Brother Andrew Gonzalez: Lasallian Visionary and Over Achiever

BrotherAndrew

Macario Diosdado Gonzalez was born on February 29, 1940 to parents Augusto Diosdado Gonzales y SIoco and Rosario Arnedo, both known individuals during their time. He was the youngest of seven children, but had nine other siblings with his father’s first wife Marina Escaler Gonzalez.

Br. Andrew hails from a family who has been known to produce successful and influential individuals such as Dr. Joaquin Gonzalez, the University of the Philippines’ first president, Dr. Bienvenido Ma. Gonzalez who served as the president of the University of the Philippines for many years, Fernando, Jesus, and Virgilio Gonzalez who were successful medical doctors, and Assemblyman Fausto Gonzalez who earned his doctor of laws degree in Madrid, Spain. Personalities like Dr. Jose Rizal, Gen. Arthur MacArthur, and President Manuel Quezon are indebted and grateful to the hospitality provided by Brother Andrew’s family.

Brother Andrew finished grammar school and high school at De La Salle College where he was a consistent honor student and even graduated as salutatorian. He then went to Baguio to pursue his postulancy and novitiate, and received the Christian Brothers’ habit on November 20, 1955. He also enrolled at Saint Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota where he graduated summa cum laude at the age of 19, and at the age of 20 garnered his Master of Arts in English Literature from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Brother Andrew returned to the Philippines in 1960 and taught English Language and Literature at the high school department of La Salle College, Bacolod. He then served in several administrative positions in De La Salle College from 1964-1967, and made his final vows as a De La Salle Brother on May 30, 1965. Though a Lasallian, he pursued graduate studies in linguistics at the Philippine Normal College and Ateneo de Manila University. In 1967, Brother Andrew was accepted to a doctoral program in linguistics at the University of California at Berkely as a Regents’ Fellow in Linguistics and as a Stanley Tasheira Scholar and finished his degree in 1970. He returned to the Philippines in 1971 and was chosen to be the chairperson of the Humanities Department of De La Salle College, then later promoted to Academic Vice President of the said college from 1971-1978. He took the Philippines’ first ever Board Examinations for Teachers in 1978 and placed first with a score of 86.12%.

Because of his extraordinary performance, he was elected President of De La Salle University and served from 1979 until 1991. After serving as Brother President of the University, he was assigned to serve as the President of the Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation in 1994, and once gain served as president of De La Salle University from 1994-1998. In 1998, Brother Andrew was designated as Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports of the Philippines in July 1998 and served that position until 2001. From 2001-2003, he returned to DLSU to serve as Vice President for Academics and Research, and from 2003-2005 as Presidential Adviser for Academics and Research. Brother Andrew also served as president emeritus of the Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, a position he held until his death on January 29, 2006.

During his term as president of DLSU, Brother Andrew founded the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, a center for innovative teaching, and took over a college of medicine which eventually became the De La Salle University-Dasmarinas.

Brother Andrew envisioned De La Salle University as the prestigious university it is at present, and it is thanks to him that DLSU is what it is and will be in the years to come.

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