Our background. About the University. University of Navarra
The University of Navarra was founded in 1952 by St. Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei. Since then, it has achieved many milestones in its history, which has been marked by the pursuit of excellence in teaching and research and a constant commitment to serve people and society as a whole.
Foundation of Estudio General de Navarra
The University of Navarra, founded by St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, begins as the Estudio General de Navarra on October 17, with an academic ceremony held in the chamber of the Regional Council of Navarre, at the Palace of Navarre.
The first degree program in Law begins at the Cámara de Comptos with 48 students and 8 professors.
Ismael Sánchez Bella is named President. School of Medicine and School of Nursing are established
Ismael Sánchez Bella is named President on October 7. A full professor of History of Law, Bella arrived at the University of Navarra in 1952 and became one of the first professors at the university. He was the first Director of the School of Law until he was named President of the University.
Also, that same year, the Schools of Medicine and Nursing are established.
The School of Humanities and Social Sciences is established
The School of Humanities and Social Sciences is set up on the top floor of the Museum of Navarre, in classrooms provided by the Regional Council.
In the second academic year, students of Medicine and Nursing study subjects requiring practicals, facilities and laboratories, so they are moved to a small building in the Hospital of Navarre, provided by the Regional Council.
During the 1955-1956 academic year, the number of students enrolled rises to 184.
First IESE Business School program and creation of the Institute of Journalism
On November 25, the first IESE Business School program is inaugurated in Barcelona, with 20 business executives enrolled.
Business management schools were not very well known outside of the United States. For that reason, the establishment of these programs represents a milestone in the history of executive education in Spain and Europe.
This same year, the Institute of Journalism begins operating.
Establishment of the Friends of the University of Navarra
The Friends of the University of Navarra is established to help support the University.
Since its formation, the contributions of the Friends of the University of Navarra have made it possible to equip the University with infrastructure for teaching and research, promote the Clínica Universidad de Navarra and, since 1975, provide scholarships for research.
Elevation to the status of a University and appointment of José María Albareda as President
José María Albareda, a full professor at the Universidad de Madrid, takes over as President on February 2.
On August 6, the Holy See elevates the Estudio General de Navarra to the status of a University and its founder, St. Josemaría Escrivá, is named Chancellor by the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities and receives the Freedom of the City of Pamplona on October 25.
Creation of the Institute of Modern Languages and the School of Engineering (TECNUN)
The Institute of Modern Languages begins offering English, French and German classes at the Museum of Navarre. The number of students rises to 300. Thomas Gilgut, a graduate of Harvard University, is elected coordinator of the academic staff. He remained at the head of the Institute until 1968.
The School of Engineering (TECNUN) opens in San Sebastián, in a building provided by the Provincial Council of Guipúzcoa.
Civil recognition and first phase of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra
The Spanish Government officially recognizes the University's programs of study, putting them on equal footing with those taught at state institutions. This is the first time that programs of study at a non-government institution are recognized in this way.
Cardinal Ottaviani, then Prefect of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, inaugurates the first phase of the Graduate School and the first Clínica Universidad de Navarra project, which opens with 19 beds.
ISSA School of Management Assistants
The Institute of Secretarial Studies (ISSA), today known as ISSA School of Management Assistants, is established.
In 1963, the University of Navarra purchased Eva Enea (Villa Eva), located between the hills of Aldapeta and San Roque in San Sebastián, to house the Institute of Secretarial Studies. In fifty years, over 3,000 students have passed through its halls.
First General Assembly of the Friends of the University of Navarra and first Honorary Doctors
IESE Business School launches its first MBA program under the guidance of an Advisory Committee established by Harvard Business School and IESE Business School. It was the first two-year MBA program in Europe.
On Saturday, October 28, the Chancellor grants the first honorary doctoral degrees to Miguel Sancho Izquierdo and Juan Cabrera y Felipe.
On November 30, the Friends of the University of Navarra holds its first General Assembly in Pamplona.
Francisco Ponz, President
Francisco Ponz Piedrafita, a Full Professor of Organography and Animal Physiology at the Universitat de Barcelona, takes over as President.
The Institute of Spanish Language and Culture is started and construction of the Humanities Library is completed.
On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, an image of the Virgin Mary is placed in the Shrine of Our Lady of Fair Love.
General Assembly of the Friends of the University of Navarra and new Honorary Doctors
The Friends of the University of Navarra holds a General Assembly in Pamplona attended by 30,000 people. The Chancellor celebrates a Mass during which he gives the "Campus Homily."
