The history and academic tradition of the Universidad de Guanajuato date back to the 18 th century, the most prosperous period of Villa de Guanajuato, a mining town which received the title of City in 1741. The University had its beginnings in the Hospice of the Holy Trinity, established on October 1, 1732 in the home of its principal advocate and supporter, Doña Josefa Teresa de Busto y Moya. She, along with 14 wealthy miners contributed financially to create the first school in Guanajuato.
In 1744, the Spanish Crown granted the hospice a license to operate as a college, and it became the College of the Holy Trinity, a Jesuit institution offering courses in arts and letters.
The construction of the Church of La Compañía de Jesús began on July 26, 1747, and the adjacent building which would be the new home of the college began on October 29, 1759. In June, 1767 the Jesuits were expelled from New Spain and construction of the college was suspended, with only one floor having been built.
On December 8 th, 1796, a boarding college was established in a part of the college building that had not been granted to the Oratorian order by the Junta Superior de Temporalidades. (The Junta was a governing body which administrated the property of the expelled Jesuits.) This college opened with fifteen students and for several years offered art, rhetoric and modern philosophy courses. The struggles for Mexican independence interrupted the orderly functioning of the college, but activities continued. Even after independence, when Mexican Emperor Agustín de Iturbide ordered the installation of the Guanajuato Mint House in the college building, one professor, Father Marcelino Mangas, continued his classes of rhetoric, mathematics and Latin in a single room, with the permission of the emperor himself.
After the first constitutional government was inaugurated on August 29, 1827, the college was put under the direction of Carlos Montes de Oca Méndez, the first political leader interested in higher education in Guanajuato. The college became a public institution and changed its name to the College of the Immaculate Conception in 1828.
The building was remodeled and expanded. Academics programs were renovated as well, with the addition of secondary and post-secondary programs. Among these new programs were those of mining and law. Meanwhile, the religious seminary and the Academy of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture continued operating. The college library opened its doors in 1831.
Between 1828 and 1867, the College of the Immaculate Conception experienced periods of prosperity and decline, parallel to the changing political conditions in the country. In spite of this extended period of instability, the college was known for its research activities, mainly because of the Academy of Jurisprudence and the Academy of Literature, which played an important role in the transmission of knowledge, the development of nationalism, and the state legislation.
In 1867 the college changed its name to the National College of Guanajuato. The State College, through 1915, enjoyed the support of political leaders such as Florencio Antillón and Francisco Z. Mena, influential men who was interested with the future of education. With the Mexican Revolution, and later with the reconstruction of the Country, financial support for higher education was limited due to economic recession in the State. Still, the college was able to continue offering courses of academic quality thanks to the effort, dedication and even sacrifice of its professors. During this time, the College was one of very few centers of community activity in the city of Guanajuato. In 1945, with the enthusiasm, energy and resolve of Armando Olivares Carrillo, then director of the college, the Universidad de Guanajuato as we know it was born.
As the Universidad de Guanajuato, the institution reaffirmed its commitment to academic excellence, original and relevant research, and extension to the community. The schools and departments of the University continued to grow, dedicated to producing professionals with a community-oriented outlook.
C'était école et hospice en 1732. C'est le centre de l'activité académique plus importante de l'état; à côté d'être un promoteur d'activités artistiques et culturelles. En 1732 les jésuites arrivèrent à Guanajuato, où ils fondèrent un hospice pour l’éducation de la jeunesse. Il s’agit du plus vieil ancêtre de l’actuelle Université de Guanajuato. Pour ce faire, on leur prêta la maison de Doña Josefa Teresa de Busto y Moya, et cette dernière ainsi que de riches voisins leurs apportèrent leur soutien financier.
C’est seulement en 1744 qu’ils obtinrent l’autorisation du Roi pour que l’hospice puisse être transformé en établissement scolaire, nommé de la Santísima Trinidad. L’un de ses derniers recteurs jésuites édifia le collège primitif qui est aujourd’hui occupé par l’École des Relations Industrielles de l’Université, la maison de doña Josefa servant alors uniquement de logement pour les prêtres. Avec l’expulsion des jésuites en 1767, le collège ferma ses portes pendant quelques années, jusqu’à ce que les Frères de la Congrégation de San Felipe Neri s’installent dans les bâtiments qui appartinrent à la Compagnie de Jésus, pour en rouvrir les portes sous le nom de « La Purísima Concepción ».
En 1828, l’institution passa sous la tutelle du gouvernement de Guanajuato puis reçut le nom de « Colegio de Estado ». Différentes chaires et cursus libéraux furent créés. En 1945, il fut élevé au rang d’université, sous le premier rectorat d’Armando Olivares. Au cours de ces trente dernières années, l’université s’est élargie aussi bien en dépendances, écoles, que nombre d’étudiants et d’enseignants, ce qui à entrainé l’agrandissement de ses locaux aussi bien à Guanajuato que dans d’autres sites de l’État.