On November 1st, ITAM celebrated its seventieth anniversary with a ceremony attended by the Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto, ITAM’s President of the Board of Directors, Mr. Alberto Baillères, and ITAM’s Rector, Arturo Fernández.
The attendees at the presidium included: The Mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Ángel Mancera, the Minister of Public Education, Aurelio Nuño, ITAM’s Vice Rector, Alejandro Hernández, and various select faculty representatives, namely, Carlos Bosch (representing Maria Trigueros as faculty representative), Lorenzo Meade, representing alumni, and México Alberto Vergara, representing the current students.
The ceremony was attended by distinguished academics, renowned business people, representatives of civil organizations as well as those of the public sector.
Mexican Presidents have traditionally attended these anniversaries, namely, Miguel de la Madrid (fortieth), Ernesto Zedillo (fiftieth), and Vicente Fox (sixtieth). For this anniversary ceremony, Enrique Peña Nieto presented awards to members of ITAM’s faculty with more than 30 years of service as well as to administrative staff with 35 years of service and, for the first time, alumni who were previously awarded with the Premio Carrera al Universo, the highest distinction bestowed by the ITAM Alumni Organization, were also awarded. The following received this recognition: Miguel Mancera Aguayo, Francisco Gil Díaz, Pedro Aspe Armella, Agustín Irurita, Ernesto Vega, Javier Bonilla, Agustín Carstens, Raúl Solís, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, Enrique Cárdenas, Jaime Zabludowsky, José Antonio Meade, and Martín Werner. Georgina Kessel, Francisco Mayorga, and Jesús Reyes Heroles were not able to attend the festivities.
“Don Alberto, ITAM is your best and lasting legacy to Mexico! Thank you!” stated Dr. Arturo Fernández, ITAM’s rector.
He gave a speech that highlighted the importance of this event and recognized all who have made it possible, namely, its founders, its sponsor, Don Alberto, the Board of Directors, administrative staff, its dear faculty, and students. He mentioned the importance of “educating the young people for freedom and its inherent responsibilities.” He also stated that “freedom is a fundamental value to safeguard human dignity and it is a condition for the victory of justice and prosperity.” (Full speech available here.)
“Don Raúl, my father, had a dream and dreams must be taken seriously because if one commits to achieving them, they will come true. I am sure what has been achieved has surpassed Don Raúl’s dreams and those of our group of founders. They never imagined that ITAM would be the great institution that it is today,” stated Don Alberto Baillères, President of ITAM’s Board of Directors, at the beginning of his speech.
Don Alberto Baillères reminisced about the work started by his father, Don Raúl Baillères, as well as his own personal relationship to ITAM for more than fifty years. In addition, he spoke about the changes that Mexico has faced in the last three decades and his conviction that Mexico has a great future. Finally, he invited all the participants to join efforts and commit themselves to achieve the greatness of Mexico. (Full speech available here.)
"The contribution that ITAM has made to many generations is invaluable. ITAM has shaped the lives of men and women that have been contributing in diverse areas of social life as well as to the construction and building of a better nation,” expressed Enrique Peña Nieto.
Don Alberto also insisted on the importance of educational reform:
“I am convinced that Mexico’s development depends on a quality education accessible to all Mexicans, an education cultivating social values in its people, educating its citizens to be good and successful, giving them a command of science and technology and allowing them to earn their living with dignity and decency.”
Enrique Peña Nieto also presented an award to Don Alberto Baillères from ITAM’s university community in recognition of his five decades presiding over ITAM’s Board of Directors, as well as his dedication and generosity to education and particularly to ITAM. The President confirmed that Don Alberto Baillères’ entrepreneurial vision and love for Mexico supports this institution’s prestige. He also stated that we are all agents of change in Mexico and he urged the attendees, as members of society and proud citizens of this country “to continue inspiring positive and constructive change in our country so that future generations will have an environment to achieve both their personal and professional goals.”
Congratulations to Juan Pablo Aguilera Ozuna, alumnus of ITAM’s undergraduate program in mathematics who was awarded the prize “Sotero Prieto” by the Mexican Mathematics Society for his thesis on mathematical logic. This thesis was supervised by one of our youngest researchers in the Academic Department of Mathematics, Dr. David Fernández Duque.
Furthermore, the Mexican Mathematics Society awarded Mention of Honor to Ilan Morgenstern Kaplan, also an alumnus of our undergraduate program in applied mathematics, for his thesis on “Bankruptcy Models”, supervised by Dr. Diego Domínguez, Department Chair of the Academic Department of Economics.
Winners of the Sotero Prieto Prize
- Gilberto Bruno Pérez, Faculty of Science, UNAM
- Juan Pablo Aguilera Ozuna, ITAM
- José María Ibarra Rodríguez, Universidad de Guanajuato
Mention of Honor
- Edgar Alamilla Jiménez, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco
- Mauricio Enrique Elizalde Mejía, Faculty of Science, UNAM
- Cecilia Neve Jiménez, Faculty of Science, UNAM
- Ilan Morgenstern Kaplan, ITAM
The Academic Department of Economics organized a public interview with Arnold Harberger, currently a professor at the University of California in Los Angeles and a Doctor Honoris Causa of our institution. Among the presenters were Dr. Francisco Gil Díaz and ITAM’S rector, Dr. Arturo Fernández Pérez.
The Rector considers Arnold Harberger an inspiring person who has concentrated on the importance of solving the practical problems of fiscal macroeconomic policy and development policies. “Alito ─as he is fondly referred to by his students─ has returned back to his home, ITAM,” stated Dr. Fernández.
Arnold Harberger mentioned that he has always perceived the economy as a tool for the betterment of society, a belief held by David Ricardo and Adam Smith. He also stated that there were two elements necessary to the implementation of public policies: firstly, it must be based on economic fundamentals and secondly, economic policy is formulated by a committee seldom made up of doctors in economics, thus it is important that this group of people receive clear explanations and intuitive interpretations of economic concepts. One of his legacies to ITAM is on “project evaluation”, which according to the Rector, our government spends 27% of our gross domestic product. The questions here are what type of projects are approved and how is public money utilized. These are relevant questions since the financing of these projects depends on the earnings of the Mexican people who have had to sacrifice their levels of spending for this purpose. The evaluation of projects is significant because sometimes we invest in projects with negative rates of return which impoverish our nation. Therefore, thanks to the inspiring Arnold Harberger, our institute teaches a course in Social Evaluation of Projects and it has a Center for Project Evaluation, stated Dr. Arturo Fernández.