Our founders

Hernán Vélez Atehortúa - (1931-2014)

Pintura con el rostro del fundador Hernán Vélez

Hernán Vélez Atehortúa, a doctor, was born in Medellín, Antioquia. He was a traveler, reader, lover of letters and arts, and an excellent writer. He lived his life between Colombia and abroad. He married the Spanish Purita with whom he had three children who studied dentistry and medicine.

At the time he specialized in internal consultation and practiced it at the Soma Clinic. He was a lover of classical music, and traveling abroad through Europe, and specifically to Paris, wich was one of his favorite places. He died as a result of a terminal illness in his native Medellín.
In his professional training, Dr. Vélez Atehortúa graduated from the Medicine program at the University of Antioquia in 1956. He then obtained a specialization degree in internal medicine from the Colombian Association of Internal Medicine – Acmi- in 1963.

The following rectories stand out in his professional curriculum: rectories of CES University (1996); University School of Medicine (1996); Lasallian University Corporation (2001); member of the scientific associations of the University of Antioquia and Harvard University, among other positions in the academy.

As a professional, he had character and made strong decisions in defense of ethics and transparency in the exercise of being a doctor.

“He planted in the students and graduates of Medicine a very philosophical legacy that CES has had, where the most important thing was neither the reputation, the position, or the fame of a doctor, but their goodness,” said the physician and student Ricardo Posada Saldarriaga.

Together with the doctor Luis Alfonso Vélez Correa and the dentists Guillermo Cárdenas Jaramillo, Luis Carlos Muñoz Uribe and Luis Alfonso Escobar Rojas, Dr. Vélez Atehortúa led the founding of the Health Studies Corporation, the legal figure that later gave rise to the Institute of Health Sciences (CES).

Luis Alfonso Vélez Correa - (1938-2018)

Pintura con el rostro del fundador Luis Alfonso Vélez

Luis Alfonso Vélez Correa was born in the municipality of La Ceja, department of Antioquia, Colombia, in 1941. During his life he did not marry or have children. He lived with his sisters in a house located on Avenida La Playa in the capital of Antioquia until the end of his days.

He was president of CES University. He was also a member of the Founders Hall and of the Superior Council during the first 20 years of existence of the Alma Mater.

He was recognized as a person with a broad, warm and caring smile. As a teacher, Dr. Vélez Correa received his students and former students with kindness and affection, as if they were his children. He felt happy and satisfied with them, with his Faculty of Medicine and with the work built by him and his colleagues.

“He left us the challenge of following his legacy of transparency, dedication to the human being, coherence with his principles and respect for autonomy, which made him great in the field of medicine in Colombia, and left us with the task of continuing with the formation of good proffesionals in the institution”, expressed the former student and current president of CES University, Dr. Jorge Julián Osorio Gómez.

As an academic, the writing of the book “Medical Ethics: Questions about Medicine, Life and Death” published in 1989 stands out.

In 1977, together with Dr. Hernán Vélez Atehortúa, Dr. Luis Alfonso Vélez Correa undertook the task of creating what is now CES University. His objective in life was to train doctors with high technical-scientific and humane qualities for the good of society. In company of his colleagues, he managed to create a high-quality university in Antioquia and Colombia.

“Freedom is not a philosophy, not even an idea; it is a moment of consciousness that leads us, at certain moments, to pronounce two monosyllables: yes, no”.

Luis Alfonso Velez Correa

Gonzalo Calle Vélez - (RIP)

Pintura con el rostro del fundador Gonzalo Calle

As one of the first members of the Founders Hall, doctor Gonzalo Calle Vélez was the first president of the Institute of Health Sciences, currently CES University. He married Lucia Arcila with whom he had three children.

He was appointed president of the then Institute on October 24, 1977 as director of the Prebiological or Pre-university. A year later, on August 10, 1978, he was ratified as president of the institution.

During his presidential period (1977-1981) there were important events such as the initiation of classes; the recognition of legal status and the operating license of the faculties by the Colombian Institute for the Evaluation of Education (Icfes).

As part of his leadership at the head of the then CES, the following stand out: the construction of the healthcare center in the municipality of Sabaneta, the achievement as a lease of El Poblado headquarters, today the main campus; the formation of the first curriculum committees; the creation of the Student Regulations; the Investigation Division and the Office of Admissions and Registration.

In 1980 under the presidency of Dr. Calle Vélez, the then Institute of Health Sciences (CES) commissioned doctors Hernán Vélez Atehortúa and Luis Carlos Muñoz Uribe to create the CES Clinic, a non-profit organization that was acquired from the Comfama family compensation fund, with the purpose of providing health services with high humane, ethical and scientific quality with the teaching-service articulation.

Dr. Calle Vélez dedicated his entire professional life to the development and promotion of medical education as an educator at that time at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Antioquia. After completing his graduate studies in the United States, he served as director of graduate medicine and head of the Dermatology Section of the same university in 1955.

Guillermo Cárdenas Jaramillo

Pintura con el rostro del fundador Guillermo Cárdenas

The dentist Dr. Guillermo Cárdenas Jaramillo, was born on October 3, 1939 in Medellín, Antioquia. The son of a cattle rancher and a housewife. He was the fifth of seven children, three women and four men. He married at 24 and had three children, a dentist, a doctor, and a musician.

