53 years of the University of Gdańsk. University anniversary celebrations


Today the University of Gdańsk's academic community celebrated the 53rd anniversary of the University's establishment. During the ceremony, among others, the titles of honorary professors were conferred on prof. Antoni Śliwiński and prof. Małgorzata Czermińska, the K. C. Mrongowiusz Prize, the prof. K. Taylor Prize for 2022 and prizes were awarded to the winners of the second edition of the Young Fahrenheit competition.

The University of Gdańsk Celebration took place on March 20, 2023, in the auditorium of the Computer Science Building of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science of the University of Gdańsk.

The ceremony began with the Polish anthem performed by the University of Gdańsk Academic Choir under the direction of dr Aneta Majda.

The floor was then taken by the Rector of the University of Gdańsk, prof. Piotr Stepnowski, who welcomed all the guests, especially those who had been conferred the honorary professorship of the University of Gdańsk, i.e. prof. Małgorzata Czermińska and prof. Antoni Śliwiński, as well as external guests, such as the Consul of Ukraine, Oleksandr Plodystyi, Consul of China Fan Xiaodong, church authorities representing the three Churches: Catholic, Evangelical and Orthodox: Rev. Bishop Wiesław SzlachetkoRev. Bishop Marcin Hinc and Rev. Robert Masalski. Among the guests present were also: Director of the Office of the Pomeranian Governor Tomasz Gieszcz, representatives of the judiciary: the President of the Court of Appeal in Gdańsk Artur Lesiak, the Dean of the District Chamber of Legal Counsels in Gdańsk Magdalena Witkowska, the Head of the Pomeranian Tax Office in Gdańsk Wioletta Bara and the Rectors and Vice-Rectors of the friendly universities: Rector of the Ateneum Academy prof. Waldemar Tłokiński, Vice-Rector of the Medical University of Gdańsk prof. Agnieszka Zimmerman, Vice-Rector of the Maritime University in Gdynia prof. Dariusz Barbuch, Vice-Rector of the Academy of Physical Education and Sport prof. Marcin Dornowski, Vice-Rector of the Pomeranian Academy in Słupsk prof. Dariusz Fick, Vice-Rector of the Naval Academy prof. Tomasz Kniaziewicz

Among numerous guests, the Rector of UG also welcomed the Senior Rectors of UG: prof. Zbigniew Grzonka, prof. Bernard Lammek, prof. Marcin Pliński.      

- 'We have the opportunity to celebrate the establishment of our university for the 53rd time. Time passes inexorably, but each successive year of our Alma Mater is a year of a beautiful story about science, about people who, within the walls of the largest university in Pomerania, pass it on to younger generations of students, about people who educate by shaping the world and influence the environment through their work, projects and research. This is a beautiful story about the micro-world of science, which, as in a system of communicating vessels, affects us individually as its participants but also influences our surroundings - family life and social and economic surroundings. Also, thanks to our projects in a broader, international area,' - said the Rector of the UG.

In his speech, His Magnificence, prof. Piotr Stepnowski emphasised the non-accidental location of the jubilee celebrations - the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science. A place that symbolically unites all the sciences represented at UG. - "Mathematics is considered the queen of sciences, and as Immanuel Kant said: 'In every department of physical science there is only so much science, properly so-called, as there is mathematics,' " - said the Rector.

Later in his speech, the Rector referred to entrusting a named chair to the eminent physicist prof. Harald Weinfurter, and handed over the appointment to prof. Łukasz Rudnicki, who is to establish the first doctoral school of Quantum Theory and Information in Poland.

Rector's speech - read here

After the Rector's speech, a recording was screened in which prof. Harald Weinfurter (absent due to health reasons) thanked the Rector for the appointment, recalled his long-standing cooperation with the University of Gdańsk to date, and noted that he was looking forward to a great year together. 

After this part, the floor was taken by the Dean of WMFiI, prof. Piotr Bojarski, who talked about the Faculty, what makes it unique and how the studies and research conducted here contribute to the reputation of UG.

In the next part of the jubilee, the titles of honorary professors were conferred upon prof. Antoni Śliwiński (the laudation was delivered by the Dean of the Faculty of WMFiI, prof. Piotr Bojarski) and prof. Małgorzata Czermińska (the laudation was delivered by prof. Urszula Patocka-Sigłowy).

The Honorary Professors thanked the UG academic community for years of cooperation and their families for supporting their scientific development. Prof. Antoni Śliwiński spoke about his memoir book, which will be published soon, and prof. Małgorzata Czermińska expressed her hope that the humanities, including the one in Gdańsk, will not succumb to the phenomenon of 'post-humanism'.

During the ceremony, as is traditional, the Vice-Rector, prof. Arnold Kłonczyński presented awards and distinctions to the winners of the Krzysztof Celestyn Mrongowiusz Teacher of the Year Award.

The K. C. Mrongowiusz Teacher of the Year Award went to dr hab. Maciej Nyka, prof. UG, Faculty of Law and Administration; dr Konrad Knoch, Faculty of Social Sciences; mgr Lucyna Kupper, Centre for Foreign Languages. Distinctions were awarded to dr hab. Joanna Fac-Benedaprof. UG, Faculty of Oceanography and Geography; dr Marta Frankowska, Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics; dr hab. Krzysztof Najman, prof. UG, Faculty of Management; and dr Grzegorz Stasiłojć, Interuniversity Faculty of Biotechnology UG and MUG.

Individual prof. Charles Taylor Scientific Awards for academic teachers have also become a tradition of the UG Celebration. From the hands of the Vice-Rector for Research, prof. Wiesław Laskowski, the award for 2022 was received by prof. dr hab. Janusz Rak, Faculty of Chemistry, prof. dr hab. Włodzimierz Meissner, Faculty of Biology, and dr hab. Radosław Kossakowski, prof. UG, Faculty of Social Sciences.

The awards ceremony for the winners of the 2nd edition of the YOUNG FAHRENHEIT competition was conducted by the President of Univentum Labs, dr hab. Wojciech Bizon, prof. UG. The first place in the competition went to dr Agata Motyka-Pomagruk (Interuniversity Faculty of Biotechnology UG and MUG), the second place to mgr Konrad Schlichtholz (International Centre for the Theory of Quantum Technologies), and the third place to dr Klaudia Godlewska (Faculty of Chemistry). Presenting the prizes - symbolic cheques - prof. Wojciech Bizon appealed to UG scientists to identify talented young people and encourage them to apply for such competitions.

The next item on the agenda was the artistic part before which the UG Rector presented a commemorative diploma on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UG Choir.

'One of the mottoes of the Pythagorean school was "Music awakens in the heart the desire for good deeds". You have been arousing our hearts to goodness and beauty for 50 years at best, masterful, international level. Without you, the University would be just another institution for education and research; with you, the University is also a place where beauty, rhythm, music and singing resound. For 50 years of beautiful experiences and emotions, I thank you on behalf of the academic community. I wish you continued success! At least another 50 years!' - said prof. Piotr Stepnowski.

Then the conductor, dr Aneta Majda, invited the participants of the UG celebration to a short concert. The choir sang two songs from their latest album, released on their 50th anniversary: Okularnicy and Do zakochania jeden krok.

Closing the ceremonial session of the Senate, prof. Piotr Stepnowski invited everyone for a tour of the renovated part of the Mathematics and Physics building and to an exhibition entitled 'Women of Science in Gdańsk'.

Before the ceremony, the Rector and the Vice-Rectors traditionally honoured the memory of their predecessors by placing symbolic wreaths on the graves of the late Rectors and lighting candles.

Elżbieta Michalak-Witkowska / Press Office UG