed the Doctoral degrees graduating Magna cum Laude in two programs: Higher Religious Studies and Sacred Theology in 1988.
During his first two terms as UST rector, he became president of the Association of Catholic Universities of the Philippines and the International Association of Universities of St, Thomas. He was the founding president of the Network of Dominican Schools/ Colleges and Universities in the Philippines in 1995, more popularly known as DOMNET which now has a total membership of more than 100 schools. He was chair of the Organizing Committee of the International Youth Forum for the World Youth Day in January 1995 hosted by UST.
In 2004, he was personally chosen by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to chair the Commission on Higher Education which cut short his stint as Rector of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Calamba.
When he returned to the academe, he went back to serve UST in various capacities: as Assistant to the Rector for Research and Development and later, as Vice Rector for Finance. In September 2007, he accepted the assignment of being the Acting Rector of the University, until his formal installation in June 2008.