This morning, Universidad Europea’s Academic Council conferred the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa on Plácido Domingo, in recognition of his extensive professional career and his extraordinary contribution to the promotion of culture and the image of Spain in today's society.
The investiture took place at the request of the School of Arts and Communication to coincide with the launch of the Bachelor's Degree in Musical Creation, a pioneering degree program that was launched at Universidad Europea in the 2012/2013 academic year. Miguel Carmelo, president of Universidad Europea and CEO of Laureate International Universities Europe acted as Sponsor for the tenor.
The Rector of Universidad Europea, Águeda Benito, expressed "the honor and satisfaction" his incorporation means to the University: "Plácido Domingo is the greatest exponent of music and music is culture, an essential element of this University. But he is also a conductor and knows how to get others to give their best, as our professors do when teaching our students."
Also taking part in the ceremony were Gerard Mortier, artistic director of the Royal Theater in Madrid, and Florentino Pérez, president of Real Madrid. They were asked to give the Citation Address for the new Doctor and made reference to the friendship and deep admiration they have shared for many years.
Mortier stressed Domingo’s personal qualities and the importance that his appointment as Doctor Honoris Causa represents for Universidad Europea "for all lovers of art during this extremely difficult year of crisis in Spain". "You are the standard bearer for artists, during a particularly complex era in which it is more necessary than ever for the world to recover its sense of humanity and solidarity", he concluded.
For his part, Florentino Pérez highlighted the ability Plácido Domingo has for contributing to history: "Plácido is a universal tenor, but above all, as the journalist Rubén Amón explained in his biography, 'Plácido is the voice of the earth'"; one of the few that "from the peak of their profession are able to inspire new generations", he concluded.
In his investiture speech, Plácido Domingo expressed his pride at joining those who have been honored by Universidad Europea with this distinction: "What a huge, marvelous honor it is to stand alongside a group that includes the great Swedish engineer Per Ingvar Branemak and personal friends such as Luis Bassat, Mario Vargas Llosa, Antonio Garrigues, Valentín Fuster, Enrique Iglesias, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Nelson Mandela and Lech Wałęsa".
Following the investiture of Plácido Domingo, Universidad Europea welcomed the new Full Professors, Associate and Assistant Professors that are joining the faculty.
Plácido Domingo is one of the most important opera singers and directors in the world. His successful professional career, his commitment to humanitarian issues and his role as international defender of music and Spanish culture have been recognized on many occasions, with awards that include the Prince of Asturias Award for Arts (1991), the Presidential Medal of Freedom of the United States of America (2002) and the Order of Arts and Letters of Spain (2011).
This article was originally written in Spanish and has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.