Universidad EAFIT was born in a decade marked by constant change. It was the dawning of the 1960s when a group of 19 regional business leaders– in tune with the cultural, social and economic transformations on the horizon globally – founded an institution to serve as a training ground for their companies’ future managers and administrators.
Existing academic programs at the time did not fully meet the expectations of Antioquia’s business community and that dissatisfaction was the catalyst for the signing of the charter for the Escuela de Administración y Finanzas (School of Administration and Finance, or EAF) on May 4, 1960. Three monthslater, on Aug. 17, American professor Bernard J. Hargadon Jr. began teaching a class on Accounting Principles, part of the Business Administration curriculum, in a classroom in downtown Medellín.
From those humble beginnings, various developments later occurred that would transform the institution into one of Colombia’s leading academic centers. The first change took place in 1962, when the Instituto Tecnológico (Institute of Technology) opened its doors and began offering degree programs in textile, industrial and mechanical technologies and computer programming. That was the moment when two more letters (the I and T) were added to the EAF name.
In 1963, EAFIT moved to its current campus, located in La Aguacatala neighborhood on Medellín’s south side. It is there that the institution’s most important transformations have occurred, including its recognition in 1971 as a university and the cancellation of the technological programs to make way for new fields of study. EAFIT eventually comprised four schools: Management (1979), Engineering (1979), Sciences and Humanities (1997) and Law (1999).
The university’s fifth school was opened in 2012: Economics and Finance. In another major development, the National Education Ministry granted the university accreditation as a high-quality institution for the first time in 2003 and in 2010 extended that recognition for a period of eight years.
Today, EAFIT is a cutting-edge university that offers 19 undergraduate programs, 3 doctorates, 21 master’s degree programs and more than 60 graduate certificate programs, as well as continuing education programs, language courses and more. The institution also has satellite campuses in Bogotá, Pereira and Llanogrande (Rionegro).