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Esther R. Sylvester, ESQ.

Black and white portrait of Esther R. Sylvester

Interim President, 1978-1979

Following the Presidency of Sister Anne Marie Durst, S.H.C.J., a search for a new President of the college began. Esther R. Sylvester, a 1961 alumna of Rosemont College and a member of the Board of Trustees for four years, was chosen by the Board to serve as President in the interim.

Esther grew up in Norristown, Pa. and came to Rosemont for her undergraduate degree. Knowing from an early age that she wanted to be a lawyer, she earned her J.D. from Villanova University Law School in 1964. Following graduation, she practiced general law before becoming Assistant District Attorney of Philadelphia.

Sylvester was the first woman to head the Major Trials Division of the District Attorney’s Office of Philadelphia and the first woman appointed Deputy District Attorney for investigations in that office. In 1978, she was appointed Counsel to the Philadelphia Police Department by Mayor Frank L. Rizzo. Later her title became The Honorable Esther R. Sylvester as Judge, Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia.

The College community is grateful to Esther for the sacrifice she made by taking a leave of absence from the City of Philadelphia in 1978 to help her alma mater.