At the end of the 1950s, Guadalajara had limited educational options for high school graduates; a new option in higher education for Jalisco was clearly evident.
The idea of the ITESO Civil Association was conceived in September of 1956, when Father Luis Hernández Prieto, SJ, met with a group of parents.
In February of 1957, the ideals of this group crystallized in the project of opening "university faculties" for their own children, who were about to graduate from the Instituto de Ciencias high school.
The original group convened by Father Luis Hernández Prieto, SJ, to develop the idea of founding a new university included Jaime de Obeso Orendáin, Yves Palomar, Jorge Ochoa, Gilberto Michel, Aurelio Romero, José Fernández del Valle, Juan González Camarena, Joaquín Colín, and Guillermo Silva.
Thus, on July 31, 1957, one hundred eleven founding members signed the Articles of Incorporation of ITESO AC, before the notary public Guillermo Robles Martín del Campo.
The first Board of Directors was made up of:
José Fernández del Valle y Ancira, president
Felipe Arregui, secretary
Joaquín Ruiz Esparza, treasurer
Abelardo García Ramírez, member
Joaquín Colín, member
Manuel López Díaz, member
Gildardo Michel, member
Jorge Ochoa Aldrete, member
The first Supervisory Council was made up of:
Pedro Martínez Rivas
ITESO first opened its doors in a building on Pedro Loza Street. By 1958, almost all the new programs relocated to the second floor of archways on Independencia Street, across from the Rotunda of the Illustrious Sons and Daughters of Jalisco. In 1961, they moved to Libertad 1301, to the house known as "Casa de los Abanicos" (House of the Fans), where the offices were located and some classes taught until the early 1970s.
A search was undertaken for suitable land for a campus, and finally, on December 3, 1961, Don José Aguilar Figueroa, one of the 111 founders of ITESO, donated the land on which the University's buildings and laboratories stand today; there is a plaque honoring his generosity in the B building of the current campus, which he hoped to see transformed into a "university city".
The ideas of the founders evolved. Among the people invited to participate in the project was Don Raúl Urrea Avilés, a pillar of ITESO's consolidation. He played a key role in shaping the university.
On June 8, 1962, the first stone of the current campus was laid.
The founders not only "put their hopes in the human being"; they have focused on educating "men and women with an attitude of service towards others."
Presidents of the Association
The presidents who have led ITESO A.C. and participated as active benefactors of the institution, are: José Fernández Del Valle y Ancira, Roberto De La Torre Castañeda, Raúl Urrea Avilés, José de Jesús Levy García, Francisco Martínez Martínez, Francisco Mayorga Castañeda, Alfonso Urrea Carroll, Salvador Ibarra Álvarez del Castillo, Carlos Arturo Plasencia Moeller, and the current president Guillermo Martínez Conte.
Ing. José Fernández del Valle y Ancira (†)
Sr. Roberto de la Torre Castañeda (†)
1965 / 1968
Sr. Raúl Urrea Avilés (†)
1968 / 1976
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Lic. José de Jesús Levy García
1976 / 1979
Sr. Francisco Martínez Martínez
1979 / 1986
LIc. Francisco Javier Mayorga Castañeda
1986 / 1989
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Sr. Alfonso Urrea Carroll (†)
1989 / 1996
Ing. Salvador Ibarra Álvarez del Castillo
1996 / 2004
Lic. Carlos Plasencia Moeller
2004 / 2013
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Mtro. Guillermo Martínez Conte
2013 / Actual
ITESO A.C. is committed to the ITESO project, which in addition to offering students a solid academic foundation, encourages them to serve their society effectively through their professional practice and their actions as citizens who seek the common good, grounded in the Ignatian philosophy that characterizes Jesuit universities around the world.