Officially inaugurated in December, 2001, the Andrés Bello Chair in Latin American Cultures and Civilizations was established at NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, thanks to an extraordinary gift from the CITGO Petroleum Corporation, the American subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela.
The endowed Chair honors one of the greatest political and intellectual figures of the American hemisphere, the Venezuelan-born scholar and teacher, Andrés Bello (1781-1865). Famous as the tutor of Simón Bolívar, author and compiler of one of the most important modern grammars of the Spanish language, Andrés Bello is also remembered as the founder of the University of Chile and the author of that country’s Civil Code.
(Established in 1983, thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Petrie, this endowed professorship allows New York University to bring to campus each year an eminent scholar of the history and culture of modern Spain.)
His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain visited New York University for the first time in December, 1983. On that occasion, John Brademas, then-President of the University, gave the King a doctorate honoris causa in recognition of the enormous contributions His Majesty has made in the causes of democracy and education.