Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban, An Inspirational Filipino-American Leader in Education

This month, I saw nothing but sad and unfortunate news that led me to believe that 2011 was off to a bad start. That is why it was great to see news that Seton Hall University last Tuesday appointed its interim president to be its new leader. In naming the new president, A. Gabriel Esteban, the university broke with its recent tradition of appointing only Roman Catholic priests to the post. In addition, this appointment of Dr. Esteban as Seton Hall’s new president means a lot to the Filipino community by having one of their own as a leader in education.

According to a recent New York Times article, Dr. Esteban, a native of the Philippines and a Catholic whose daughter is a Seton Hall junior, said in an interview that he was “humbled and honored” that the university was “willing to make an exception in my case.” He said he hoped to execute the strategic plan that he had helped create as provost, strengthening the Catholic mission and certain academic areas, making admissions more selective and bolstering finances.

Dr. Esteban said that the class admitted in the fall had been the largest in 30 years, up 18 percent over the year before, and that the average SAT score had risen. Students and faculty seemed to welcome the appointment. You can read more about Dr. Esteban by clicking here and here.

With the appointment of Dr. Esteban as the new president of Seton Hall, do you think there will be an increase in Filipino-American applicants to the university and will this inspire the youth in the community to pursue higher education? Anyways, I’m very envious of the students at Seton Hall who are fortunate to have an inspirational Filipino-American leader in their community.

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  • Wow, great news! Thanks for pointing this out!

    I’d say that as public colleges deteriorate, private schools like Seton Hall will get more and better qualified applicants. Good for Seton Hall, but may be not so good for college education in general.

    Like you say, I hope this appointment inspires more youth in our community to aspire to higher education. I doubt that it will, though. 🙁

    • I know what you mean Jeff. I had a discussion about Filipinos and higher education with my family. I have the same doubts as you, but one must also take into consideration financial status and their environment. I’ve met way too many Filipinos my age and youths that are easily discourage due to their surroundings. Hopefully with Dr. Esteban’s appointment, this will show a more positive figure in the Filipino community. Filipinos might say, “hey he’s one of us there is hope for our children in the future to reach a level of success.” Anyways, there needs to be more discussion on this topic.