Accompanied by a motorcade of black limousines and police on motorcycles, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain visited the Harvard campus yesterday to inaugurate a fellowship program involving Harvard and one of Spain's largest universities.
The King, a graduate of Spain's Universidad Complutense and its honorary president, spoke at the dedication of the university's Royal Complutense College at Harvard.
The college is designed to foster student and faculty exchange programs between the two universities, aimed primarily at post-graduates. Located at 26 Trowbridge Street, it will also sponsor summer grants for Harvard students researching topics related to Spain, according to a press release.
Forty-four Spanish students are studying and conducting research at Harvard on fellowships from the new college, which was created through a 1990 agreement between former President Derek C. Bok and Universidad Complutense Rector Gustavo Villapalos.
President Neil L. Rudenstine and the Spanish monarchs dedicated the Trowbridge Street building during two formal ceremonies at University Hall and at the building itself.
Prior to the ceremonies, Rudenstine met with the king and queen privately for 30 minutes and later hosted them for lunch at 17 Quincy Street.
In an interview yesterday, Rudenstine said he and the monarchs discussed developing Spanish and Hispanic studies programs at Harvard.
"They are really quite unusual people and very, very informed about things that are going on all over the hemisphere and the world... perfectly easy to talk with about anything and very open," Rudenstine said. "[It] just couldn't have been more interesting."