seton hall university names a. gabriel esteban as new president

This week, Seton Hall University -- New Jersey's largest Catholic university -- appointed A. Gabriel Esteban as the school's new president, breaking with its recent tradition of appointing only Roman Catholic priests to the position: Breaking Custom, Seton Hall Picks a Layman as President.

After a long and frustrating search for a new president, where two finalists fell through, Seton Hall's board of trustees created an exception to the school bylaw that said presidents must be priests, clearing the way for interim president (and former provost) Esteban's appointment:
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. On Tuesday, with just a few students present on campus between semesters, undergraduates praised Dr. Esteban's personal touch and take-charge personality. Amanda Bronson, a freshman, remembered the way he calmed the school in the fall after a student was killed at an off-campus party. "It was a hard time, but he helped us get through," she said.
Congratulations to Seton Hall's newly appointed non-priest president. More here: Seton Hall hires first lay president in more than 2 decades.

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