Fr. Marià Íbar, SJ passed away last week. He was ESADE’s second Director General from 1964 to 1969 and was for me a link to the early years of ESADE, co-founded by the Society of Jesus and a group of relevant Catalan businessmen in 1958. In those early years ESADE was very much a local institution, born of the desire to provide higher management and leadership education and training and an organised network for the local business community.
Those early Director Generals (all Jesuits), starting with Father Lluís Antoni Sobreroca, were men of spirit and great character who forged an early and, no doubt, home-grown business school, starting with 34 students in a converted family house located in one of Barcelona´s residential areas. By 1960 the Business Studies Degree and Master in Management initially offered were extended to include executive training and development activities, and in 1964 the MBA programme was launched. These early ESADE pioneers already showed healthy entrepreneurial signs of growth and improvement, and by 1965 a newly constructed ESADE building was opened.