Xavier Magazine

Xavier Faces

Jonathan Tan Theology. Tan is the first Asian to join Xavier’s theology department. He specializes in East Asian religions, interreligious dialogue and religious pluralism. His wife, Van Pham, is a visiting professor. Born in Malaysia, Tan moved to Singapore, where he received his bachelor of arts degree. After three years of corporate law, he decided to pursue a master’s degree in theology at Berkeley. In May, he completed his doctorate in religion and culture at the Catholic University of America.

Izola White Academic Affairs. White may hold the record for longest maternity leave at Xavier. After first joining the University in 1971, she left to have a baby in 1978. She returned to the University eight years later. For the last 15 years, she’s proctored the admission entrance tests in addition to serving as assistant to the academic vice president for academic affairs. The grandmother of two recently earned her liberal arts degree. Her hobbies include gardening and reading.


Anne Golden English as a Second Language. Golden, a humble world traveler, has journeyed to Europe, South America and Asia. Her travels began while attending the University of Maine when she was accepted into a three-year teaching exchange program in Japan. The worldly perspective helps in her job, too, as director for corporate English programs for the English as a Second Language program. While the travel is great, Golden’s dream is to settle down somewhere on the coast of Maine.

Sara Gray Student Development. Gray is a seasoned employee who began at the University 12 years ago as a secretary for physical plant. She now works in student development and recently graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. And it may not be the end of the line for her education, she says. She’s debating the idea of continuing on and earning a master’s degree. But that may come later. For now, she is content with not having any homework.

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