Created in 2001, the Chair of the Sea was the brainchild of Felipe Segovia Olmo (1936-2013), the first Rector of the Camilo José Cela University. As President of the Royal Academy of the Sea, of the Spanish Royal Naval League and a yacht captain, he was very knowledgeable and passionate about all matters related to the sea.
Its aim is to raise awareness of environmental matters related with the defence and conservation of our seas. The first director of the Chair was Ventura Olave, a former Director of Maritime Rescue. His main strategy was to bring these issues to public attention by making films at sea. Crossings of the Mediterranean for students, wishing to follow in the wake of Cervantes, were organised to deepen their understanding of nautical matters. Agreements were also signed with several maritime institutions.
In 2011, Felipe Segovia revised the project and steered a new course towards learning about the culture of the sea within society, about environmental protection and involving disabled people in sea-related activities. Another objective of the Chair is to teach students values that are normally associated with matters maritime and nautical – effort, endurance, teamwork and passion – values that will serve them in their professional careers.