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Ana María Barber Cárcamo, Professor Emeritus of the University of Navarra.
Teacher, scientist and good man
Yesterday, October 3, Professor Francisco Ponz Piedrafita turns 100 years old, which is the reason for a joyful and festive celebration at the University of Navarra, where he was President for 13 years, and another 13 Vice President. D. Francisco -as he is known- was Full Professor of Animal Physiology at the University of Barcelona and in 1966 he arrived in Pamplona to join the University of Navarra as President and Full Professor of Animal Physiology of the School of Sciences.
I met Dr. Ponz in 1968 when I was a student of Biological Sciences and when I finished, he was director of my doctoral thesis in the department of Animal Physiology. I have had the satisfaction of training and collaborating with him during practically all my academic, professor and research life. It has been many years of closeness with him in different circumstances of my life that have allowed me to appreciate his professional qualities and his human qualities.
D. Francisco is a serious person, sober in gestures and words but kind and respectful. He proved to be very methodical and organized, since he had to combine the important functions of Governing Body of the University with the academic functions of a university professor. He spent part of his working time at department guiding the work of research. He did not order, but only suggested, since he transmitted authority to his disciples.
He had and has a high concept of what the university institution is and what is expected from work of the people who are part of it. For this reason, he demanded that we work hard and well, both in substance and in form, paying attention even to the smallest details. It was contagious love and respect for Science, the result of the rigorous application of the scientific method. It meant taking care of the methodology, the experimental design and its correct execution, the rigor in the expression of the results, the clarity in the formulation of the scientific conclusions and the precise documentary reference letter .
With him, the process of reviewing the scientific texts emanating from the experimentation acquired special formative value for us. No aspect of them went unnoticed to his attention. He valued both the syntactic form and the scientific background in order to obtain, as result, concise, brief, justified texts of great scientific clarity. This attitude was, moreover, spontaneous and natural in his personality. Any of his writings responded to these qualities. Thus, his numerous scientific works are recognized and valued by the international academic community .
D. Francisco valued the ordinary teaching in a special way, so he did not skimp on the time and work dedicated to it. Every year he reviewed the program, the teaching objectives and took great care in the preparation and update of the content of his classes. These, as it could not be otherwise in him, responded to the criteria that he applied with us, the researchers of department, also students. He was well aware that the students were the true recipients of his efforts staff and he took the time to attend to them personally when they required it.
D. Francisco reveals himself as model a university professor, but he is humble and simple. He avoids flattery and praise and treats people, including students, with kindness and closeness. And so, he has accepted with naturalness and joy, that is to say with a spirit of service, the various university responsibilities that have been entrusted to him.
Another trait of his personality is the respect for others, for each person, which is manifested in the delicacy in attention and the consideration of freedom staff. He sample available with affection and respect to help in personal difficulties. I don't think I have ever heard him speak ill of anyone.
I especially admired his serenity and sense of time management, taking into account the great responsibilities as President. This attitude he projected on laboratory, which helped us to increase the efficiency of our work. work
In short, Dr. Ponz is a great person, a person of integrity, who also reflects with simplicity his faith and trust in God. I have learned much and owe much to Dr. Francisco, a reference for the University of Navarra. Please accept, with our gratitude for the good he has done us, our affectionate congratulations on the celebration of his 100th birthday.