Our Lady of the Rosary University

Our Lady of the Rosary University
Universidad del Rosario
"Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario - Universidad del Rosario"
Universidad del Rosario - Quinta de Mutis.JPG
Motto Nova Et Vetera ("Always old, always new")
Established December 18 - 1653
Type Private
Principal Hans-Peter Knudsen Q.
Students 6000
Undergraduates 5000
Postgraduates 1000
Location Bogotá, D.C., Cundinamarca, Colombia
Campus The Cloister (El Claustro), St. Francis Palace, Quinta de Mutis, Northern Campus.
Nickname "El Rosario" ("The Rosary")
Website www.urosario.edu.co

The Universidad del Rosario (Spanish: Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario - Universidad del Rosario ) is a university originally founded on Roman Catholic principles, in 1653 by Fray Cristobal de Torres. Located in Bogotá, Colombia, due to its important place in Colombian history, it is known as "The Cradle of the Republic". It had also a primary and secundary school for boys. Most faculties reside at the Cloister, the main campus located in the historic-geographical centre of Bogotá. Nowadays the institution is based on secular ideas and remains very influential in Colombian culture and public life. At least 28 of Colombia's presidents have been students of this university. It has influenced and participated in very important transitional processes like the revolution for the independence from Spain and the drafting of the Political National Constitution of 1991. As a curious fact, one of the most important 1886 Constitution's Supreme Court (1936), the so-called golden court, was composed in its majority by lawyers from the Faculty of Jurisprudence.



Under the authorization of King Philip IV of Spain, the Archbishop of Santa Fe, Fray Cristobal de Torres, founded the Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Senora del Rosario in 1653. By the Royal Decree of 1768 Charles III recognized the institution as a 'College' among with the six halls of Spain, which continued the tradition of the University of Salamanca.

The founder established the Calatrava Cross as the symbol of the University and issued the Constitutions, which remain the governing documents of the school. The University of El Rosario has always been "from" and "for" the students, established on the basis of "Universitas Scholarium".

It is the only Colombian university accredited by the European Association of Universities. It is ranked as "Very Superior".


*"Consiliatura" It is composed by the Rector, who chairs the "Consiliatura" and five members, who are called "Consiliarios". It's the supreme governing body of the University of El Rosario. Besides from acting as advisory board to the Rector, takes care of the university's assets and approves the annual budget of revenues and expenses, among other functions conferred by the Old and New constitutions.

The "Consiliarios" are chosen by an electoral body composed by the Rector and the fifteen "Colegiales", for a period of four years with the possibility of an indefinite re-election. The "Consiliatura" has the responsibility to call the election and elect the president ("Rector") among with "Colegiales".

Current "Consiliarios" are Andrés Pastrana, Alejandro Figueroa Jaramillo, Alberto Fergusson Bermúdez, María Luisa Mesa Zuleta and Jorge Restrepo Palacios.

*"Rectoria": The current "Rector" (Provost) of the University of Rosario is Hans-Peter Knudsen, elected on November 18, 2002. He holds a degree in Business Administration and a degree in 'University Teaching', both from the University of El Rosario. He also completed studies on 'Renovation of Research Universities' at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and 'University Management' at Harvard University.

*"Vicerrectoria": The Vice Rector is appointed by the Rector and may hold office indefinitely. The current Vice Rector is Alejandro Venegas Franco. Mr. Venegas is the former Dean of the Faculty of Jurisprudence and former Director of FASECOLDA's Legal Department.

He is a Numerary Member of the Colombian Academy of Law, Corresponding Foreign Member of the National Academy of Law and Social Sciences of Córdoba (Argentina), as well as of the “Grupo de los 100 Juristas de Iberoamérica” (Group of the 100 lawyers of Ibero America), the World Council of the Presidency of the International Association of Insurance Law (Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances) and the Colombian Association of Insurance Law (Acoldese), which he also chairs as its Honorary President.

*Sindicatura: The "Consiliatura" appoints the Síndico' (Trustee) for the same period of the Rector and may hold office indefinitely. The Trustee is responsible for the management of the resources and assets of the University and and must submit an annual report to the then Consiliatura. Carlos Alberto Morales Dossmanis the current 'Síndico'.

*Secretaría General: The mission of the 'Secretaría General' (Secretary-General) is to certify the institutional acts of the University, acting as Notary and guaranteeing the legality of the decisions adopted by the University's authorities. The 'Secretaria General' also ensures the conservation and restoration of the historical heritage of the University and supports the Rector and the Consiliatura in the fulfillment of their responsibilities. The current 'Secretaria General' is Catalina Lleras Figueroa.

