Dean Ed: From Quill to Heart

Written by: Chevy Klein Tan

With the recent passing of Enderun’s beloved President, Dr. Edgardo P. Rodriguez, many Titans find themselves amidst confusion and sorrow. To many, Dr. Rodriguez was known to be the Dean of the College of Business, Technology, and Entrepreneurship— always roaming around with a listening ear to those who wanted to share their passions. For others, he was an avid supporter of the Economics Department. He often imparted knowledgeable input as he was a part of the Special Program in Development Economics at Harvard University. And for those who knew him well, he was a devoted father, amicable professor, and reliable colleague.

Despite the numerous titles and achievements President Ed obtained throughout his life, what made him a central figure in the Enderun community was his willingness to listen, collaborate, and care for those around him. Dr. Rodriguez, while the Dean and President of Enderun Colleges— was beyond his positions. To all Titans, he was Dean Ed, someone who genuinely connected with those fortunate enough to meet him.

Today, INK Enderun honors his passing by conducting actions Dean Ed represented best— listening and sharing stories. Through the submissions of personal accounts made by Enderun Titans, we carry his legacy and reminisce about the kind actions the president offered.

For Enderun’s SHS Principal Ms. Cherry Tan, she fondly recalls her first meeting with Dean Ed. She writes, “The first time I met him (Dean Ed) was by chance, as my father had extra seats to a benefit dinner for the Alain Ducasse foundation years before I was to call Enderun my second home. I walked through the unfamiliar campus, landed in the ornately decorated Tent, and found myself surrounded by a sea of strangers. Cocktail tables were all occupied, but as I meandered around them, I locked eyes with a couple who must have noticed how out of place this ‘feeling-young’ teacher was.”

When asked how her interaction with Dean Ed went, she states, “I don’t know if Dean Ed and Ma’am Aleli remember, but they both graciously scooched over so I could cease my aimless wandering, and, while I was already grateful for that, Dean Ed began to engage me in conversation. Not awkward or insincere, as is often the case with forced small talk, but with that special Dean Ed genuinity. I kept that sentiment close to my heart so that when I eventually came to be a part of the Enderun family, I came to see how Dean Ed was at the center of this call to serve, drawing those around him in by sheer gravitational pull, but never for his own benefit.”

Ms. Marcy Aguila-Maño, a notable figure in the Office of Admissions, explains how Dean Ed’s presence was continuously felt during orientations and admission events. She writes, “With all of these events, he has shown his sincerity. He is one of the most selfless people I know. He is the only person I know in Enderun who always asks students or employees how they are doing. He’s very hardworking and passionate.” Before concluding, she thanked him for all the lessons he shared with the Office of Admissions.

Dean Ed’s legacy also made its way into Enderun’s Athletics Department. As Coach Hippolyte “Pipo” Noundou shares, “The 1st time I met Dean Ed was on campus. It was my first-month joining Enderun, and we briefly talked about our lives. I was surprised he was aware of my story, and he even asked me a few questions about my family back home and my plans. After the discussion, he told me that I was his idol. I thought he was just joking until every time we bumped into each other, the nickname ‘idol’ followed. So much so it even appeared in our email.” Through the recollection, Couch Pipo takes a more sentimental turn. He continues, “It was surreal that a man like him appreciates me. He gave me so much confidence to believe in myself and even emailed me on birthdays. He was a blessing, and I will forever cherish these memories. To me, He was the REAL IDOL.”

Beyond his academic influence, the president also touched students’ hearts. Stephanie Mabasa, an Ateneo Graduate, shared her appreciation for Dean Ed in the Submission Tribute. She states, “I will never forget that week when I had to leave for Singapore. I had to skip school for a student entrepreneurship event. While all my other professors did not care, Dean Ed was interested in what I was embarking on. He saw my potential right there and then. Coming back home after my MBA, he helped me get a consulting job at ADB. Eventually, he asked me if I wanted to teach. Though I never knew how or what to teach, Ed saw something in me. He said, “There’s this college called Enderun, and I am part of it.” Because of him, I found my love for teaching. I realized I could make an impact through one student at a time.”

Enderun graduate Princess Bulanadi highlights the late president’s kindness, generosity, and mentorship. She touchingly conveys her memory of him. “A memory from over a decade ago remains etched in my heart: when I was 17 years old, on the cusp of embarking on my first internship in the United States, I confided in Dean Ed about my anxiety. Without hesitation, he reassured me and made me feel like I could do anything. On top of that, he shared that his daughter resided in Washington, D.C., at that time, assuring me that she would offer a warm welcome and solace whenever I grappled with life challenges….His sincere interest in my life and well-being exemplified a deep and authentic care that likened him to a fatherly figure during my college years.”

Alongside, BS Economics taker Patricia May Lopez points to the Dean’s personal effect on her life. She shares, “If I remember how remarkable Dean is in my life, he greets me with a warm smile and gives a comforting handshake. He has a smile that feels like everything will be alright. I shared with him my wide range of interests in my career. I said I would like to take sustainability and social entrepreneurship. Afterward, I jokingly asked him at the end if I could sing for him for the farewell party, and he said he liked the Beatles. I sang Obladi Oblada for Dean, then Dean sang Hey Jude. The karaoke segment was genuine, and I felt everyone’s happiness.”

Before ending, she indicates that the Dean always saw the best in people. She finalizes, “I know he impacted a lot of young students like me deeply; I look up to him.”

Adjunct faculty member Aileen Nanca centers her memory of Dean Ed on his character. She writes, “Dean Ed’s immense concern for others was a thread that ran through all his messages. It wasn’t just about saying the right words; it was about genuinely caring for the well-being of others. In his eagerness to reconnect, he expressed a profound truth: that friendships should be nurtured and treasured. Dean Ed showed us that no matter how busy life may get, it’s important to make time for those who matter, to say, “See you soon,” hoping that those moments will come.” In her closing, she encapsulates the feelings most Titans experience regarding the loss of Dean Ed. She concludes, “Dean Ed may no longer be with us, but his spirit and the lessons he imparted will forever be a part of our lives. He leaves a legacy of leadership, friendship, and service that inspires and guides us. In our hearts, he lives on.”

In times of unrest, worry, and uncertainty, let us look at Dean Ed’s influence and remind ourselves that in every action, we touch the lives of others. For Enderun Colleges, our late Dean has drawn a mark all Titans will reflect over the years. As time moves forward, let us not lament Dean Ed’s passing. Instead, commemorate him in every achievement, growth, and accomplishment we make as Enderun Titans.

Rest easy, Dean Ed. We follow in your honor.

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