CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 9 December) –– Xavier University (XU), the first Jesuit University in the Philippines and the first university in Mindanao, has chosen a Mindanawon as its next president.
Francisco Guerra III, chair of the school’s Board of Trustees, said the board elected Fr. Mars Tan, SJ, who was born and raised in Surigao del Norte, as the new university president.
Tan will replace Fr. Bobby Yap, who was elected as the next president of the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.
Tan and Yap will assume office on June 1, 2020.
“We thank Fr. Mars for his gracious acceptance of this important mission of leadership. We also thank Fr. Bobby for his enormous contributions to the university and Northern Mindanao over these past nine years. Let us keep Fr. Mars and Fr. Bobby and our beloved Xavier Ateneo in our prayers,” Guerra said.
In a post at the university’s website on Sunday, Guerra said the board elected Tan “after a thorough and discerning process.”
Tan holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Environmental Science from the University of Notre Dame Australia; a Master of Science in Environmental Science from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City; a Master of Arts in Theology from the Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU).
As a Jesuit volunteer, Tan was a teaching instructor at the AdDU branch in Compostela, Davao del Norte and later high school Instructor (Jesuit regency) at the Xavier Ateneo High School in Cagayan de Oro City.
A known environmentalist, Tan’s Ph.D. dissertation tackled the Sedimentation Dynamics of the Cagayan de Oro River Catchment and its implications for the coastal marine habitats of Macajalar Bay.
He also leads XU’s environmental projects like the Ridge-River-Reef Project, Mineral Recovery Project, and Mangrove Mapping in Macajalar Bay.