Antonio Samson, SJ

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Fr. Antonio Sandoval Samson, S.J. is the current president of Ateneo de Davao University. He was born in Manila on November 1, 1938. His parents were Dr. Jose G. Samson and Evarista Sandoval.

Early Life

Fr. Samson was educated at Ateneo de Manila University where he majored in chemistry and graduated with honors in 1958 cum laude. He immediately joined the Society of Jesus in May, 1958. He started his long association with Ateneo de Davao when he taught chemistry in Ateneo de Davao High School from 1963 to 1965. He was sent by the Jesuit society to pursue his postgraduate studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he obtained his masters in philosophy and his doctorate in chemistry in 1969. His field of study was friedelin compounds, a class of pentacylic triterpenes. After his American studies, he returned to the Philippines to finish his theological studies. He was ordained a Jesuit in March, 1973.


Fr. Samson became the Director of the Office of Admission and Aid. In 1979 he was appointed Executive Vice President (EVP) of the Ateneo. Fr. Samson left Ateneo de Manila for Ateneo de Davao in 1986 to become its President for 7 years. Fr. Samson was appointed president of Xavier University from 1993 to 2005. He has held other positions as President of Davao Medical School Foundation, 1986-1993; and Executive Vice President of Ateneo de Manila University, 1977-1986. On September 24, 2005 he was inaugurated for the second time as president of Ateneo de Davao University.

Although he currently focuses on the Jesuit education apostolate in Mindanao, Fr. Samson still maintains contact with the Chemistry Department of Ateneo de Manila by being a board member of the Philippine Institute of Pure and Applied Chemistry (PIPAC).