A Filipino immigrant is now the first Filipino president of the 144-year old St. John’s University in Queens, New York.
The Catholic university, traditionally led by Vincentian priests of the Congregation of the Mission, commissioned its leadership on Dr. Conrado Gempesaw, Ph.D., an accomplished scholar and teacher with nearly three decades of academic and administrative experience.
“Embracing the Vincentian mission is easy and natural to me because like so many St. John’s students today and in the past, I am an immigrant. I came to the United States 34 years ago from the Philippines with a very strong encouragement from my mother. Like many immigrants, I came to this country full of hope and determination,” the 60-year-old Gempesaw recounted in his investiture address.
Dr. Gempesaw is now looking into instituting Philippine Studies at St. John’s. Before he came to St. John’s, Dr. Gempesaw was Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Prior to this he was Dean of the University of Delaware Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. Dr. Gempesaw received his degree in BA Economics from the Ateneo de Davao University in the Philippines. He received his M.A. in Economics from Miami University. He finished his M.S. in Agricultural Economics from West Virginia University and Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Pennsylvania State University. He is a certified public accountant.
Dr. Gempesaw is married to Clavel Albay Gempesaw and they have two sons, Daniel and David who both graduated with top honours at the University of Delaware.
Dr. Gempesaw leads the university which was founded in 1870 to serve a diverse immigrant population. St. John’s is regarded as one of the best private universities in the United States, and the second ranked in terms of ethnic diversity. Students who come from 47 states and 116 countries numbering about 16,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students are taught by 1,500 faculty members. Ninety-seven percent of St. John’s undergraduates receive financial assistance through scholarships, loans, grants, and work-study programs.- See more at: http://www.goodnewspilipinas.com/filipino-becomes-1st-lay-president-us-catholic-university/#sthash.MpUAe6Ae.dpuf
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