20 years of Alumni Scholarships


The "chain of gratitude" of Alumni Scholarships celebrates its 20th anniversary.

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Dr. Lilia Ceballos, who graduated in Medicine in 1968, was the first scholarship recipient of the University of Navarra. She came to Pamplona from Mexico to make her dream come true: to study at campus, graduate in Medicine and develop a long degree program helping patients, work she did in the United States. There she became the first alumni to donate money to the University so that other students could fulfill their aspirations. Without knowing it, she was "case zero" of the great chain of gratitude of the Alumni Scholarships, the academic center's own scholarship program, which is now in its 20th year

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This initiative was launched in 2003 with the aim of enabling talented students to study at the University of Navarra regardless of their financial situation. goal to enable talented students to attend programs of study at the University of Navarra regardless of their financial situation status , an idea that is part of the founding spirit of this institution. 

The Program is sustained thanks to the contribution of companies, friends of the University, alumni and other people and institutions that believe in the project of the academic center.


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Since the creation of the Alumni Scholarships program in 2003, more than 1,900 university students have studied at programs of study thanks to the 39.6 million euros contributed by 17,371 individuals and 51 companies.

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"The Alumni Scholarships are committed to the talent of the students and constitute a chain of gratitude, in which the beneficiaries of the grants acquire the moral commitment to collaborate with the same Program whenever possible," explains Javier Ortega, director of the University of Navarra's development Service. The result, he says, are"students committed to their training, and professionals with an excellent preparation and vision of solidarity". 

This is the case of Warren Santiago, who graduated last year with a degree in Industrial Engineering from design and currently works in a studio at design in Barcelona. A native of the Philippines, although a resident of Spain since the age of 7, he looks back and recalls how unimaginable it was for him to study here. "I in 2019 did not think I would make it to this goal. My family could not afford this university." But when he traveled with his high school from Tarragona to Pamplona to get to know the campus, it was "love at first sight". For this reason, he remembers the day he received the letter from the scholarship Alumni as "one of the best days of his life". For that, he thanks those behind it. "I have no doubt that, if I can do it, in the future I will help other students so that they can study here."

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This is the cycle of gratitude, which in figures translates into 1,947 students benefiting in 20 years; 781 of them for the entirety of their programs of study. This academic year 2023-24, 428 students have a scholarship Alumni. Likewise, of the total donations (39,627,887 euros), 93% were recurrent and 7% were one-off, with a donation of 60 euros from individuals, average . With respect to companies and foundations, the University received 667,000 euros from average from the 19 entities that have contributed the most to the program.

With small or large contributions, many of the donors will be links in the chain that began with Lilia in the 1960s. "Thanks to many few, whom I never met, I made an incredible dream come true. And when one has received so much, the only thing left is to help others who are waiting for us. Because what we do in the present has repercussions for eternity," explains this graduate. A chain of generosity and gratitude that is committed to the talent of students of all majors and nationalities, and to continuing to make the founding spirit of this academic institution a reality.



The amount destined to Alumni Scholarships also comes from a fund or endowment, a portfolio of assets that serves to finance the program in a stable manner. Currently, this endowment is 11,299,603 euros, which in the 23-24 academic year has contributed 425,123 euros of the total 3,692,523 euros that the University has earmarked for scholarships. The goal is to raise an additional 15 million euros for this fund over the next five years, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the University. With this amount, 75 additional scholarships could be endowed , for an average amount of 7,500 euros

These grants are called Perpetual Scholarships because when the student completes his or her programs of study, the scholarship goes to another student. To contribute to them, a contribution can be made to the endowment or a fund can be constituted, with a minimum amount of 200,000 euros, which can be divided between five and seven years. This perpetual nature of the scholarship ensures the recurrence and durability of the impact. 

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20th Anniversary Celebration

On November 23, the University of Navarra commemorated the 20th anniversary of Alumni Scholarships with an event held in Madrid. The event was attended by more than a hundred alumni who studied at the University thanks to these grants, young people who today, from different professional fields, contribute their talent to society. The program began with a speech by president, María Iraburu, graduate "Present and future of the University. A lasting impact".

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This was followed by an intergenerational colloquium on the distinctive values of studying at the University. It was attended by five alumni and one student, some of them donors and others beneficiaries of the scholarship: Sebastián Albella (Law), partner of Linklaters law firm; Isabel Sola (Biology), co-director of the Coronavirus group of the National Center for Biotechnology; Alejandro Beltrán (Economics), partner-director of McKinsey & Company; Juan Guerrero (Economics and Law), director of Willis Tower; Mariona Bosch (Engineering), key account manager at Parker Hannifin; and Paloma Avilés, Medicine student.

The event concluded with a session on "The social impact of the Alumni Scholarships" in which Isabel Olloqui, director of development Corporate of the University, and Alberto Horcajo, president of the IMPACTUN Foundation, one of the major donors to the Program, intervened.








They have benefited from the Program since 2023. Of these, 781 have completed all of their programs of study with this financial aid

+ 39M


Contributions have been made to the Program Alumni Scholarships in these 20 years.



They have collaborated with the Program. Their donation average was 60 euros



They have collaborated with the Alumni Scholarships

+ 11M


Destined for the Program


goal 2027

To endow 75 Perpetual Fellowships for an average amount of 7,500 euros