His academic training began at the La Presentación school and he finished high school at San José de la Salle school, both in Medellín. Later, he began his professional career as a dentist at the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Antioquia.

After graduation, he worked in the pediatric service of the Hospital Infantil of Medellín. Later, thanks to a scholarship granted by the World Health Organization (WHO), he went to study a specialization in pediatric dentistry at the University of Illinois, in the United States. Once he finished his postgraduate studies, he returned to Colombia with the commitment to teach at the University of Antioquia, a job he carried out for the next five years.

Dr. Cárdenas Jaramillo considers himself passionate about zarzuela, opera and classical music. Proud of his collections, he speaks with spontaneity and joy about his chamber records, zarzuela and Spanish folklore that he treasures in his home. Not enough with all this, he is considered a lover of bullfighting and the brave party, of gatherings between colleagues and friends, and cooking: the Spanish paella and the fisherman’s pot are his favorite dishes to cook.

As a member of the Founders Hall, he recalls with sympathy how the legal constitution of CES University, formerly the Institute of Health Sciences, was reached.

“We bought some land in Zuñiga (Envigado, Antioquia) with the identity card. We signed a promissory note of 200 thousand pesos at the Banco Industrial Colombiano, guaranteed with our signature in our patrimony, “said Dr. Cárdenas Jaramillo. With the beginning of classes, he was a professor in the Dentistry program for 15 years and dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at CES University for a period of three years.

Luis Carlos Muñoz Uribe

Pintura con el rostro del fundador Luis Carlos Muñoz

The dentist Dr. Luis Carlos Muñoz Uribe was born in the municipality of Bello, Antioquia. He married the professional nurse and teacher María Helena Gómez Arboleda and had their daughters Natalia, Alejandra and María Luisa.

In his professional career, Dr. Muñoz Uribe graduated from the Dentistry program at the University of Antioquia and later as a public health specialist. Later, he became dean of the same agency and during the Antioquia Government of Rodrigo Uribe Echavarría he was appointed president of the University of Antioquia for 15 months, between 1966 and 1967.

Anecdotally, the founder of CES University recalls that he supported his dental studies with the money generated by patient care in an office located near the Jesús Nazareno church in the center of Medellín (Colombia), where he received patients from 5:00 p.m. until the early morning of the next day.

Later, he work in different public and private positions during his career in the service of higher education. He was appointed director of the Colombian Institute for the Evaluation of Education (Icfes), vice minister of Higher Education in Colombia, member of the Colombian Dental Federation (FOC) and president of the boards of directors of Teleantioquia and Colciencias.

Invited by fellow dentists Guillermo Cárdenas Jaramillo and Luis Alfonso Escobar Rojas, Dr. Luis Carlos Muñoz joined a group of visionary professionals in 1977 to found the Corporation for Health Studies (CES).

“The beginning was very difficult. The founders had to sign and advertise CES. We started to grow and now we have an institution that is a model in the country and abroad ”, expressed Dr. Luis Carlos Muñoz Uribe about the founding of the Institute of Health Sciences (CES) on July 5, 1977.

Alfonso Escobar Rojas

Pintura con el rostro del fundador Alfonso Escobar

The dentist Dr. Alfonso Escobar Rojas was born in Medellín, Antioquia, in 1936. Son of the dentist Roberto Escobar Vélez and Carolina Rojas González. He lived his childhood in Prado neighborhood in the center of the Medellín.

His primary studies were carried out at the Ateneo Barba Jacob school and secondary school at the San Ignacio school. Then he spent a year at the Usaquén Infantry School, in Cundinamarca.

In 1954, Dr. Escobar Rojas began his dental studies at the University of Antioquia, an undergraduate degree that culminated successfully in 1959. Later, he traveled to the United States to study English at the University of Michigan, where he established professional ties and friendship with American teachers and researchers. In that country, he also studied pediatric dentistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

After his stay in North America, the founder Escobar Rojas returned to Colombia in 1965 when he became a professor at the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Antioquia. Three years later, he was elected associate dean of the same agency at the initiative of the dean at the time.

Later, in the early 1970s, Dr. Escobar Rojas returned to the United States, this time as a professor at the University of Illinois. During his time at the American academy, the Latin American Courses of Social Dentistry were created, coordination that he held for more than 20 years. In 1975 he returned permanently to Colombia, again as a teacher at the U of A.

Two years after his return, at the invitation of the doctor Hernán Vélez Atehortúa and in the company of the dentist Guillermo Cárdenas Jaramillo, they talked about the creation of a new School of Dentistry for Antioquia. It was then that they joined the draft constitution of the Institute of Health Sciences (CES) in 1977.

Carlos Augusto Agudelo Restrepo

Pintura con el rostro del fundador Carlos Agudelo

Carlos Augusto Agudelo Restrepo is a doctor from the University of Antioquia. He specialized in rheumatology.

Within his contribution to the foundation of the Institute of Health Sciences (CES) the leadership that he undertook to achieve the first curriculum that the Faculty of Medicine of the now CES University had stands out. One of his anecdotes was his interest in building the curriculum that today lays the foundations and philosophy in the training of medical professionals.

After a couple of years in Colombia and after the founding of CES, Dr. Agudelo Restrepo traveled to the United States to complement his studies and continue his family life to date.

As a teacher and researcher at Emory University in Atlanta, he was the forerunner of the first exchanges of students at CES University in the United States, especially medical professionals.