|Joseph Keckeissen with his students|
With the presentation of the play A fantasy of freedom, 22 students of Mises Social Philosophy, from the School of Economic Sciences of Universidad Francisco Marroquín, offered a tribute to doctor Joseph Keckeissen, during the second edition of Marroquín´s Night last May 9th of 2007.
Joe, as his students and colleagues call him, studied in the University of Columbia and the University of New York, where he knew the then misunderstood economy professor Ludwig von Mises. That encounter would be the beginning of an academic life filled with achievements and satisfactions.
As participant of the Mises Seminar, he arrived at Universidad Francisco Marroquín at beginnings of the 70s, since UFM’s President Manuel F. Ayau wanted to select personally all economy professors. Joe thought that he was going to be rejected for being a Mises student, but that was indeed what President Ayau was looking for: economy professors in line with the Austrian School.
New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, and with more than 80 years on his back, Joe continues teaching at Universidad Francisco Marroquín.
From his experience in the army he inherited his clear reasoning and a strict discipline. The austerity of a religious life that he has been militating for years has not reduced his positive vision of the world nor his contagious sense of humor. From this perspective, it is not strange when Joe indicates students the planning errors that prevent them from being successful in their activities.
Doctor Keckeissen teaches the class of Mises Social Philosophy at the Henry Hazlitt Center of this house of studies and, every year, with his students, they celebrate freedom with a theatrical presentation. This tradition began in the 80s and is now called Marroquins Night.
During the celebration, Fritz Thomas, dean of the School of Economic Sciences, gave a speech honoring Joe (
PDF); Luis Figueroa, director of Public Relations, made the presentation of the tribute. The students formed a choir and introduced themselves as part of the work they displayed in a video. The activity was coordinated by Juan Jose Ramirez, asistant professor of the Mises Social Philosophy class.
The video was made by Alexander Arauz, producer; Herbert Toaspern, director; Valeria Cerezo, scriptwriter; Johnny Vásquez, camera; Samuel Morales, narration and Ricardo Pineda, sound.
During the act a video about Joseph Keckeissen’s life was displayed and the students gave him a recognition. In the video, Joe’s friends, colleagues and alumni mentioned the influence that he had and has in their lives. Members of the audience also united to these expressions.