This Assembly was preceded by the ceremony granting honorary doctoral degrees to Willy Onclin, Guilherme Braga da Cruz, Ralph M. Hower, Carlos Jiménez Díaz, Jean Roche and Otto B. Roegele.
School of Theology
The Institute of Theology becomes a School. It had started as a Theological Center in 1964. It was later elevated to the rank of Institute in 1967. Its academic degrees have full canonical and civil validity.
School of Information Sciences
The Institute of Journalism is elevated to the School of Information Sciences following a process begun in 1969 to modify the General Education Law. In the 1970-1971 academic year, the Schools in Madrid and Barcelona open, along with the one in Navarre.
The same year, construction begins on the first television studio for student use. It begins operation the following year, in 1972.
The Chancellor visits the University of Navarra
In 1972 The Chancellor visits the University of Navarra to name Erich Letterer, Juan Contreras and López de Ayala and Paul OURLIAC honorary doctorates. He also took his stay in Pamplona to keep important meetings with board members of the Friends and college professors.
IESE Business School in Madrid and victories of the Athletics Club
IESE Business School inaugurates its Madrid campus to meet the high demand for executive education in the Spanish capital.
The same year, the University of Navarra Athletics Club (CAUN), the only university club in Spain present in the Athletics League, ascends to the First Division. The CAUN had been founded in 1962 by Dr. Juan José González Iturri, a physical therapist and Professor of Medicine, with some First Year students.
The Founder of the University dies
St. Josemaría, founder and first Chancellor of the University of Navarra, dies in Rome on June 26.
Álvaro del Portillo was appointed Chancellor of the University of Navarra.
Act in memoriam of Mons. Escrivá de balaguer
Álvaro del Portillo, Chancellor of the University of Navarra, presided over a ceremony June 16 in memoriam of Mons. Escrivá de Balaguer, Founder and first Chancellor of the University. His words included the vision that St. Josemaría had of the University of Navarra.
Alfonso Nieto, new President
Professor Alfonso Nieto takes over as President on April 25. The first Full Professor of Media Management in Spain, he had been the Director of the Institute of Journalism from 1962 to 1972 and the Dean of the School of Information Sciences from 1972 to 1974. He was Vice President for two years (from 1977 to 1979) and served as President until 1991.
25th anniversary of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and establishment of the Institute of Family Sciences
In October, activities begin to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the creation of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, which already had Departments of History (1957), Philosophy (1964), Romance Philology (1965) and Educational Sciences, Geography and History (1973).
The Institute of Family Sciences is established and based in the Los Nogales building. Since then, it has carried out research and teaching work centered on marriage and the family.
Guipúzcoa Center for Studies and Technical Research
The Guipúzcoa Center for Studies and Technical Research (CEIT) is established in San Sebastián with José María Bastero as Managing Director and Manuel Fuentes as Academic Director.
It is established as a nonprofit center, legally independent from the University, but linked to it by a common mission. It soon acquires the status of a center supervised by the Regional Government of the Basque Country and is declared to be in the public interest.
Tribute to Dr. Eduardo Ortiz de Landázuri
On October 13, the University pays tribute to Dr. Eduardo Ortiz de Landázuri for his 25 years of teaching and service. The ceremony is presided over by their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Soria, Margarita Borbón and her husband, Dr. Carlos Zurita. A message from the King and Queen of Spain, who participated in the ceremony in spirit, was read to the assembled attendees.
Eduardo Ortiz de Landázuri, a famous physician in Spain at the time, had joined the School of Medicine and the Clínica Universidad de Navarra in 1958.
The University's first Silver Medals
On January 28, the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, the University awards its first Silver Medals. 68 medals are awarded. The Medal marked number one is presented to Ismael Sánchez Bella, a pioneering figure of the University.
This distinction is awarded each year, on the same date, to all those who have given 25 years or more of service to the University.
Establishment of the School of Economics and Business
The School of Economics and Business was established in 1987 with the dream of becoming a center of reference for its quality. With this goal Miguel Alfonso Martínez-Echevarría received his appointment as Dean of the School.
Establishment of CIFA
On September 9, the Center for Research in Applied Pharmacobiology (CIFA) is inaugurated, with Dr. Antonio Monge as Director. Nearly 200 executives and researchers from Spanish and international pharmaceutical companies, political authorities and professors were in attendance.
Gold Medals and creation of the Ortiz-Echagüe Bequest
On October 3, the University awards its first Gold Medals to Ismael Sánchez Bella, Juan Jiménez Vargas and Alvaro d'Ors. This distinction had already been awarded posthumously to Dr. Ortiz de Landázuri.
Students for Social Service is started in response to an initiative led by a group of students.
