ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/25 November)—The Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU), Zamboanga Peninsula’s sole Jesuit university and the longest running educational institution in the region, has a new president, Fr. Karel San Juan, Society of Jesus (SJ), who was installed last Saturday.
San Juan told reporters his investiture as ADZU president comes at a moment when Zamboanga City is rising from the “context of conflict, crisis and calamity.”
“Zamboanga City now is struggling hard to rehabilitate, recover and renew itself from weeks of a traumatic, violent and destructive conflict. We continue to witness massive death and devastation in the Visayas region due to typhoon Yolanda and the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu. Millions of Filipinos are suffering and in need of emergency assistance,” San Juan said a statement.
“The task of reconstruction is enormous and unprecedented. Zamboangueños know the hardship of crisis and calamity, and are one in spirit and prayer with victims of the typhoon and earthquake,” he added.
Under his watch, the new Ateneo president revealed that the university’s focus will be on “institutional excellence, engaged citizenship and integrated formation.”
Past ADZU presidents include Fr. Antonio Moreno, SJ, who is now the Superior of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus, Fr. William Kreutz, SJ, and Fr. Ernesto Carretero, SJ.
The conferment ceremony on San Juan was solemn, witnessed by his fellow SJ brothers, members of the Ateneo academic community, its alumni and representatives of civil society organizations engaged by Ateneo in various projects.
San Juan holds a doctorate degree in Philosophy, major in Leadership Studies, which he earned at the Gonzaga University in the United States after writing a dissertation entitled “The Spiritual Formation of Leaders Based on the Ignatian Tradition.”
He completed his master’s degree in Developmental Management at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City. His master’s thesis was “The Role of the University in Development: The Ateneo de Manila Social Development Complex.”
San Juan is an alumnus of the Ateneo de Manila University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Sacred Theology with a distinction of summa cum laude.
Prior to his assumption as ADZU president, San Juan was executive director of the Emmaus Center for Psycho-Social Formation from June 2007 to September this year. (Frencie Carreon/MindaNews)