Father Louis Bruyns s.J. (1919-2001)

The Foundation has been named after Father Louis Bruyns s.J., who devoted a great deal of his life to Africa as a missionary, trainer of executives and administrator. He has great merits as a professor and manager in Belgium too.

Louis Bruyns was born in Essen (Belgium) on January 15, 1919. After his classics, he joined the Jesuit Order in 1936. He first studied philosophy, theology and classical philology. In 1945 he obtained a licentiate degree at the Catholic University of Louvain in economics as well as in political and social sciences.

For many years father Louis Bruyns dedicated himself to the fate of his African fellow men. From 1945 to 1947 he worked at the mission of Kisantu in the former Belgian Congo as an inspector of the primary school network. After his return he finished his PhD thesis in 1951 on the socio-economic development of Lower Congo. From 1953 to 1968 he again resided in Africa. Among other things, he was a professor at the University Centre Lovanium, the founder and rector of the Centre Médico-Scolaire ¿ a complex of schools and a hospital ¿ and the representative of the Belgian Congo in the International Labour Office  in Geneva.

After his return from Africa in 1968, father Bruyns played a major role in the Antwerp academic community. He was a manager and professor at the Saint Ignatius University College Antwerp (UFSIA), later on director of the Institute of post-graduate education (IPO) and rector of the UFSIA. After he was accorded emeritus status, father Bruyns was appointed president of the Communal Bureau of the University of Antwerp (GBUA), where he devoted himself to the co-operation between the different Antwerpian university institutions.

Father Louis Bruyns¿s doings were inspired by a profound christian persuasion and a belief in a concerned God. His faith provided the inspiration for a sustained commitment to his fellow man and for his striving towards a more righteous society.