The organizing committee of the different events presents the meaning of the celebrations: "In León we started the Centennial year of the presence of the Teresian Association (TA) in the city. It will undoubtedly be an occasion to encourage members, collaborators and friends of the Association to continue to carry out with renewed hope ‘the good idea’ of Poveda in the various fields of mission currently underway: Saint Teresa School, with a broad educational program centered on each person as agents of their own growth and open to the dynamism of history; Alvar Project, for the social and scholastic integration of youth and adult immigrants; participation in diocesan pastoral work; and presence in organizations and activities of society."
On January 11, at the emblematic San Marcos Hotel, an academic event was held inaugurating the activities of the centenary.
The idea of Pedro Poveda takes root in León
With the title "From the Teresian Academy to Saint Teresa School," Professor Consuelo Flecha described, in a scholarly and entertaining manner, the cultural, educational, social, and political context in the beginnings of twentieth-century Spain and, more specifically, in León and its province.
She presented Pedro Poveda as one of the main players within the movements and personalities of Leon, who were already pioneers in their interest in education and pedagogical renewal. The Institución Libre de Enseñanza (ILE) and its strong incidence in León through the Sierra Pambley Foundation had to be mentioned.
It was on October 7, 1917 when Pedro Poveda, at the suggestion of two students from León who were in the Student Residence of the Teresian Association in Madrid, decided to open an Academy. In that first year he counted on 2 teachers and 18 students. It was the seventh academy opened by Poveda in Spain since that first one of 1911 in Oviedo.
The purpose of Poveda was to open new avenues to young women at a time when women did not easily access education, and even less to higher studies that would open doors to a profession.
In a few years, the number of students in León increased, attracted by the good work done and the success they achieved. This forced the TA to look for bigger places to respond to the growing number of young people.
The philosophy of the Academy was clear and well defined: a humanism that welcomes new pedagogical trends without renouncing faith. In the words of St. Pedro Poveda, "to fill with God those who are to live a fully human life." In its educational program, the intellectual, social, and faith dimensions would be essential, without forgetting the professional dimension, basic to the transformation of society.
In 1925, the Academy was moved to Pablo Flórez Street, where, over time, it has undergone the transformations necessary to adapt to the demands of each moment, always focused on each person and attentive to their personal development through the development of the intellect, social commitment, the faith dimension, and the professional perspective.
Music for a ”birthday" celebration
At the presentation of the event, Mª Dolores Muzás invited attendants to celebrate this birthday as a family party. Thus, under the direction of Pablo López, Professor of the School; a student, Pablo Gonzalez Santamarta; and other performers closed the event with several musical pieces.
The celebration concluded with refreshments that added flavor to the greetings and the joy of the gathering of so different generations and participants.
Text and Photos: Centenary Commission