This Thursday, December 2, 2010, the Vice-Rector's Office of Culture, Communication and Institutional Image at the Polytechnic University of Valencia inaugurates the exhibit “La UNAM hoy” at 8 pm in the UPV Exhibition Hall (Building of the Rector's Office), which displays the current reality of one the educational institutions with the greatest academic and cultural tradition in the world, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
With more than 450 years of history, the UNAM was officially reestablished as a National University in 1910 and was granted autonomy in 1929. Since then, it has been a leader in culture and development for Mexican society in practically all of the scientific, humanistic and social disciplines, as well as in artistic creation and cultural diffusion. It's no coincidence that three Nobel laureates have graduated from its schools: Alfonso García Robles, Octavio Paz and Mario Molina.
Of enormous magnitude and significance within the cultural and education field both within Mexico and abroad, the UNAM boasts some impressive numbers. It has more than 300,000 students, 88,000 students on scholarship, 40 postgraduate degree programs, 82 undergraduate degree programs, 6 campuses and 17 schools in the metropolitan area of Mexico City, 2,091 buildings, 18 museums, 4 ecological reserves and national services, such as the Astronomy Observatory, the Botanical Garden, the Seismology Center, the national library and periodical library, and a long list of printed data.
Its main campus, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, has buildings that display works by the most renowned Mexican muralists: Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Juan O’Gorman and Francisco Eppens, among others. The main campus is where we can also find the University Olympic Stadium, shaped in the form of a volcanic crater and with a capacity for holding an audience of more than 68,954 spectators. This stadium has hosted some very major events, such as the 1968 Olympic Games and the 1986 World Soccer Championship, among many others.
KanBalam, the most powerful supercomputer in Latin America (with a processing capacity of more than 7,000 million mathematical operations per second) or the Ixtli Visualization Observatory for developing and integrating virtual realities and visualization, also form part of a university that is a pioneer in fields such as neurobiology, ecology and biotechnology, and where more than 30% of all the research that is conducted throughout the country takes place.
The exhibit, which will be inaugurated on Thursday, December 2, 2010, at 8 pm, is a tour through the main elements that define the UNAM as a public, secular and diverse institution that has played an important role throughout history in building modern-day Mexico through teaching, research and cultural diffusion.
With numerous different objectives, which include presenting to the Spanish audience the wealth of the UNAM and its impact on forming frames of reference in Mexican society, the exhibit includes numerous museum resources, from photography to spaces for reflection, to images in motion, interactive resources and an engaging environment, both for the eyes and the ears. The exhibit is open to the public until January 25, 2011, at the UPV Exposition Hall (Building of the Rector's Office, ground floor) Monday through Friday (except holidays), from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.