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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: February 17, 2003
Volume 38, Number 14

Professor from Madrid to fill Prince of Asturias chair
One of only three endowments nationally

Spanish electric utility Iberdrola recently announced at a press conference in Madrid, Spain, that Professor Manuel Hermenegildo of the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid has been selected to fill the Prince of Asturias Endowed Chair in Information Science and Technology at UNM.

The establishment of the chair was first announced during the October 2000 visit to UNM of HRH Prince of Asturias, Don Felipe de Borbón y Grecia, and Iñigo de Oriol, then President of Iberdrola. The Prince of Asturias is the title of the heir to the Spanish throne.

The chair is the brainchild of former U.S. Ambassador to Spain Edward Romero. Once Ambassador Romero received approval from the Royal Household for the chair, he approached Iberdrola about funding the endowment with a $1.5 million gift to the UNM Foundation.

There are two other endowed chairs in the United States named for the Prince of Asturias. One is at Tufts University, and the other is at Georgetown University, the Prince’s alma mater.

UNM and Iberdrola hope to strengthen institutional links and scientific collaboration between the United States and Spain through the Prince of Asturias Endowed Chair, to the benefit of both countries.

Hermenegildo will begin his duties at UNM in fall 2003 in the Departments of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“UNM is fortunate that Ambassador Romero had the vision and skills to make his idea a reality,” said Joe Cecchi, dean of the School of Engineering. “With the Chair’s international dimension, this is truly an exceptional opportunity for UNM to take an important role in the continued development of the U.S.-Spain bilateral relationship in science and technology.”

“The first day I arrived in Spain to assume my duties as U.S. Ambassador, I presented a list of goals and priorities to the support staff at the Embassy,” said Romero. “This endowed chair was high on my list, because I saw it then—as I see it now—as a means of reinvigorating the 400 year-old relationship between Spain and New Mexico in a way that looks to the future.

“What better way than to focus it on the dynamic field of information science and technology. I am truly delighted that Professor Hermenegildo will join the UNM faculty next fall. All New Mexicans owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Prince of Asturias and Iberdrola for making this extraordinary chair possible.”