3. Graduation Hall

The Graduation Hall has always been the setting for important ceremonies in the University. The space was originally a side chapel of the Church of the Society of Jesus, known as “The Spaniard’s Chapel”.

After the Jesuits were expelled (1767) the University continued to use the Chapel until the 19th century when the door to the church was removed and the wall filled.

At present, besides the museum visitors, the Hall hosts the ceremony to confer an Honorary Degree (Doctor Honoris Causa) and other acts of the University.

3 – A. Vault

The central painting was executed by Armando Sica in 1962. It represents an allegory in which three muses (Art, Poetry and Science) join the students to the sound of praises and fife by other two muses. Students are represented as admiring young men as shown by their faces and gestures., although also as a little mischievous, symbolised by the student sticking his foot out.

Two coats of arms, of Córdoba Province and the Argentine Republic decorate the vault. The painter Jerónimo Sappia executed these in 1860.

These three elements were embellished by Carlos Camilloni with an elaborate trompe l’oeil (optical illusion) in the early 20th Century.

An elegant frieze of gilded mouldings solves the transition between the walls and the vault.

3 – B. Furniture and Thesis defense

In 1844 the University decided that the students’ doctoral thesis defence should take place in this hall.

Pews were used for seating the attending public. The armchairs at each side of the hall seated professors and doctors. The pulpit (opposite the door) was the place destined for the Godfather or thesis supervisor. The doctoral candidate stood up on the elevated platform under the pulpit. And finally, at the end of the hall, the dais seated the university authorities presided by the Rector.

3 – C. Portraits

The hall is dominated by the portrait of Bishop Fray Fernando de Trejo y Sanabria, work of Edelmiro Lascano Ceballos in 1936.
The other portraits painted by Álvaro Izurieta represent Alfonso Rodríguez SJ and Juan del Catillo SJ, two 17th Century Jesuit alumni canonised (declared Saints) in 1993 by John Paul II.
The last portrait represents Saint Gabriel Brochero, who in 1861 graduated from this University with a Master in Philosophy. It was painted by Washington Rivière.