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Rafael Hernández National College

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Title: Rafael Hernández National College  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Gymnasium (school), Ernesto Sabato, National University of La Plata
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Rafael Hernández National College

Colegio Nacional Rafael Hernández
Motto Por la ciencia y por la Patria
Established 1885
Type Public secondary
Affiliation National University of La Plata
Rector Prof. María José Arias Mercader
Founder Joaquín V. González
Faculty 350
Students 1639
Location Calles 1 y 49,
La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Campus Urban
Athletics Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball
Former names Colegio Provincial de La Plata · Colegio Nacional de La Plata
Notable alumni Horacio Etchegoyen · René Favaloro · David Graiver · Julieta Lanteri · Ernesto Sábato

The Colegio Nacional Rafael Hernández is one of the four public high schools that are part of the National University of La Plata, in the City of La Plata, Argentina. The Colegio Nacional aegis denotes a school belonging to the system of national secondary schools. The other constituent high schools associated with this University are the Víctor Mercante Lyceum, the "Bachillerato de Bellas Artes" (High School for the Fine Arts) and the Inchausti School for Agricultural Education.

The school, usually referred to as the "Colegio Nacional La Plata" (CNLP, National High School of La Plata), occupies a large block centred at the crossing of 1st and 49th streets in La Plata, at the edge of "El Bosque", La Plata’s main park. The large engraving at the old building's entrance reads simply "Universidad Nacional, Colegio" ("National University, High School").

Originally, the college, founded by Joaquín V. González, was reserved for boys, whereas the Victor Mercante Lyceum was a girls-only school. The link of these schools with the University allowed them to pioneer innovations in curricula, since many University professors and teaching assistants were among its faculty. In its inception, the college functioned as a classic British boarding school, where students and professors lived together for extended periods of time. Admission into the school was free (i.e., no fees), although very limited and required approving strict entrance examinations. Until the 1970s, alumni from the school were automatically admitted into the University of La Plata. From the educational point of view, it was originally structured as a European gymnasium. It is considered one of the most prestigious secondary schools in Argentina.


The Beginnings

The city of La Plata was founded in 1882, as the new capital for the Province of Buenos Aires. A boys-only school is created in 1885, the "Provincial High School", associated with the National College of Buenos Aires; classes began on April 1, 1885. The federal government converted the school into the National College of La Plata on July 1887; its first rector was Dr. Matías Calandrelli. The high school became affiliated with the National University of La Plata in 1905.


  1. Classes began at a temporary location at the corner of 9th and 47th streets.
  1. In 1886, the college was moved to a provincial building at the corner of 17th Street and 51st Avenue.
  1. Between 1907 and 1910, the highschool was located at the present site of the "Escuela Provincial Nº 1" and "Escuela Normal Nº 3", at the corner of 8th and 57th streets.
  1. In 1905, the national government granted lots for the new (and definitive) placement of the school. The land originally assigned to the college were much larger, and covered areas that are assigned today to other facilities of the University of La Plata.
  1. The college building was officially inaugurated in September 1910; it was known simply as "Colegio Nacional de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata". The instruction was inspired in a classic English boarding school; it included nearby residences for students and professors, the so-called “Greek Temple” gymnasium behind the school, and access to yachting at the central channel of the Port of La Plata. Its building, recently restored, has been named a heritage site.[1][2]
  1. The school was later named after Rafael Hernández, a journalist, agricultural engineer, soldier, and politician who spearheaded the founding of the City and Port of La Plata, as well as its University. He was the younger brother of José Hernández, the author of the epic poem Martín Fierro.
  1. The building underwent extensive restoration on the occasion of its centennial in 2005, supported by the President of Argentina at the time, the late Néstor Kirchner, whose family is among the alumni.[3]

Famous alumni

  • 1897: Julieta Lanteri (physician, first woman to enroll in and graduate from the institution)
  • 1928: Ernesto Sábato (novelist)
  • 1937: Horacio Etchegoyen (psychoanalyst)
  • 1941: René Favaloro (physician, first surgeon to perform bypass surgery on a patient suffering from coronary artery disease, and a key contributor to the modern surgical technique.)
  • 1959: David Graiver (financier)
  • 1983: Fernando Belazaras (architect and musician)

List of School Headmasters ("Rectors")

1885–1888 Dr. Matías Calandrelli
1888–1891 Dr. Jacob Larrain
1891–1896 Dr. Mariano Paunero
1896–1904 Prof. Benigno Díaz
1904–1905 Dr. Pedro Delheye
1905–1920 Dr. Donato González Litardo
1920 Prof. Abel Díaz
1920 Prof. Edelmiro Calvo
1920–1921 Dr. Saúl A. Taborda
1921 Prof. Luis Siri
1921–1922 Adriano Díaz Cisneros
1922–1928 Dr. Luis Sommariva
1928 Dr. Luis Bergez
1928–1932 Prof. Rafael Arrieta
1932–1934 Dr. José Serra Renon
1934–1936 Dr. Alfredo Calcagno
1936–1937 Dr. Luis Sommariva
1937 Dr. Alfredo Calcagno
1938–1944 Dr. Carlos Teobaldo
1944–1945 Dr. Luis Bergez
1945–1946 Ing. Gabriel Del Mazo
1946 Dr. Vicente Bertini
1947–1949 Dr. Vicente Bertini
1950-1950 Dr. Armando Secco Villalba
1950–1952 Prof. Remigio Fuente
1952–1953 Prof. Obdulio Ferrari
1953–1954 Prof. Pedro Copello
1954–1955 Prof. Ezequiel Zuloaga
1955 Prof. Sebastián Pérez
1955–1956 Ing. Ángel Morosi
1956–1957 Dr. Ataúlfo Pérez Aznar
1957–1958 Prof. Ángel Márquez
1958 Prof. Julio Panceira
1959 Prof. Segundo Tri
1959–1961 Prof. Julio Panceira
1961–1964 Prof. Lázaro Seigelschifer
1964–1966 Prof. Jorge Crespi
1966–1967 Ing. Ángel Argenti
1967–1973 Prof. Rafael Carassatorre
1973–1974 Ing. Adolfo Pallaro
1974 Prof. Raúl Tierno
1975–1976 Dr. Juan Carlos Bruni
1976–1977 Prof. Horacio Picco
1978–1979 Prof. Hugo Satas
1979 Prof. Ángel Fernández de Liger
1979–1983 Arq. Jorge Carlos Sica
1983–1992 Prof. Graciela Teresa Ibarra
1992–1995 Prof. Graciela Merino
1996–1998 Prof. Sara Pérez de Vargas
1998–2001 Dr. Fabián Salvioli
2001–2004 Prof. María Elena Aramburú
2004–2008 Dr. Gustavo Oliva


External links

  • Website of Colegio Nacional Rafael Hernández (in Spanish)

Coordinates: 34°54′30″S 57°56′38″W / 34.90833°S 57.94389°W / -34.90833; -57.94389

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