Camilo José Cela University has celebrated the twentieth anniversary of its Chair of the Sea ‘Almirante Fernando Poole Pérez-Pardo’ with a virtual event that was inaugurated by Francisco Javier Aragón, former director and current member of the advisory council of the chair itself. In attendance were several naval dignitaries from sea, among which were Fernando Martín Nieto, director of the Chair of the Sea at UCJC.
Nieto highlighted the work of the chair, of the schooner Cervantes Saavedra – considered as the third campus of Camilo José Cela University, together with Villafranca and Almagro – and of the Centre for Maritime Studies, which he has referred to as a place to “promote the development of teaching activities; promoting naval knowledge, innovation and techniques and promoting research in marine science”.
Nieves Segovia, president of SEK Education Group, highlighted the importance of the figure of her father, Felipe Segovia Olmo, founder of the SEK Group and one of the main promoters of the creation of the UCJC Chair of the Sea. “This chair was one of the initiatives in which, as the first rector of Camilo José Cela University, my father put the greatest effort into. He understood the sea as a place where thought, culture, history, literature, biology, mathematics, astronomy came together…”, said Segovia.
The president of SEK Education Group recalled that “this chair is special for many reasons, it is a meeting point for our entire community because it is a transversal space within the structure of the university. But, the most important thing is the celebration of a friendship, of my father and that of his great friend and admired Admiral Fernando Poole”.
Meanwhile, the rector of Camilo José Cela University, Emilio Lora-Tamayo, said that “anniversaries, like the one we celebrate today, help us to recognise the work done but, above all, they help us to give renewed momentum to dreams and to our purpose as an educational institution to once again be a catalysts for projects that promote sustainable environments with the interaction between knowledge, innovation, training, science, entrepreneurship and dissemination, with the sea and ocean sciences. All this, at a time when our planet suffers from numerous challenges that we have to address using collaboration, multiplicity and transversality”.
Lora-Tamayo highlighted the role of the Chair of the Sea at Camilo José Cela University, since, in his words, “it also contributes to training our students in quintessential seafaring values such as effort, improvement, teamwork, passion and everything that will help them prepare for that continuous learning that their personal life and professional future require”.
Felipe Segovia, creator and promoter of the UCJC Chair of the Sea
The ‘Almirante Fernando Poole Pérez-Pardo’ Chair of the Sea began its journey in 2001, as Felipe Segovia’s personal project as founder of SEK Education Group and the first rector of Camilo José Cela University. He was a knowledgeable and passionate sailor. Among other activities he was director of the Royal Academy of the Sea, president of the Royal Spanish Naval League and a yacht skipper.
In 2011, Felipe Segovia promoted a new project to take the chair to new heights, such as promoting knowledge of the naval world and its culture to society, promoting knowledge of Spain’s maritime activities, as well as research and training in nautical activities, serving to support environmental conservation policies, safety at sea, and bringing nautical activity closer to those people with some type of disability or reduced mobility.