The Externado University was stablished on February 15, 1886 in response to the absolutism and the repression of freedom to teach imposed by the Regeneration dictatorship.
The University was founded by young jurist and educator, Nicholas Pinzón Warlosten, who, with support from of a group of illustrious radical liberalism teachers, established an institution which, since its inception, has allowed the study and free expression of ideas. The Externado has welcomed students from all parts of the country, observed respect for all religious creeds and political ideologies, and promoted tolerance as a way to achieve peaceful coexistence within heterogeneity. It was named “Externado” (External) because the new institution was influenced by the most modern European educational centers that opposed the old boarding school system of medieval origin, oriented to catechizing and unfit for autonomous personality development.
Externado meant, therefore, openness, freedom to study and teach. Throughout its history, the Externado has professed the principles and values of its founders. Rectors have been Nicholas Pinzón Warlosten, Diego Mendoza Pérez, Ricardo Hinestrosa Daza, Fernando Hinestrosa Forero and Juan Carlos Henao Pérez.