Undergraduate Programs

The University has seven Faculties and one School, which offer both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees:

  • Faculty of Jurisprudence (Law)
    • Jurisprudence (Law)
  • Faculty of Medicine
    • Medicine
    • Psychology
  • Faculty of Rehabilitation and Human Development
    • Physiotherapy
    • Speech Therapy
    • Occupational Therapy
  • Faculty of Business Administration
    • Business Administration
    • International Business Administration
    • Logistics and Production Administration
  • Faculty of Economics
    • Economics
    • International Finance and Trade
  • Faculty of Political Science and Government
    • Political Science and Government
    • Urban Administration and Development (Ekistics)
  • Faculty of International Relations
    • International Relations
  • School of Human Sciences
    • Anthropology
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • Journalism
    • Studies of Liberal Arts in Social Sciences

Interesting facts

  • It is Colombia's oldest higher education institution, never having interrupted instruction during its 355 years of existence, except for a couple of years in 1819 when General Morillo of Spain pursued reconquest of Colombian territory. During those years it served as a prison, and many of the republic's most notable characters were held imprisoned at the University.
  • Jose Celestino Mutis taught astronomy and mathematics at the University beginning on March 13, 1762. He is buried at the University's chapel. For over five years, from 1762 to 1767, Jose Celestino Mutis was a professor of El Rosario. He taught Mathematics and Physical and Natural Sciences, both in Latin.
  • Externado University of Colombia is a Colombian university founded in Bogotá on February 15, 1886 by Nicholas Pinzón Warlosten, along with some professors and students expelled from the University of El Rosario, because of their radical liberal ideas, which then were a threat to the National Government.
  • In 1790 after several attempts to consolidate the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Vincent Cancino Román was appointed responsible of the Medicine Program. Of his initial disciples only one, the young Juan Bautista Vargas graduated in 1974, shortly before the death of his preceptor. It then became the first Medical School in Colombia.


The symbols of the University of El Rosario are:

The Virgin of "La Bordadita"

"The Bordadita" Virgin is the Patroness of the University. The Chapel is named in her honor.

The Historica Archive

Preserves original documents on the history of the university, which are also part of the historical memory of Colombia. The oldest document dates from 1646. It is the response of King Philip IV of Spain to the intention of the Archbishop of Santafé, Don Cristobal de Torres, to form the College of Our Lady of the Rosary, following the model of the College Archbishop in Salamanca. Among the most significant documentary series are: real ballots, information and cleaning of nobility of blood, decrees on education, text books and medieval tuition books.

The Cloister ("El Claustro")

This architectural symbol is in the Historic Center of Bogotá, separated from the Avenida Jimenez de Quesada by Plazoleta del Rosario and located at 14th Street and Old Town Street, classified by experts as the oldest in the city, thus informing the Teusaquillo Zipa with the urban areas demarcated by the conquerors. The cloister, was built in the colonial era in Spanish seventeenth century architecture style by Fray Cristobal de Torres. It has been declared a "National Architectural and Cultural Heritage" good. In its interior, it is possible to admire the statue of the founder, Fray Cristóbal de Torres, erected in bronze by Catalan sculptur Renart Dionisio Garcia in 1909.

This landmark has been preserved throughout these three centuries almost in its entirity. The Aula Máxima, where the protocolary ceremonies are held, is one of the best art galleries in the country, with beautiful paintings dating from 1700.

Notable alumni

In almost four centuries of history, many distinguished figures have been formed at the Universidad del Rosario, including twenty-eight Presidents of the Republic and many other members of their Cabinets. There has never been a Government in Colombian history that is not composed by at least one alumni from the University. Among them:

  • Camilo Torres Tenorio (Precursor and Martyr of the Independence)
  • Francisco José de Caldas y Tenorio (Precursor and Martyr of the Independence)
  • Joaquín Camacho Lago (Precursor and Martyr of the Independence)
  • Salvador Camacho Roldán (Chairman designate to the Presidency)
  • Dario Echandia (Former President of Colombia)
  • Alfonso López Michelsen (Former President of Colombia)
  • Rafael Uribe Uribe (Leader of the Liberal Party)
  • Andrés Pastrana (Former President of Colombia)
  • Jaime Castro Castro (Former Minister of Government, Former Senator of Colombia and Former Mayor of Bogotá)
  • Germán Vargas Lleras (Current Minister of the Interior and Former Senator of Colombia)
  • Viviane Morales Hoyos (Current Attorney General of Colombia)
  • Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez (Former President of the Senate)
  • Mauricio González Cuervo (Former President and Current Magistrate of the Constitutional Court of Colombia)
  • Beatriz Uribe Botero (Current Minister of the Environment, Housing and Urban Development)
  • Néstor Osorio Londoño (Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations and Former Executive Director of the ICO)

External links

  • (Spanish) University website
  • (Spanish) Plaza Capitál (Digital magazine developed by students of Journalism and Public Opinion of the Our Lady of the Rosary University. Talks about topics related to the Bogotá city)

Coordinates: 4°21′36″N 74°02′32″W / 4.360085°N 74.04235°W / 4.360085; -74.04235

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