Report from 56th Inauguration of Academic Year at Silesian University of Technology (2000/2001)

by Danuta Obracaj
iNEER Special Correspondent
Head of International Relations Office
Silesian University of Technology
Gliwice, Poland

Editor’s Note:

I had the honor of being invited and attending the ceremony, and met Prof. Jerzy Buzek, the Prime Minister who spoke at the ceremony as mentioned in this report. Ms. Obracaj informed me that Prof. Buzek, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Poland, graduated from the Mechanical-Power Engineering Department of the SUT, specializing in chemical engineering. He wrote several dozen articles and monographs on mathematical modelling, desulphurisation of exhaust gases and optimization of processes. Up till 1997 he was the Vice Director of the Institute of Chemical Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Gliwice. He received an honorary doctorate from Seoul National University (Korea) and Dortmund University (Germany) for his scientific achievements in the field of optimization of technological processes and applying new environmental-protection technologies. He is the eighth Prime Minister of Poland since 1989, and has held this position since 1997.

Ms. Obracaj’s report deals with a fine custom (the inauguration of an academic year) that is not commonly practiced by or well-known to a lot of us. Add to that, you have a Prime Minister as a featured speaker who is an engineer, who considered it important to come to speak at a university event. The fact that an engineer can rise to be the head of government in a major Central European country is also significant to a lot of us, and certainly brings home to us how potentially important it is to prepare students broadly during their education experience, so that they can be not only leaders in their professions, but leaders of nations as well.

Win Aung, Ph.D., Dr.h.c., P.E.
iNEER/ICEE Secretary General

Gliwice, Poland, October 24, 2000 -- The ceremony, held on October 9, 2000 on the campus of the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice, Poland, was opened by Rector of SUT Prof. Bolesław Pochopień who for the 5th time was honoured to lead the Inauguration.

Prof. Pochopień greeted :

At the beginning of new academic year Rector Pochopień recalled 10 employees of SUT who died in academic year 1999/2000

The next point of the ceremony was speech of Magnificence Rector who emphasised that both academics & students are supposed to indicate themselves aims to be reached while the coming academic year. Prof. Pochopień mentioned also financial problems of Higher Education which lead to limited possibilities of development of universities.

Invited by Rector of SUT Prime Minister Prof. Jerzy Buzek added splendour to the ceremony of Inauguration by giving a speech in which he emphasised that very seldom he has the opportunity of connecting his personal wishes with duties meaning visiting his mother University. In the speech Prof. Buzek pointed out that Poland needs now well educated graduates from technical universities and SUT may have the chance to fulfil those hopes. Nevertheless Prime Minister mentioned that the role of the humanities at Silesian Region should not be neglected. He recalled the 50-ties & 60-ties when in Gliwice acted ”youth theatre ” from which derived significant polish poets. He also remembered the spirit of romantic fight in 1968 and later when the totalitarian system was brought down. Prime Minister indicated that currently Poland needs activity derived from positivism which will be as important as the revolutionary acts from the past. Success of Poland will depend on success of students in their own life. Prof. Buzek referring to the speech of Rector of SUT said that this Inauguration is the 4th he took part this year but for the first time the lack of financial support from the side of government was expressed in so deep and convincing way. He ensured that he will do his best to improve financial condition of Higher Education. In conclusion Prime Minister Buzek wished all students of SUT to get closer to knowledge, truth and wisdom with the help of tutors.

Then took place matriculation of representatives of I year students of 11 Faculties of SUT led by Vice-Rector for Science Prof. Wojciech Zieliński.

In connection with retirement of 49 employees of SUT Prof. Pochopień thanked them in his own name as well as on behalf of the whole academic community for their long-lasting work for the University simultaneously wished them good health and long years of life.

Vice-Rector for Education Prof. Wojciech Zieliński informed the academic community that 15 students have been granted scientific scholarship by Minister of National Education for the academic year 2000/2001.

Next 3 students of SUT, the best of graduates received OMNIUM STUDIOSORUM OPTIMO medals granted by Rector of STU, 7 other students received the award of II degree also granted by Rector of SUT.

The further part of the ceremony was led by Vice-Rector for Organisation Prof. Jan Chojcan. In this part were decorated some of 68 employees of SUT who have been granted by President of Poland national distinctions such as: Officer’s and Cavalry Crosses of Rebirth of Poland or Crosses of Achievements.

Under-secretary of State in Department of National Education Prof. Wilibald Winkler has decorated 18 employees of SUT who have been granted by Minister of National Education National Education Medals.

Prof. Remigiusz Sosnowski Vice-Rector for Science led the part in which were decorated :

In the end of the ceremony Prof. Krystian Probierz from Faculty of Mining and Geology delivered an Inauguration Lecture entitled: ” MINERAL RECOURCES, WINNING THEM OVER AS THE CHANCE OF FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OR THREAT?” In the lecture Prof. Probierz brought up:

in the conclusion Prof. Probierz presented balance of turnover of mineral recourses in Poland during the years 1993-1997

Thanking all for participation in the Inauguration Rector of STU closed the ceremony.

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