Universidad Andrés Bello delivered the 2012 Merit Awards to another distinguished group of personalities and institutions from throughout Chile in recognition of their contributions to a variety of fields including Education, Science and Technology, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. They also included a special mention for the figure of the year.
This is the fifth time that UNAB has recognized Chilean leaders through the UNAB Merit Awards. Dr. Pedro Uribe, UNAB’s Rector, said "the awards were well selected by the jury and display the full range of society, which in turn represents very well the spirit of our University.”
During the ceremony, the path of each of these leading figures was recognized, like Ivan Fuentes, who only had words of appreciation for the award that he received from UNAB for his social work in the Aysén Region. "I do not know what one says at moments like this, but it is a privilege to receive this award, I'm really taken by surprise," he said to cheers from the audience.
Each of the winners gave a speech with words of gratitude for UNAB and for those present at the ceremony. Meanwhile Dr. Horacio Croxatto, an expert in human reproduction, was visibly moved by the award and dedicated his nomination to his colleagues: "Without you this would not have been possible" and also revealed that despite his vast experience he never thought he would find a place where he could carry out his work freely and "I must say that at Universidad Andrés Bello, I found it," he said.
The Reverend and Rector of Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Fernando Montes recalled in his speech the fundamental importance of the human being as the basis of history and social sciences, as well as the critical role played by institutions of learning, in creating thinking and thought processes in today's youth.
In education, UNAB recognized the Educational Corporation of the Municipality of Puente Alto, which earned the highest SIMCE scores in 2011. The award was received by Marcial Mayorga, president of the institution, with the mayor-elect of Puente Alto, Germán Codina.
Finally, the international concert pianist Mahani Teave, received her award giving the audience two masterfully interpreted classical pieces on piano. On the occasion, the artist shared an update on the work that she is currently carrying out on Easter Island, a School of Art and Music, that has 45 children enrolled and will begin early next year.
This award was delivered for the first time in 2001 and has become an annual tradition for UNAB. The jury for the UNAB Merit Awards is held by recognized stakeholders such as Pablo Valenzuela, Winner of the 2002 National Sciences Award; Enrique Browne, National Architecture Award 2010, and two prestigious academics.
The award ceremony was held in the President José María Aznar Auditorium on UNAB’s Casona de Las Condes Campus.
The winners of this year in the various categories were:
Public Figure: Ivan Fuentes. Fisherman and social leader.
Art: Mahani Teave. Concert Pianist from Easter Island.
Humanities and Social Sciences: R.V. Father Fernando Montes, Rector of Universidad Alberto Hurtado.
Education: Educational Corporation of the Municipality of Puente Alto.
Science and Technology: Dr. Horacio Croxatto. Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine and Innovative Science (CIMIS) of the Universidad Andrés Bello.
This article was originally written in Spanish and has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.