The University of Guanajuato: History, Symbols, Mission, and Commitment to San Miguel de Allende

By Paloma Robles Lacayo

The University of Guanajuato began as the College of the Holy Trinity in 1732. The 1870 initiative of Governor Florencio Antillon changed the institution’s name to Colegio del Estado. In 1945 it became the University of Guanajuato. In 1991 Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, then principal, invited the campus community to participate in the process of autonomy and regulatory reform, which was approved by the State Congress in 1994, and with which the University acquired the legal capacity and power to govern itself.

In 2006, principal Dr. Arturo Lara López presented to the University Council a proposal for an academic and administrative reform, proposing the adoption of a new organizational and academic model, characterized by a multicampus, departmental, and matrix structure of its higher education subsystem, and the integration of a mid-level subsystem. This initiative was approved unanimously by the Constitutional State Legislature on May 31, 2007. In this way, the University of Guanajuato began a new stage in its institutional history.

The University symbols are the anthem (lyrics by the illustrious D. Fulgencio Vargas Guanajuato; music by Carlos Liceaga and Euquerio Guerrero, in 1928) and the shield. According to heraldry, the elements of the shield of the University of Guanajuato mean justice, perseverance, knowledge, teamwork, and the light of truth—which also alludes to the motto of the University: The truth will set you free.

The mission of the University is to promote an open environment for free discussion of ideas, the integral formation of individuals, and the search for truth for the construction of a free, fair, democratic, and equitable society, with humanistic sensibilities and social consciousness. Governed by the principles of academic freedom, free inquiry, and social engagement, a critical, pluralistic, participatory, and creative spirit will prevail.

According to the Code of Ethics of the University of Guanajuato, the virtues, or guiding principles that guide the behavior of members of the community, and consequently enable the full realization of that mission, are Truth, Freedom, Respect, Responsibility, and Justice.

The academic organizational structure of the University consists of the Direction of the Middle Level Superior College, the campuses in Celaya-Salvatierra, Irapuato-Salamanca, Leon, and Guanajuato, to which, through the Coordination of Strategic Projects, the venue in San Miguel de Allende (formerly Extension Unit) is attached. The San Miguel venue’s primary commitment is to a relevant and high quality continuing education, offering various workshops, courses, and diplomas to the San Miguel population, whose participation will be certified by the University of Guanajuato.


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