Simón Malo, Zamorano´s first Latin American President, led the institution to new levels of academic rigor
Dr. Simon Malo, who passed away on December 5th, will be remembered as a driver of growth and development with a strong legacy at the service of the Americas. His professional vision, which oriented Zamorano during his 14 years as President, was a highlight for his alma mater from which he graduated as an agronomist in 1954.
Dr. Simon Malo was born in Cuenca, Ecuador in 1933. He came to Honduras in March 1951. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in horticulture from the University of Florida in Gainesville. In January 1979 he was appointed as Zamorano´s first Latin American graduate to lead the university, a position he held until 1992. Under his direction many changes were implemented to the benefit of the institution. Among the most significant achievements during his tenure were the organization of the school’s finances and the improved quality of faculty and administrative personnel. He also increased the number of students and modernized the institution’s infrastructure and academics. Additional accomplishments include the acquisition of land for academic use and the launch of a continuing education (extension) program.
However, his single most significant impact on Zamorano was the invitation of admission by women to Zamorano for the academic program in 1981. This step has been critical to gender equity in agricultural education, and it made it so that the first four women ever to graduate from Zamorano earned their degrees in 1983. To date, 1,750 women have graduated from our university. At the end of his tenure, the institution had an unparalleled excellence in its faculty as well as in its laboratories in Latin America.
In February 2019, in recognition of and as a token of appreciation for his outstanding leadership, Zamorano paid tribute by unveiling a bronze bust in Dr. Malo’s honor in the Arboreto gardens on campus. Dr. Malo´s legacy will remain alive through the work of the graduates who are change agents across the region thanks in large part to Dr. Malo’s keen vision.