Padre Theodoro Peters, S.J.
Theodoro Paulo Severino Peters was born on the 6th of December 1941, in the capital of São Paulo. He entered the Company of Jesus on 23/02/1961. He was ordained on the 16th of July 1972, in São Paulo.
Padre Theodoro Peters’ study career was in humanities: language studies, bachelor’s and teaching degrees in philosophy from the Nossa Senhora Medianeira Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Languages in São Paulo and in Theology from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium in 1973. In 1976 he graduated as a teacher in Pedagogy also from the Faculty of Medianeira.
He held several positions in Jesuit colleges: Vice-rector of the Saint Ignatius College, in Rio de Janeiro, Rector and Director of São Luis College, of the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Literature Nossa Senhora Medianeira and of the São Luis Faculty, in São Paulo.
In 1986, he was named Rector of the Catholic University of Pernambuco, where he remained for 20 years, a period during which UNICAP enjoyed significant growth in Teaching, Research, Extension and institutional investments.
In 1997, he was appointed to the Presidency of FEI (Foundation for Education of Ignatius) "Pe. Saboia de Medeiros", and acted as head of both institutions concomitantly for several years.
At FEI he foresaw the importance of raising the institutions maintained from the level of lone faculties to the status of University Center, preparing for their future transformation into a University. He both oriented and strongly encouraged everyone in these processes.
His administration has been characterized by perfect interaction with the Rectory of the University Center, by the motivation to constantly train the teaching body and stimulus to improve the quality of teaching and to advance the production of science. Projects to expand and upgrade the premises were given full support during his administration. In 2006 a new classroom building was inaugurated with modern equipment and other rebuilding works and refurbishing of buildings are underway to provide more comfortable conditions for the university’s community.
In the last three decades, he has participated in countless encounters, meetings, congresses and conferences sponsored by university and international organizations, as listener, presenter or participant on their panels: President of AUSJAL – Association of Jesuit Universities of Latin America (1992- 2000); President of the Rectors’ Council of Pernambuco-CRUPE; Latin American representative on the International Committee on Jesuit Higher Education-ICJHE (1994-2000), President of ABESC – Brazilian Association of Catholic Higher Schools (1996-2000 e 2003-2005), Councillor of FIUC – International Federation of Catholic Universities (2000-2006);
The Pernambuco government showed its recognition and gratitude to Padre Theodoro Peters for his work as head of UNICAP and his contribution to the region’s development resulted in a number of tributes: in 1996, he received the title of Citizen of Pernambuco; in 1997, of Citizen of Recife, and in 1999, of Citizen of the town of Rio Formoso (PE).
On the 15th of October 1996, the Pontifical Catholic University of Parana – PUC/PR – bestowed the title of Professor Honoris Causa on him.
On the 17th of May 2007, he received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Catholic University of Pernambuco, for the innumerable services he had given to the cause of education and for the useful work developed over 20 years as Rector of that University.
Currently, as well as presiding FEI, he has held the position of President of the Deliberative Council of the Association of Foundations of São Paulo since 28/03/2008 and member of the University Council of PUC São Paulo, since 18/02/2009.