Tuesday, the 19th of October 2021, His Majesty, Felipe VI the King of Spain, personally inaugurated the IE Tower. The King was accompanied by the President of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, the Mayors of Madrid and Segovia, José Luis Martínez-Almeida and Clara Luquero, the President of Partido Popular, Pablo Casado, the Spanish Minister of Universities, Manuel Castells, IE CEO, Diego del Alcázar Benjumea, IE President Santiago Iñiguez, and the founder of IE University, Diego del Alcázar Silvela. His Majesty, these esteemed guests, as well as the administrators of IE University, officially opened the IE Tower, marking the creation of Europe’s first vertical campus, a landmark in higher education, and a beacon for innovation.
The inaugural ceremony began with a speech from IE’s founder, Diego del Alcázar Silvela. He commented on the growth the institution has achieved, the international nature it has pioneered, and the entrepreneurial spirit that characterizes the student body. A brief video was shown displaying the IE Tower sprouting from the ground, growing like a flower – an impressive visual with a poignant symbolism. The event then featured a video message from United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, giving his congratulations and shared excitement for IE’s future. His Majesty the King, President Ayuso, IE Founder Deigo del Alcázar Silvela, IE President Santiago Iñiguez, and IE CEO Diego del Alcázar Benjumea, followed, going on stage to officially inaugurate the building. They revealed the Tower’s plaque, stating its inauguration by His Majesty on October 19th, and concluded the ceremony.
Madrid President Ayuso Interviewed
During the cocktail event that followed the inaugural ceremony, The Stork secured an interview with President Ayuso and asked her opinions on the Tower and its meaning for Madrid.
Q: You recently went to the United States to promote Madrid as a global center for business. What does the Tower mean for your goal in welcoming the world to work, study, and live in Madrid?
Ayuso: This tower presents a great opportunity to bring more students from all corners of the world to Madrid. Unfortunately, in places like North America, we lack sufficient promotion of Madrid, but evidently, this tower and this day and the studies that go on here are going to bring more students from all corners of the world. They will come and they will enrich our country.
Q: What do you think about the future of Madrid? Do you believe it will become a more international city and grow as a destination for students?
Ayuso: Yes. It clearly will be this way. We have made it so 50% of the public education is bilingual in Madrid for this reason. We will continue bringing students here from all corners of the globe so that the world can get to know Madrid as a place of opportunities. This will also bring more tourism and establish us as an international capital with more bilingualism, with more academic programs and, in return, greater global participation from Spain.
“This tower presents a great opportunity to bring more students from all corners of the world to Madrid”– MADRID PRESIDENT ISABEL AYUSO
The Stork interviewed several other guests as well. IE Foundation General Director Geoffroy Gérard commented how he sees the opening of the Tower as “a new adventure for all IE, its students and its community.” The IE GPA Executive Director, Borja Santos Porras connected the Tower to IE’s foundation: “we’ve been able to merge respect for humanities and history and science in the Segovia campus, a campus built in the 13th century, with the modernity and new ideas, the new sustainable growth here at the IE Tower.”
The Stork also spoke with the Founder of IE, Diego del Alcázar Silvela. When asked about what the Tower meant to him after creating IE, he exclaimed, “we have a lot of future!” When asked if he ever imagined IE growing into the diverse, international institution that it has become today, he commented, without hesitation, “Yes. We always thought about an international school with an international faculty and students, that was our decision from the very beginning.”
The inauguration of the Tower brings great excitement about the future of IE, a future we will all get to experience, create, and innovate together.