Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P. was recently appointed as the 97th Rector of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, the Catholic University of the Philippines and considered the oldest University in Asia.
The Prefect of the Congregatio de Institutione Catholica (Studiorum Institutis) [The Congregation for Catholic Education (Institutes of Study)] His Eminence Giuseppe Cardinal Versaldi signed a rescritto or papal rescript agreeing with Fr. Ang’s nomination by the Master of the Order of Preachers and UST Chancellor Very Rev. Fr. Gerard Francisco P. Timoner, III, O.P. Upon this notice, Very Rev. Fr. Timoner confirmed Fr. Ang’s appointment as Rector of UST on May 7, 2020.
The Congregation for Catholic Education (Institutes of Study) is the pontifical congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for higher education institutes that depend on ecclesiastical authorities. As a pontifical university, UST also falls under its purview.
Now the eighth Filipino Rector of UST, Fr. Ang served as UST Vice Rector from 2012 until January 2020 and Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy. He was formally named Acting Rector by his predecessor, the Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P.
Fr. Ang spent his academic life at the University of Santo Tomas. He was always a brilliant student. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree, cum Laude, from the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters in 1990. He has a Licentiate in Philosophy degree, graduating Magna cum Laude from the UST Faculty of Philosophy in 1994. He obtained his Bachelor‘s degree in Sacred Theology, Summa cum Laude, from the UST Faculty of Sacred Theology in 1997, and his Licentiate in Sacred Theology and Master of Arts in Religious Studies degrees, Magna cum Laude, from the UST Ecclesiastical Faculties in 1999. In 2010, Fr. Ang obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree, Summa cum Laude, from the UST Faculty of Philosophy.
In his capacity as Vice Rector of the University for eight years, Fr. Ang was also chairman of various University committees that include the Manpower, Scholarship, and Retirement Board Committees. He was also a member of the Economic Council, Council of Regents, and the Academic Senate. Even before he was named Vice Rector, he occupied various positions in the University such as Director of the Purchasing Office from 2010 to 2012, Faculty Secretary of the Ecclesiastical Faculties from 2006 to 2008 and Spiritual Director of the UST Central Seminary from 2005 to 2007, among others.
The new Rector is a writer and editor. He has contributed articles to various journals particularly in Oriental Philosophy and Rational Psychology, his areas of specialization. These include “The Confucian Li” in Colloquia Manila, “On Conceiving Ren Towards Birthing RuJin” in Philippiniana Sacra among others. He has been involved with various publications as consultant, academic adviser and review editor.
In 2018, Fr. Ang’s book, “Between the Confucian Li and Ren: a Philosophical Hermeneutics,” was launched by the UST Publishing House.
In a letter to the Thomasian community on May 26, 2020, Fr. Ang set the direction, “Together, let us adapt to our new academic environment not only with our usual adherence to excellence, but with our renewed sense of competence, commitment and compassion. As a community, we shall overcome. Always, with God’s unending grace.”