Dintilhac, Jorge (Louis Eugene)

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Peruvian educator; b. Provins, France, Nov. 13, 1878; d. Lima, Peru, April 13, 1947. He entered the Congregation of Sacred Hearts (Picpus Fathers) in October 1895 and pursued ecclesiastical studies in France, Spain, Chile, and Peru, where he received a doctorate in theology from the University of San Marcos.

As a university student in Lima, Dintilhac became interested in the education of boys. The school conducted by the Picpus fathers in Lima, called La Recoleta, had opened in March 1893 with 22 students. Among the first students were José de la Riva-Agüero, Francisco and Ventura García Calderón, and later such men as Luis Alberto Sánchez, Raúl Porras Barrenechea, and Jorge Basadre. For such students, Dintilhac began a youth club with its own library, sporting events, and such academic activities as a review, discussions, debates, and a free night school for workers, staffed in part by former students. Through the students, Dintilhac became aware of the confusion at the University of San Marcos, which most of the graduates of the Recoleta attended.

Florentino Prat, head of the Recoleta, in 1916 received permission from his religious superiors to begin a law course leading to a degree. Dintilhac was appointed head of the course and authorized to apply to the Ministry of Education for permission to begin the Catholic University of Peru. The permission was granted on March 24, 1917, and the new university, with only a law faculty, began classes April 15, 1917, with ten students and with Dintilhac as rector. Later it was designated a pontifical university by the Holy See. During the 30-year rectorship of Dintilhac the University developed five faculties and, with its affiliated institutions, grew to a student body of more than 4,000.

[g. habersperger]