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19/10/2011: Philippine Ambassador to the U.S., Philippine Consul General to New York Congratulate Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban on his Investiture as the 20th President of Seton Hall University

Philippine Ambassador to the U.S., Jose Cuisia, Jr., and Philippine Consul General to New York, Mario De Leon, Jr., attended the investiture of Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban as the 20th president of Seton Hall University on 14 October 2011.  The 155-year-old Catholic university based in South Orange, New Jersey appointed Dr. Esteban as its president in January 2011.

The two high-ranking Philippine government officials personally extended their congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Esteban who has the distinction of being the first Filipino American and Asian American to serve as president of Seton Hall University, and the university’s first lay president in a generation.  He oversees more than 900 faculty and 1,800 employees and nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Esteban was born in the Philippines and is an alumnus of the University of the Philippines where he earned his bachelor of science in mathematics and master in business administration.

“This is a historic day for Seton Hall University. Dr. Esteban has brought a big honor for the whole Filipino American community, especially given the fact that his investiture coincides with the celebration this October of the Filipino American History Month in the U.S.” said Ambassador Cuisia, who traveled from Washington DC to take part in the event.

Consul General De Leon, whose consular jurisdiction includes New Jersey, described Dr. Esteban as a “great inspiration to Filipino Americans.”  He said that “his accomplishment as the first Filipino American to become a president of a major U.S. university – and of the very prestigious Seton Hall University at that – should bode well for our community.”

In his investiture address, Dr. Esteban disclosed the personal and professional journeys that brought him to Seton Hall University.  He challenged the university to continue to “promote understanding of its rich Catholic intellectual tradition and to encourage deepening of faith among the members of the university community.” As president of the university, he has set the goal of raising “Seton Hall’s academic profile to rank among the top 10 Catholic universities and top 100 national universities among college-bound high school students” in the U.S. by the next decade.

Dr. Esteban’s Filipino identity was given prominence during the three-part celebration that included a Mass, the actual investiture ceremony, and a luncheon. At the investiture ceremony, the Philippine flag was proudly paraded along with the U.S. flag and the different colorful banners of Seton Hall University and its various schools and colleges. Filipino American students belonging to the Filipino League at Seton Hall (FLASH) proudly sang the Philippine national anthem.  When it was time to give gifts to Dr. Esteban, Newark Archbishop John Myers, chairman of Seton Hall’s board of trustees and president of the board of regents, presented him with a Bible printed in Tagalog. During the luncheon, the Philippine Chamber Rondalla of New Jersey, Inc. played traditional and popular Filipino music to the delight of guests as they were having their lunch. END.

Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban, 20th president of Seton Hall University, delivering his investiture address. (Photo By Consul Zaldy Patron)

(L-R) Consul General Mario De Leon, Jr., Mrs. Vicky Cuisia, Dr.  A. Gabriel Esteban, Mrs. Josephine Esteban and Ambassador Jose Cuisia, Jr., at the end of the luncheon right after Dr. Esteban’s investiture as Seton Hall University president. (Photo By Consul Zaldy Patron)

Press Release from Philippine Consulate General New York