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Juan Uribe

Juan Uribe

Deputy head of mission | Colombian Embassy, Spain | Class of 1984

For as long as he can remember, Juan Uribe has had a thing for libraries, which made Illinois a cozy fit for the future deputy head of mission at the Colombian embassy in Spain.

“I have always fancied libraries, but the Undergraduate Library was different," he says. "I learned the reasons for such a building and it made me even more attracted to it. Later, as a grad student, I spent many hours at the main Library, where also to my surprise, I could not only look for books myself, but could ask from other schools missing books and documents and, best of all, I was allowed to stay there until midnight.

"Most of my time, however, was spent at the tunnel that linked both libraries, using some equipment that I am sure doesn’t exist anymore. My job was to look for news and articles in old papers and magazines in microfilm readers, doing research for a book that Professor Solaun was writing on Nicaragua.

"It was a great place, being able to move from one library to the other — underground, where no one could ever find me, and where I was hardly disturbed. It was time well-spent.”