1908 - 1936:
In January 1908, the Santander City Council agreed to donate to H.M. King Alfonso
To choose the architectural project of the building, the City Council called for a meeting. a contest won by Gonzalo Bringas and Javier González Riancho from Santander. On August 4, 1913, the Kings took possession of the Palace, furnished and decorated under the direction of the Queen, Mrs. Victoria Eugenia.
Fernando de los RíosFor 17 years, the Palace was the summer residence of the Kings. After the proclamation of the Second Republic, in April 1931, the Palace remained open. closed. The following year, the Government approved, at the proposal of the Minister of Public Instruction, Fernando de los Ríos, the decree that created the the International Summer University of Santander, whose courses would from then on be based at the Magdalena Palace, and of which the historian and philologist Ramón Menéndez Pidal was appointed Rector. By the same decree, General Secretary to the poet and professor Pedro Salinas, the true inspiration of this new and unique university institution.
In the summers of the period 1933-36, in the Palace a wide number of courses on the most relevant topics of the time, as well as as well as on Spanish language and literature for foreigners that since 1926 had been taught by the Menéndez Pelayo Society and those of the Medical Institute for postgraduates that took place at the Casa Salud de Valdecilla.
1945 - 1974:
After the activities of the International University were interrupted by the Civil War, in the summer of 1938 the Ministry of National Education entrusted The Menéndez Pelayo Society was given the organization of language and literature courses for foreigners. And in November 1945, the Government, at the request of the Minister of National Education, José. Ibáñez Martín, approved a decree by which it was created the Menéndez Pelayo International University in Santander, based in the old San Rafael Hospital. The new institution began He carried out his tasks in 1947, mainly in the diocesan Seminary of Monte Corbán, although also in other educational centers in the city.
In the summer of 1949, the University returned to business. to have the Magdalena Palace as its main headquarters, by gracious concession from S.A. Royal the Count of Barcelona, Don Juan de Borbón.
José Hierro (1972) Its first rector was Ciriaco Pérez Bustamante, who maintained the three great academic activities of the University: the courses on contemporary problems and humanities, those on language and literature for foreigners, and those on science. doctors at the Valdecilla Health House.
Three names -Pedro Laín Entralgo, Rafael Lapesa and Emilio Díaz Caneja- headed and reflected the intellectual and scientific quality of the extensive list of professors who served there. his teaching in the different courses - increasingly diversified and specialized - that were configuring the general program of the educational institution.
Given the constant growth of the University's activities, it became necessary to create a university campus in Las Llamas, with buildings equipped with both classrooms for teaching and reception and residence services for foreign students who followed the courses. of Spanish language, literature and culture, and for students enrolled in humanities courses. Professor Pérez Bustamante was in 1968 Florentino Pérez Embid as Rector of the University.
1975 - 1982:
In this period the UIMP (acronyms that were consolidated over time as an acronym for the University) was governed by Francisco Ynduráin (1974-1980) and by Raúl Morodo (1980-1983). Eight years in which the University affirmed itself as a notable higher education company, capable of overcoming the changes produced in Spanish life in a complex time of political transition. A true “island of freedom”, as defined by a poet and university professor, who met This University is good.
Eight years in which the University affirmed itself as a notable higher education company, capable of overcoming the changes produced in Spanish life in a complex time of political transition.
The cult and respect for humanistic and scientific knowledge were considered the raison d'être of an institution that, from the first moment, had the objective of "satisfying two needs that are equally desirable and indispensable for an education." "Modern cultural concept: attention to universal human requirements that must be raised in every sensitive conscience, and skill in the clarification of carefully defined technical problems that represent a positive advance in a special discipline." Year after year, the number and specialization of the programmed courses increased, in an effort to address both the developments that have appeared in the different fields of social, humanistic, experimental and technological sciences. gic, such as the requirements and expectations of the students of the different university faculties.
Likewise, cultural activities of music, theater, poetry recitals, cinema, etc. were extended, parallel to the great festivals of Plaza Porticada and especially appreciated by foreign students. In turn, the founding of the University of Cantabria (1972) facilitated The greatest use of the buildings on the Las Llamas campus will be, as they are shared and used all year round by the two university institutions.
1983 - Present:
Ernest LluchAn extensive period in time and intense in the work of the University. Its Rectors throughout it were professors Santiago Roldán López (1983-1989), Ernest Lluch Martín (1989-1995), José Luís García Delgado (1995-2004), Luciano Parejo Alfonso (2005-2006) and Salvador Ordóñez Delgado (2006-2012). Since December 2012, the Rector is César Nombela Cano, Professor of Microbiology at the Complutense University of Madrid and former President of the Higher Council for Scientific Research.
During these three decades, the UIMP has experienced notable changes in its structure, facilities and operation. On the one hand, the emblematic Magdalena headquarters has seen the birth of other headquarters spread throughout the national geography: Barcelona, Cartagena, La Coruña, Cuenca, Granada, La Línea de La Concepción, Pyrenees (in Huesca), Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Seville, Valencia; and another Santander campus will emerge in Las Llamas, next to the University of Cantabria, where the Torres Quevedo Residence Hall and various teaching and service pavilions have been built. The headquarters carry out an appreciable and growing part of all UIMP activity.
In 1993, rehabilitation works began on the buildings of La Magdalena, both the Palace and the Stables. The classrooms, rooms, and service areas were renovated; New systems and equipment were introduced to support teaching and to improve administrative management, etc. Once these works were completed, the construction proceeded. to the solemn inauguration on June 14, 1995 by Their Majesties Don Juan Carlos and Doña Sofía.
During this period the University's academic program was incorporating new types of courses and activities:
- The Master Courses and those called "The author and his work", taught by a single teacher.
- The Schools, conceived as seminars of a marked academic nature, in areas such as Social Anthropology, Molecular Biology, Philosophy of Science, Materials Engineering, Neurology, Nutrition ;n, Psychology, Theology, etc.
- The Aula del Mar "Rector Jordá", in collaboration with the University of Cantabria and the Port Authority of Santander, located in the Magdalena Lighthouse, and later transformed into the CITAP (International Center for Technology and Administration). n Port).
- The Ortega y Gasset Classroom, initiation to university studies for students who complete their high school diploma with exceptionally brilliant grades.
- In the last decade, two new activities have emerged strongly: language courses (Spanish as a foreign language and English Immersion) and a growing catalog of own and official Postgraduate Courses, created in collaboration with the CSIC, the Bank of Spain, and other entities.
In 2002, new Statutes of the University were published, in order to better define its objectives, governance structure, and operation. The UIMP was left configured as an autonomous body, within the General Administration of the State.
In the institutional aspect, it is also worth mentioning the appearance of the General Foundation of the UIMP, to collaborate and support the activities of the University, an entity that has recently been absorbed by the Foundation for International Projection of Spanish universities (Universidad.es).
Since 1987, the University sponsors and annually convenes the "Menéndez Pelayo International Prize", established thanks to the patronage of the Santander-Mexican Eulalio Ferrer, who sadly passed away in March 2009. The objective of the Prize is to highlight literary or scientific work of personalities whose work has a humanistic impact and dimension such as that carried out by Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo. It is aimed at Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking countries, and the candidate proposals come from Universities, Academies, and other Institutions and centers linked to culture.