The Columns

Jorge Estrada, Trustee Emeritus and Alumnus of Washington and Lee University, Dies at 68

— by on December 11th, 2015

Jorge Eliecer Estrada, a 1969 graduate and trustee emeritus of Washington and Lee University, died on Dec. 10, 2015, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was 68. He was the president of Petrolera del Comahue, an oil company, and was a film producer, serving as president and chief executive officer of JEMPSA Media & Entertainment. In addition, he oversaw companies in industries ranging from agriculture and cattle production to tourism and wine.

In addition to his wife, Ana Maria “Nancy” O’Toole Estrada, Estrada is survived by their five children, four of whom are W&L alumni and one of whom is a current W&L student: Ana Maria “Annie” Estrada Postma ’04 (and her husband, Will Postma ’02), Maria Carolina “Carol” Estrada ’05, Juan Ignacio Estrada ’06, Estefania Helena “Estefi” Estrada ’13 and Jorge Javier Estrada ’16. He also is survived by four grandchildren.

Estrada joined the W&L Board of Trustees in 2003 and served until 2012, traveling from his home in Buenos Aires to Lexington for all 27 meetings of the board during his tenure. He also served a term on the university’s Williams School Advisory Board and as an alumnus-in-residence to advise students interested in careers in international business. Estrada also had been responsible for the recruitment of several dozen Argentinian students to W&L.

He received W&L’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1999 in recognition of his many contributions to the university.

A generous supporter of his alma mater, Estrada was always grateful for the moral and financial support that contributed to his success as an international student at W&L and in his career. The Estrada family’s philanthropy to Washington and Lee includes leadership gifts supporting the Annual Fund, the construction of Wilson Hall (an arts center), renovations to Robinson Hall (part of the historic Colonnade), and the construction of the Center for Global Learning.

Estrada was born on Aug. 15, 1947, in Medellin, Colombia. He came to Washington and Lee through the International Student Exchange Program, graduating in 1969 with a B.S. in geophysics. (In 2004, 35 years after his graduation, he met the late Isadore M. Scott, a 1937 W&L alumnus and trustee emeritus who had funded the scholarship that allowed Estrada to attend.) He then did graduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before returning to South America to pursue a career in oil and gas exploration from his adopted home base in Argentina.

Estrada also was the founding shareholder and director of Vantage Drilling Co., Houston; an investor and member of the board of advisors of DLJ South American Partners, a private equity firm; the director of Santillana, the largest Spanish-language textbook publisher; and president of Nostalgie Inc. and Velvet Symphony. He also was a senior advisor and investor in the private equity firm Victoria Capital.

In 2012, the government of the Republic of Singapore, with the provisional accreditation of the government of the Argentine Republic, appointed Estrada as Singapore’s Honorary Consul-General in Buenos Aires, with jurisdiction over Argentina.

He had served as vice president and president of the Lincoln American School of Buenos Aires and had been a member of the Clinton Global Initiative since 2005. Estrada belonged to the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in the World.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to Fundación Vida Sin Violencia, which helps families affected by domestic violence.

A service will be held on Dec. 11, from 12 to 10 p.m., at Casa O’Higgins funeral home in Buenos Aires.