UEL’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick McGhee and Pro-Vice Chancellor International, John Shaw, conferred an honorary Doctorate of the Arts on Brazilian Olympic athlete, educator, businessman and sporting facilities planner, Fernando Telles Ribeiro, at a ceremony which took place at the São Paulo Hilton, on Wednesday, June 15.
Fernando Telles Ribeiro joined the Brazilian national diving squad at the age of 18, and competed at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 and the Rome Olympics in 1960. He also won the South American Diving Championships four times, and competed in the Pan-American Games. Now in his 70s, he continues to compete in ‘Masters’ diving competitions, having obtained the title of World Masters’ Champion at the Nike Olympic Games in Portland USA in 1998 and Champion of the North American Open Masters in Oxford, USA in 2000.
Fernando Telles (as he is known in Brazil) has dedicated his professional life to designing and developing sports venues with particular emphasis on making them accessible to local disadvantaged communities. He has campaigned in Brazil on the importance of planning the social legacy of mega events and was one of the first Brazilians to raise this publicly in his country. He recognised the important contribution to the understanding of the issue made by the work of UEL’s London East Research Institute (LERI), translated Gavin Poynter’s From Beijing to Bow Bells into Portuguese and undertook its dissemination in Brazil. He was instrumental in establishing the research partnership between LERI and the Architectural and Urban Technology Research Nucleus (NUTAU) of the University of São Paulo to which he has been a consultant.
The UEL delegation is in Brazil to firm-up academic partnerships with key institutions in the country.