The multiplier of the inheritance (1963-2012)
When he took over the reins of the University, following the death of his father and predecessor, the Externado was a Law School, prestigious, but modest. In the following 50 years, he devoted himself, body and soul, to multiplying the legacy, without losing sight of the direction designated by the founders.
Fernando Hinestrosa had grown up at the Externado, which he always mistook for his home. He obtained his Law degree at a very young age and immediately began his nearly six decades teaching career.
He completed the project to build a campus in the eastern hills of Bogotá, where, in 1960, father and son had purchased the first lot, and led the gradual construction of what today is an impressive campus with all the services and resources needed by a 21st-century university student.
There, he progressively inaugurated new programs, at first, undergraduate ones, reaching 17, and then, graduate programs – for a total today of 207 – always responding to the changing needs of Colombian society, in permanent evolution.
He participated in the design of the higher education quality evaluation model in Colombia, based on a voluntary self-assessment process and committed the Externado to look at itself and continuously improve to obtain the highest quality education certifications.
In short, Fernando Hinestrosa built a University for the 21st century, in every sense, based on effort, austerity, transparency, and intelligence. He used his academic and personal prestige to connect the Externado with the best universities in the world. Above all, however, he was an educator who knew how to teach by example, empathizing with his students and establishing a relationship based on affection, respect, and academic excellence.
Additionally, he had time to implement his liberal ideas on all types of reforms – as Minister of Education and Minister of Justice – positions held during the Carlos Lleras Administration. He was also a Magistrate, Councilor, and Ambassador.
In his final years, he was awarded various eminent distinctions, such as Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Paris II Panthéon Assas and the Legion of Honor Officer title from the French Republic.