The Universidad de los Andes deeply regrets the death of Francisco Pizano de Brigard, member of the founding group of this institution.
Francisco Pizano de Brigard stood out in the group that founded this university for both his efforts to strengthen it and his permanent reflection on the role that it would play in Colombia’s development. “We don’t want to create a new university so much as a new country”, were his words in 1998 during the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the foundation of Los Andes.
In 1948, together with Mario Laserna and a group of enthusiastic and visionary young people he set himself the task of creating a new higher-education institution in Colombia that was independent of all political and religious affiliation. When he became rector in 1968, Francisco Pizano de Brigard remembered this moment: “When Mario Laserna involved me in the ambitious task of founding a university I was just 21 and the only thing I was able to add was the enthusiasm of youth.” The idea was very successful.
Throughout his whole life, he remained connected to the university. As well as being the rector, he also held the position of dean of the Department of Architecture, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, professor of Architecture and Civilization, member of the Board of Directors and of the Superior Council, and president of the latter for four independent periods.
Thanks to his work in the university, the Faculty of Architecture, the Department of Political Science, the Department of Physics, and the Faculty of Law. His contributions were fundamental in creating the Department of History, the Center of Research and Training in Education (now the Faculty of Education), and the Faculty of Medicine.
During his tenure as rector (1968-1970) the library system and social studies were strengthened in the university, and the new Faculty of Engineering building was inaugurated.
As well as his great contribution to the existence and growth of the university, Francisco Pizano de Brigard, who studied Architecture at the University of Michigan, also held other eminent positions including the Governor of the Department of Cundinamarca, Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia to Argentina, and President of the Colombian Society of Architects.
In 2012, the Superior Council at the Universidad de los Andes awarded him the Gold Medal for the fundamental role he played for the institution.
“The education process has to be directed towards developing the analytical, synthetic, and critical faculties: clarity, precision, the ability to synthesize and draw conclusions. At its highest level, it needs to include the ethical qualities that are part of intelligence: objectivity, intellectual integrity, depth, responsibility, honesty, the desire to put in effort and seek excellence, the fortitude to rationalize with oneself, and having a comprehensive respect for the truth.”
Francisco Pizano de Brigard
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