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Alumni Profile - Francisco Flores

FloresFrancisco Flores, who would eventually become the president of El Salvador, came to Hillyer College in the late 70’s at a time of great conflict and trouble in his native country. 

Flores was given an honorary degree by the University of Hartford in 2000. In his remarks, Flores said that when he first left El Salvador to come to the United States to attend Hillyer, he was not certain he would return to his country. But, eventually, he knew he had to go back. “My personal life experience,” he said, “my dreams, my creativity, my aspirations were so intertwined with my country as to be literally inseparable.” 

After graduating from Hillyer in 1979, Flores went on to study philosophy at Amherst College. He returned to El Salvador where he held a number of positions in the El Salvador government. In 1999, he was elected president of El Salvador and served a five-year term. 

While Flores was president, El Salvador experienced a significant decrease in poverty, completed a free-trade agreement with the United States, and stabilized its monetary policy. After finishing his term as president, Flores founded the América Libre Institute in Washington, D.C., an organization dedicated to the advancement of liberty. 

During the speech he made at the University in 2000, Flores said that his years at Hillyer “allowed me to inquire, to broaden the scope of my interests. Hillyer taught me discipline and became for me a community where my mind was nurtured and stimulated.”