The premier center for higher education in the country, the University of Puerto Rico is also one of the island’s most cherished and respected institutions.
The Río Piedras Campus, the largest within the University system, is located in the municipality of San Juan and currently enrolls over 18,000 students from all over the world. The vibrant college spirit can be easily felt around campus, with plenty of student activities always offered and promoted.
Puerto Rico’s first public university, founded in 1903, has since expanded considerably and includes several buildings of significant cultural and historical value.
The University’s clock tower, erected in 1937, is perhaps the campus’s most iconic structure. Named after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and designed by Puerto Rican architect Rafael Carmoega, it stands tall, a powerful symbol of higher learning. Inside the tower, the coats of arms of Latin American nations are featured in bronze – twenty-two in all – representing Pan-American unity.
Behind the tower stands the Teatro de la Universidad. Also built during the late 1930’s, the theatre went through a lengthy restoration process that ended in 2006 and is once again host to important cultural events. The courtyard surrounding this theatre is frequented by students and is truly one of the more beautiful areas Río Piedras has to offer.
Another important building within the historical campus is the Museum of History, Anthropology and Art. Designed by the distinguished German architect Henry Klumb, the current building opened its doors to the public in 1959. Thousands of old artifacts, documents and art examples are kept here for the benefit of the university’s students, as well as several galleries, including one dedicated to Puerto Rican master Francisco Oller.