Chilean Adventist University (Universidad Adventista de Chile, or UNACH), which began with nine students meeting on donated land, marked 100 years of service with celebrations and community events on October 20. Noting the milestone, Chile’s postal corporation released three commemorative postage stamps featuring events from the university’s history.
The university was inaugurated on April 15, 1906, on lands donated by a Swiss immigrant, Carlos E. Krieghoff. The initial nine students were trained as ministers and teachers who were needed to serve the emerging Adventist Church in Chile.
In 1990 the university assumed its current name, “Chilean Adventist University” (UNACH), and began offering new majors in Civil Engineering Industrial Agriculture, Commercial Engineering, Accounting and Agronomy. In 2002, the school achieved full educational autonomy.
Chilean Adventist University’s many transformations are traced on the commemorative stamps released to honor the school’s centennial, marking the first time the church has been so honored in Chile. Additionally, the postage stamp release is one of the few times any South American national government has recognized the Adventist church.
UNACH Principal, Bolívar Alaña Poseck, hosted anniversary events, which featured a Sabbath worship service preached by Dr. Ella Smith Simmons, vice president of the world church. Dr. Garland Dulan, world church education director, presented a Friday evening devotional program. Sabbath afternoon, 57 people devoted their lives to Christ during a baptismal ceremony.
“[The centennial] was a model of spiritual jubilance, professional cooperation and genuine unity that involved the entire campus and much of the university’s community,” said Simmons afterward.
“The celebration of 100 years of operation is significant in higher education,” Simmons continued. “However, merely existing for a century is no accomplishment for a person or an institution [without] a heritage of good it has created along the way.”
“The Chilean Adventist University can enjoy a rich legacy in this regard. The many testimonials from members of the university’s community attested to the Christian influence the school has had on its neighbors through loving service over its period of existence,” Simmons added.
Ignacio Martin Strap, governor of the province of Ñuble, was among the centennial’s attendees.
Presenters included Dr. Luis Schulz, associate education director; Dr. Mario Ochoa, executive vice president of ADRA International; as well Pastor Guido Quinteros, president of the Adventist church in Chile and university board chairman, among other church leaders.
Also participating were several national officials: Senator Mariano Ruiz Esquide, president of the Commission of Education of the Upper House; Aldo Bernucci, mayor of Chillán; and Patrician Wall, general manager of the Chilean Postal Corporation.