When I enrolled at the College of Law of Silliman University, our new dean was ROLANDO DEL CARMEN. So, we were his batch of freshmen. On the second year I decided to transfer to Ateneo University College of Law, but after the first semester I felt so homesick. I called up Dean Rolando Del Carmen if I can come back to Silliman University college of Law, without being delayed in the four year law course. Dean Del Carmen assured me of finishing the four year course without delay by offering certain subjects where I was the only student. Thus, I graduated from Silliman University College of Law together with my former classmates.
Dean Rolando Del Carmen, later went to the United States to pursue his graduate studies and remained in the United States of America and became a prominent figure in the States in the field of Criminal Law Justice. He died last October 31, 2018 after a long bout with cancer.
Here are some of the articles written about Dr. Rolando Del Carmen.
Rolando V. del Carmen, Distinguished Professor emeritus, Regents’ Professor Emeritus, and long-time benefactor of the College of Criminal Justice, has died after a lengthy battle with cancer.
A Service celebrating del Carmen’s life will be held at First United Methodist church in Huntsville on Nov. 19 at 11 a.am. Another memorial service wil be held at a later time in the Philippines. He will be laid to rest in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.
Many college faculty, staff, and students have expressed their condolences and memories of their colleague.
“Although Professor del Carmen will be greatly missed within the university community, he leaves behind a lasting and significant legacy in the students and colleagues whose lives he touched so profoundly and positively,” Phillip Lyons, dean and director of the Criminal Justice Center said. “We would not be who we are today, but for his presence over the decades; and we will not be the same without him. On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students I extend our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the del Carmen family.”
Del Carmen, a beloved member of the Sam Houston State University faculty, has generously supported the college throughout his tenure and given hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships. He has two scholarships in his name and recently contributed a gift annuity in honor of Dean Phillip Lyons.
In 2003, he created the Rolando, Josefa and Jocelyn del Carmen Criminal Justice Endowment Scholarship, which provides a $1,000 scholarship to a Ph.D. student annually. In 2005, family and friends launched the Rolando del Carmen Criminal Justice Endowed Scholarship which also provides a $1,000 scholarship annually for a graduate student at the College of Criminal Justice.
In addition to these scholarship funds, del Carmen has provided intermittent scholarships for students in need. He contributed a $1,000 scholarship for a student coming from Singapore, a member of the SHSU award-winning bowling team.
“To me, it is an investment in the person and in the future of the College of Criminal Justice,” del Carmen said.
Del Carmen became an assistant professor in 1974, was named Distinguished Professor in 1995, and named Regents’ Professor in 2007. He continued to be one of the leading experts in criminal law in the country, even after his retirement in 2012, and is revered by students, alumni, and fellow faculty members. His expertise is recognized worldwide, and he has written prominent books and articles in the field, which have been translated into other languages.
Del Carmen became an assistant professor in 1974, was named Distinguished Professor in 1995, and named Regents’ Professor in 2007. He continued to be one of the leading experts in criminal law in the country, even after his retirement in 2012, and is revered by students, alumni, and fellow faculty members. His expertise is recognized worldwide, and he has written prominent books and articles in the field, which have been translated into other languages and distributed across the globe. He served as a mentor to many graduate students, helping them publish academic articles and advance legal scholarship in the field of criminal justice.
Del Carmen’s generosity is not limited to SHSU. He also supported his alma mater, Silliman University in The Philippines, with student scholarships, faculty fellowships and grants to broaden and sustain quality education. His contributions are currently funding an honors dormitory at the university, providing free housing for the university’s 28 top students in need, and working to develop programming to help expand their views of life. The only thing he has asked in return is that these graduates give back to the university once they succeed in life.
Dr. Del Carmen’s support to Silliman has been exemplary, according to his former student, Dr. Eusebio Kho. He gave scholarships to law students. He supported the SUAKCREME Marine Laboratory of Dr. Angel Alcala, the Salonga Law Center. Last year he and Mrs. Erlyn del Carmen donated the Der. Rolando del Carmen Center of Excellence to Silliman. This center gives full tuition, board and lodging for four years to highly gifted students.
Rolando’s daughter, Dr. Jocelyn del Carmen, a medica eye surgeon who works in Palo alto, CA, announced that her father’s remains will be interred at 11 a.m. on Nov. 21 at the Texas State cemetery in Austin, Texas.
The Philippine economy is primarily agricultural. Exports include minerals, timber and coconuts. But a hundred years after it became a U. S. territory, and 52 years after its independence, it is obvious that one of the Philippines’ most valuable exports is Rolando del Carmen.
His family was far from rich or at high social status. But his parents believed in education as the gateway to success. There were 10 children, but all finished college, many with honors, and most went on to obtain graduate and professional degrees. As for the education of del Carmen himself, the late George Beto enjoyed amazing visitors to the Criminal Justice Center by introducing him as “the most degreed man in America.”
While that statement may not be technically accurate, del Carmen does, indeed, have five degrees— Bachelor of Arts (1953) and Bachelor of Laws (1956) from Silliman University in his homeland, Master of Comparative Law (1961) from Southern Methodist University, Master of Laws (1967) from the University of California-Berkeley, and Doctor of the Science of Law (1970) from the University of Illinois- Champaign.
He taught in the Philippines, came to Texas after winning a Fulbright- Southwestern Legal Foundation scholarship to study at SMU, and returned to the islands for six years to teach and work as a law professor and university administrator. During that time he was also a political commentator on a daily 45-minute radio program, and got on the wrong side of the rising political party of Ferdinand Marcos.
While del Carmen was back in the United States finishing his graduate degrees in law, President Marcos declared martial law.
“I could not go home because I was on Marcos’ ‘black list’ of individuals who opposed martial law,” said del Carmen. “I decided against going home because I would surely have been in prison if I did. Besides, my graduate training in constitutional law and criminal procedure would have been superfluous in a country under martial law.”
One of del Carmen’s former students who is now a criminal justice faculty member at Georgia State University calls him “the nation’s top scholar concerning legal liabilities in criminal justice,” and del Carmen’s criminal procedure book, now in its fourth edition, “unquestionably and unequivocally the best (such) book on the market.”
“This book is so good that it has been translated into Japanese and is currently being translated into Chinese,” said Michael S. Vaughn. “Students literally around the globe clamor for this text when they enroll in the challenging course of criminal procedure.”
Charles Friel has known del Carmen for more than two decades, as his colleague and as his former dean, and says he is “the finest teacher I have had the pleasure of knowing.”
The del Carmens have lived in Huntsville for 24 years. Their only child, Jocelyn, graduated as valedictorian from Huntsville High School. She finished her medical degree at the Harvard Medical School and is a physician in Palo Alto, California.
GOODBYE, MY FRIEND AND MENTOR.