On September 29, 1992, 25 years ago, the shipping businessman Juan Alvargonzález González established before a notary in Oviedo, the Alvargonzález Foundation, a cultural entity whose headquarters is located in the Gijón neighbourhood of Cimadevilla, in an eighteenth century building located in the Plaza de la Corrada, which was the founder’s family home.
Until his very death in 2013, the founding President fully devoted himself to the consolidation of a cultural institution that is today recognized both in and outside Asturias. With his intelligent and clear vision of the long term, he provided the Foundation with the necessary economic resources, and formed the personnel, which nowadays guarantee of the Foundation’s future.
Just to mention some of its main activities, in its first quarter of a century of existence, the Foundation has awarded 125 end-of-degree prizes at the University of Oviedo, the National University of Distance Education (UNED), the Naval Military School of Marine and the Submarine School of Cartagena. It has awarded a hundred research scholarships at the Naval Museum of Madrid, the Royal Institute and Observatory of the Navy of San Fernando, the Higher School of the Civil Navy and the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, both at the University of Oviedo.
It has also granted scholarships to 35 graduates of Spanish music conservatories to pursue postgraduate studies abroad, and to 270 children from the Cimadevilla neighbourhood to pursue primary and secondary studies. It has also granted around 75 subsidies for cultural projects of the most diverse nature.
In its exhibition hall there have been 260 exhibitions covering the whole spectrum of plastic arts and cultural promotion; and its editorial catalogue has more than 60 titles, which have given light to research works in the fields of maritime history and the history of Asturias and Gijón.
In the human scale of time, a quarter of a century is a milestone that deserves a retrospective look and a grateful memory. First, to try and correct the mistakes made along the way and to take advantage of the experience for future projects. And gratitude, to remember that lasting institutions are forged in the span of various generations, in a relay race in which the passing life of people is a deciding aspect of the institution’s main features.
Ramón Mª Alvargonzález Rodríguez