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José María Álvarez-Pallete and José María Ordovás, Doctors 'Honoris Causa'

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The Chief Executive Officer of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, and Nutrition professor José María Ordovás have been conferred with Doctorates 'Honoris Causa' by Universidad CEU San Pablo during the academic ceremony celebrating the Feast Day of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

The Rector, Rosa Visiedo, highlighted the celebration of Saint Thomas as one of the events that best expresses the spirit and vocation of Universidad CEU San Pablo: "To be a genuine university community, united by a shared identity and a common goal: to have the interest and passion for education according to the principles and values of our educational project, rooted in Christian humanism and the teachings of the Church."

In her speech, Visiedo emphasised that "their appointment as Doctor 'Honoris Causa' reflects emblematically the profile of our University, in a condensed expression of our project for the coming years: to be a university dedicated to relevant research that generates new knowledge and innovation for its transfer to society; but also a university closely connected to the business world, concerned about the employability of its students, helping them build their life project, of which their chosen profession is an important part, and through them, contributing to the improvement and advancement of companies and institutions."

In conclusion, the Rector expressed gratitude to the new Doctor 'Honoris Causa,' stating, "We are proud that you have accepted this appointment and, with it, become part of our University, which is now also your University, and which is enriched by your unquestionable merits."


José María Álvarez-Pallete, Doctor 'Honoris Causa'

In recognition of his special professional and personal merits, the Chief Executive Officer of Telefónica was distinguished during the academic ceremony celebrating the Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas. In his address, Álvarez-Pallete expressed gratitude to the University for "the honour they have bestowed on me," and to his family for being "the people who give meaning to my life."

The CEO of Telefónica briefly reflected on the 40 years since his time in these classrooms and the future in which we are immersed. "It is not an era of change. It is a change of era. Technology will help solve problems that previously had no answers, such as diseases that currently have no cure or climate change," he said.

Álvarez-Pallete stressed that "this technological revolution is different because it is abstract. Data is not visible, creating asymmetries between those who are aware of what is happening and those who are not." He stressed the importance of "placing humanism at the centre and defining how we want this to happen and what the essential rights are in this digital world."

Professor of Financial Economics, Ricardo Palomo, was responsible for delivering the laudatio. In it, he highlighted four characteristics of Álvarez-Pallete's figure: "his humanistic values; his determined drive for digital transformation and technology; his commitment to innovation; and his focus on continuous and lifelong education." As the Dean of the School of Economics and Business, Palomo emphasised the Telefónica CEO's concern for the challenge of inequality and the fight against digital exclusion, "always putting people at the centre, so that we can all benefit from the opportunities of the digital revolution and leave no one behind."

In this regard, Palomo emphasised "his determined drive for digital transformation and technology, which has radically transformed Telefónica, turning it into a cutting-edge company in the telecommunications sector, committed to promoting an innovative ecosystem not only in Spain but in all the geographical areas where it is present."


José María Ordovás, Doctor 'Honoris Causa'

In recognition of his academic merits and professional trajectory, the professor of Nutrition and one of the world's leading experts in nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics was honoured during the academic ceremony of the Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

In his speech, Ordovás reviewed the evolution of nutrition, health, and ageing – intertwined realms and pillars of his research. He pointed out that "life expectancy is not just about living longer; it's about living better." In this context, the specialist in nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics highlighted that "roles within healthcare have evolved, playing a crucial role in maintaining the health ecosystem."

The Doctor ‘Honoris Causa’ went on to say, "Humanity is working to bridge gaps, ensuring that advances in health and nutrition are accessible to all, regardless of geographical or economic borders." He emphasised, "The decisions we make today are paving the way for a future where longevity is not just about adding years to life but, more importantly, adding life to those years," underscoring the significance of the 'Honoris Causa' title.

Professor of Nutrition and Bromatology, Gregorio Varela Moreiras, was responsible for giving the laudatio, in which he highlighted the fortunate convergence of exceptional human qualities in Ordovás: "a spirit of work beyond reasonable limits; a generous disposition towards others; and a genuinely privileged natural intelligence."

In his speech, the director of the CEU Institute of Food and Society noted, "In science, quality, honesty, and care in what is done are fundamental; something that Dr. Ordovás must have put much emphasis on, as he has reached the highest echelons in our fascinating science of nutrition." Varela also underscored the relevance of Ordovás's scientific contributions, describing his work as "research, education, and dissemination, combined with his human qualities, making him deserving of this title."

The Vice-Rector for Institutional Relations and General Secretary of the University, María Bellido, was responsible for reading the Rector’s Decree appointing him as Doctor 'Honoris Causa'. José María Álvarez-Pallete and José María Ordovás now join a select group of national and international intellectuals who have received this honour from Universidad CEU San Pablo: Helmut Kohl, John Martin Scott, Gordon Tullock, Antonio María Rouco Varela, Mario Monti, Vicente Palacio Atard, Francisco Rodríguez Adrados, Margaret Foti, José Antonio Escudero, Eduardo García de Enterría, Joseph H. H. Weiler, Herman Van Rompuy, Raimundo Bassols, Joseph A. Bellanti, S.G.O. Johansson, Alberto Campo Baeza, Antonio Fernández de Buján, Rémi Brague, José Luis Gutiérrez, Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau, and Marcelino Oreja.


New Doctors

During the celebration of the patron saint of universities and university students, Visiedo had words for the 33 new doctors of the 2023/2024 academic year, reminding them that by possessing the highest academic degree, they should always seek "truth with scientific rigour, in a stimulating conjunction of science, reason, and faith."

The Great Chancellor of the University, Alfonso Bullón de Mendoza, concluded the Academic Ceremony.

Palabras clave Saint Thomas Aquinas José María Álvarez-Pallete José María Ordovás Doctor Honoris Causa Telefónica Nutrigenetics