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Fr. Tan of Surigao del Norte is Xavier University’s next president

By: Froilan Gallardo December 10,2019 - 07:30 AM

Fr. Mars Tan SJ (Society of Jesus) will be Xavier University’s next president and he will assume office in June 2020. | photo courtesy of Xavier University website

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Xavier University, the first Jesuit University in the Philippines and the first university in Mindanao, has a Mindanaoan as its next university president.

Francisco Guerra III, chair of the school Board of Trustees, said the board had elected Fr. Mars Tan, Society of Jesus (SJ), who was born and raised in Surigao del Norte, as the next President of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, which is a university in Cagayan de Oro City.

Tan will replace Fr. Bobby Yap who was elected to become the president of the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.

Tan and Yap will assume office in their respective new positions on June 1, 2020.

In a post at the website of Xavier University on December 8, 2019, Guerra said the board elected Tan “after a thorough and discernment process.”

Tan has a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the University of Notre Dame Australia; an MS in Environmental Science from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Q.C., M.A. Theology from the Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University, and B.S. Biology from the Ateneo de Davao University.

As a Jesuit volunteer, Tan was a teaching instructor at the Ateneo de Davao University Branch, 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  PhD dissertation  was on Sedimentation Dynamics of the Cagayan de Oro River Catchment and its implications for the coastal marine habitats of Macajalar Bay  and lead XU Projects like Ridge-River-Reef Project; Mineral Recovery Project; and Mangrove Mapping in Macajalar Bay.

“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./dbs

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TAGS: Mars, Yap

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