The Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP) (Meritorious Autonomous University of Puebla) is the oldest and largest university in Puebla, Mexico. Founded on 15 April 1578 as Colegio del Espíritu Santo, the school was sponsored by the Society of Jesus during most of the Spanish colonial era before turning into a public college in 1825 and eventually into a public university in 1937. The religious origins can be seen in many of BUAP's buildings in Puebla city centre, which were once colonial-era churches.
The flagship campus is located in the city of Puebla, although more than nine facilities are distributed across the state. Currently, it is one of the 105 institutes participating in the Alice Experiment at CERN.
The university was founded as a Jesuit college under the name Colegio del Espíritu Santo in 1578 and ran until the expulsion of the order in 1767. It then became the Real Colegio Carolino in 1790, after a period when the buildings were used for diverse purposes, including a military barracks. When the Jesuits returned to Mexico in 1820, they once again took over the running of the college as the Real Colegio del Espíritu Santo, de San Gerónimo y San Ignacio de La Compañía de Jesús, which on Mexican independence the following year became the Imperial Colegio de San Ignacio, San Gerónimo y Espíritu Santo. In 1825 it was removed from the control of the church authorities and taken under state control, becoming the Colegio del Estado, although the rectors continued to be priests.
On 4 April 1939, the college was raised to a university as Universidad de Puebla. However, it was not until almost twenty years later that it gained autonomy from government control as Universidad Autónoma de Puebla under legislation passed on 23 November 1956. It was renamed Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla in 1987.
The institution's motto is: "Pensar bien para vivir mejor" (Spanish for "Thinking well in order to live better").
Its logo features a phoenix bird in a shield. On the top of the shield, the Greek goddess of knowledge, Athena, is located.
The use of the word autonomous means that, as a public university, it receives funds from the government. However, the university is free to arm and to change the programs in the university considers it necessary.
As a macrouniversity, 34% of the students in higher level in Puebla attend the BUAP.
The sport teams of the university are named the Lobos (Wolves) BUAP. There are several sport facilities through the state for the students to take part in. The BUAP takes part in different competitions with representative teams in them.
The Lobos de la BUAP soccer team is currently affiliated with the university, and features some students from Puebla's public university. They currently play in the Primera División de México league, the most important soccer league in Mexico.
As a public university, the BUAP has several campuses located throughout the state to satisfy the students. In Puebla City, there are four main zones in which the BUAP operates: the "Área Centro"(Center Area), located in downtown Puebla and featuring many colonial-era buildings; The "Ciudad Universitaria" (University City), located in the Southeast zone in Puebla city, and it is where the main headquarters of the BUAP are; the "Ärea Salud" (Health Area), which includes the University Hospital; and the "Angelopolis Area" (Angelopolis Area), which is the newest and features the University's Cultural Complex. Along with them, the university is responsible for six high schools in the Puebla city.
Along with them, the University has nine regional sections which operate in some of the biggest cities in Puebla State, and are: Acatzingo, Atlixco, Chiautla, Chignahuapan, Cuetzalan, Libres, Tehuacan, Tetela de Ocampo and Zacapoaxtla.
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