With the sponsorship of SEAT, the Ortiz-Echagüe Bequest was placed in the specially equipped basement of the Central Building.
Alejandro Llano, President; new Gold Medals
Full Professor of Metaphysics Alejandro Llano takes over as President on June 28. Llano had joined the academic staff of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in 1977 and was its Dean from 1981 to 1989.
At the start of the 1991-1992 academic year, the University awarded Gold Medals to nurse Carmen López, Professor Amadeo de Fuenmayor, and Full Professor Francisco Ponz, who was President from 1966 to 1979.
Establishment of the University Alumni Association
The University of Navarra Alumni Association is established. Its goals include: maintaining contact with former students and offering students and graduates opportunities in terms of training, networking and information.
Fifteen years later, the Alumni Association was the largest in Europe with over 21,000 members.
A boost for research and recognition of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra
The University of Navarra Research Plan is launched.
The Clínica Universidad de Navarra is selected by over 6,000 physicians from all over Spain as the Healthcare Institution of the Decade.
On May 14, the first Sports Day is held.
José María Bastero, President
On October 22, José María Bastero takes over as President. He was a naval and industrial engineer, a Professor of Mechanics, and the Director of the School of Engineering (TECNUN) (1978-1993) and the Center for Studies and Technical Research (CEIT) (1982-1993). In 1992 he was named Vice President of Research.
The Center for Research in Applied Pharmacobiology (CIFA) becomes the first European research center to obtain the official Good Laboratory Practice certification.
The Center for European Studies and Center for Documentation and Research on Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer are set up.
Gold Medal of Navarre
On December 3, Navarre Day, Miguel Sanz, the President of the Regional Government of Navarre, presents the Gold Medal of Navarre to the University of Navarra. It was accepted by President José María Bastero.
The same year, a new phase of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra, designed by Leopoldo Gil Nebot, is inaugurated; the agreement creating the Aranzadi Room at the School of Law is signed; and the Brajnovic Award awarded by the School of Communication is inaugurated.
New Honorary Doctors
On January 31, a new ceremony awarding honorary doctoral degrees is held. The recipients were Joseph Ratzinger, Julian Simon, and Douwe Breimer.
The University awards its 12th Gold Medal (it had been awarded posthumously to Jesús Vázquez in 1996) to the Friends of the University of Navarra.
The same year, the Institute of Anthropology and Ethics and the Institute of Religious Sciences are set up.
Establishment of 98.3 Radio
Álvaro d'Ors, a Full Professor of Roman Law, receives the first Príncipe de Viana Culture Award from Prince Felipe de Borbón at the Monastery of Leyre. It is the highest distinction awarded by Navarre to its cultural representatives.
The 1st Ortiz de Landázuri Memorial Lecture is given by Donnall Thomas, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1990.
br> On October 14, 98.3 Radio, the first university radio station in Spain with its own, 24-hour commercial programming, is inaugurated.
A second professor wins the Príncipe de Viana Culture Award
Professor Concepción García Gaínza, the first Spanish Full Professor of Art History, receives the Príncipe de Viana Culture Award, as Álvaro d'Ors had the year before.
Foundation stone of CIMA laid and canonization of St. Josemaría
President José María Bastero awards the University Gold Medal posthumously to Antonio Valero, the first Managing Director of IESE Business School.
On April 11, José María Aznar, the Prime Minister of Spain, lays the foundation stone of the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA).
On October 6, Josemaría Escrivá, the founder and first Chancellor of the University, is canonized by Pope John Paul II in Rome.
Ángel J. Gómez-Montoro, new President
Full Professor of Constitutional Law Ángel J. Gómez-Montoro is named President of the University. Since 2003, he had been the Vice President of Students and Academic Affairs.
He holds a degree in Law from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, a diploma in Constitutional Law and Political Science from the Centro de Estudios Constitucionales and a doctoral degree in Law from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He joined the academic staff of the University in October 2001.
New building on the San Sebastián campus
In March, the Prince and Princess of Asturias inaugurate the Telecommunications and Microelectronics Research and Teaching Center on the Technology Campus in Miramón. Over a hundred engineers carry out bioengineering research applied to medicine, digital radio and ADSL, among other areas.
October marks the start of the activities of the Entrepreneurs' Club, which is promoted by the University of Navarra Business Foundation (FEUN) and supported by the Alumni Association, and aimed at students in all undergraduate degree programs.
New IESE Business School campus in Barcelona and advances in CIMA (Center for Applied Medical Research) patents
The King and Queen of Spain inaugurate the new IESE Business School campus in Barcelona, which has total area of 30,000m2.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Health authorizes human trials for the first of CIMA's 30 patents.
Gold Medals for four professors and a donation from María Josefa Huarte
The School of Medicine adapts its studies to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
María Josefa Huarte donates her private collection of contemporary art to the University, including works by artists such as Picasso, Rothko, Palazuelo, Oteiza and Chillida.
Four new Gold Medals are awarded. They go to María Pilar Fernández Otero, Natalia López Moratalla, Carlos Cavallé and Lucas Mateo-Seco.
New degrees adapted to the EHEA
The University presents 31 undergraduate degrees to the Council of Universities to obtain its verification. Approved for adaptation to the European Higher Education Area, they are offered from the 2009-2010 academic year onwards. Particularly notable among the degree programs presented are new degree programs in Biomedical Engineering; Industrial Design Engineering and Product Development; Construction Engineering; Primary Teaching and Early Childhood Education; and Biochemistry.
50th anniversary of the Friends of the University of Navarra and a new Gold Medal
The Friends of the University of Navarra celebrates its 50th anniversary. The contributions of the Friends represent a significant source of financing for the University's research and teaching work.
In December, María Teresa Igúzquiza, the secretary to the last five Presidents, receives the University's Gold Medal. This is the first time this distinction is awarded to a member of the administrative and service personnel.
International Excellence and new Honorary Doctors
The University receives the Campus of International Excellence distinction from the Ministry of Education.
The University Department of Nursing, which was started in 1954, becomes the School of Nursing. ISEM Fashion Business School in Madrid is established as a full center of the University.
On October 27, honorary doctoral degrees are conferred upon Antonio López, Pèter Erdö and Joseph Weiler.
New president, gold medals and inauguration of the Amigos Building
Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero, a Full Professor of Media Management, is named President. He is the first to also be a former student.
At the academic year opening ceremony, the University's Gold Medal is awarded to José María Bastero, who was President from 1996 to 2005, and to Francisco Errasti, Director of the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA).
Furthermore, the University inaugurates the Amigos Building, which houses the Schools of Law and Economics, as well as a number of university services.
Transfer of ISSA to Pamplona and new Faculty of Education and Psychology
The degree in Management Assistance and ISSA transferred to the Pamplona campus . The move from San Sebastian coincided with the school’s 50th anniversary.
In addition, the growth of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in recent years led the University to approve a new School of Education and Psychology.
Beatification of Don Alvaro and new building for the Clinic in Madrid
In September, D. Alvaro del Portillo, the second Chancellor of the university was beatified.
Construction began on the Madrid branch of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra. The new hospital was expected to open at the end of 2016. The Clinic had already been operating in Madrid since 2004 in a provisional facility.
Inauguration of the Museum
King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain presided over the inauguration of the Museum of the University of Navarra, designed by architect Rafael Moneo, on their first official trip to Navarra as monarchs. The Museum began its program with five exhibitions, the performance of the National Dance Company in the Theater and a wide range of educational activities.
The Chancellor of the University, Monsignor Javier Echeverría died
The Chancellor of the University, Monsignor Javier Echeverría died on the 12 of December 2016 in Rome at 84 years of age. After the death of Blessed Álvaro del Portillo, he was named as prelate of Opus Dei by Pope John Paul II, on 20 April 1994. For 22 years he served as Chancellor of the University. He visited Pamplona frequently. Interested in the progress in the Schools, research centers, the Museum….
Inauguration of the Madrid campus
The President Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero presided over the inauguration of the new postgraduate building, which completed the campus project that the University launched in November 2017 with the opening of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra in Madrid.
In addition, the University was awarded the international 'Green Flag Award', in recognition of the comprehensive management of its green spaces. The award ranked the campus as one of the best parks in the world for the level of excellence in its management.
New Honorary Doctors
The University awarded honorary degrees to the Navarre architect Rafael Moneo, English Sociologist Margaret S. Archer, the Hebrew Philologist Ruth Fine and Robert Picard, an expert in economics and media management. The ceremony was presided over by the Chancellor Fernando Ocáriz and was held in the Museum Theater with around 700 people in attendance.
That same year, the 'THE Europe Teaching Rankings 2019' placed the University third in Europe in teaching, behind Oxford and Cambridge.
The University closed its campuses in Pamplona, San Sebastian, Madrid and Barcelona, transferring all its face-to-face activity to the digital environment.
For a safe return to campus, the University implemented the Prepared2 plan for the start of the new academic year 20/21, which included prevention and hygiene measures, innovative teaching and an increase in financial aid for undergraduate and master's degree students.