On 19th October 2019, Krakow hosted the main celebrations of the Jubilee of 100 years of AGH UST. The rich programme of the most important events was topped off with a ceremonial session of the AGH UST Senate on the occasion of the Jubilee of 100 Years of AGH UST and the 101st Inauguration of the Academic Year, as well as the theatrical and musical performance “Kids of Evolution”. The festivities featured Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland.
The celebrations began at 8.30 a.m. in the University Collegiate Church of St Anna, where the academic community gathered for a Mass conducted by Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski, Head of the Archdiocese of Krakow.
After the Mass, the jubilee parade set off in the direction of the main market square. In the ceremonial procession, accompanied by the AGH UST Representative Orchestra, there were AGH UST rectors, rectors of Polish and international universities, a large number of university employees, students, and invited guests. The procession went through Szewska St, the Main Market Square, Wiślna St, Gołębia St, up to the Collegium Novum of the Jagiellonian University. On 20th October exactly 100 years ago, the building hosted the ceremony with Marshal Józef Piłsudski during which the Mining Academy was opened. Special speeches in front of the Jagiellonian University’s main building were given by professor Tadeusz Słomka, AGH UST Rector, and professor Wojciech Nowak, Rector of the Jagiellonian University. Next, the participants of the celebrations moved to the ICE Krakow Congress Centre.
A ceremonial session of the AGH UST Senate on the occasion of the Jubilee of 100 Years of AGH UST and the 101st Inauguration of the Academic Year started at 11 a.m. Right at the beginning, the AGH UST Representative Orchestra played “Mazurek Dąbrowskiego” (the national anthem of Poland), and professor Tadeusz Słomka, AGH UST Rector, opened the session. Then, Tomasz Knapik welcomed a large number of gathered guests from Poland and abroad – state, voivodeship and local authorities, the representatives of science, industry, and the diplomatic corps, as well as AGH UST employees, graduates, and students.
At the beginning of his speech, professor Tadeusz Słomka drew the listeners’ attention to a unique character of the ceremony:
– This year’s inauguration is special and unique – this is because we are celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of an active existence of our university. In the course of the last century, we have successfully carried out the mission of the university – teaching, scientific research, education of young people, and collaboration with the socio-economic environment in harmony with the principle of social responsibility. We are proud and honoured that today we can have as guests so many distinguished personalities from Poland and all over the world. The bonds between the representatives of the AGH University of Science and Technology – students, employees, and graduates – are unique. Many thousands of people connected with our Alma Mater know exactly that there is no exaggeration in my words. Our university is not only about a great quality of education, new developments, modern laboratories, and thousands of scientific grants and projects commissioned by industry. We would not have achieved this success if it were not for exceptional people.
In a further part of his inauguration speech, the AGH UST Rector talked about the establishment and development of the Mining Academy:
– In 2013, we celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of establishing the Mining Academy. Its creation was a long process that started back in 1816, and finished 100 years ago. (…) Expectations connected with the Academy were very high. The reviving economy needed support for the mining and metallurgical industries. 100 years ago, about 300 young Poles left the country every year in order to acquire some mining knowledge. In that very difficult period, the authorities of the Mining Academy consequently accomplished their objectives step by step – by means of defining the programmes of education, developing investment plans, as well as extending the educational offer for a number of years.
The AGH UST Rector drew the listeners’ attention to high positions of our university in international rankings, and he also mentioned the most important student projects in the course of the recent years:
– It is quite impossible to name all achievements of AGH UST in the last century, but it was our graduates who discovered, examined and prepared for exploitation a large number of useful minerals deposits, designed mines, foundries, processing plants, devices, machinery and new materials for all branches of industry. They created computer systems and many others. It is evidenced by thousands of patents, applications, licences, and start-up companies.
Professor Tadeusz Słomka also referred to the ministerial reform:
One of the most important consequences of the Act “Law on Higher Education and Science” will be stronger than ever diversification of universities. The mechanisms that will allow to identify research universities will in a short time lead to their diversification. A potential transformation of AGH UST into a research university is not only a great challenge, but in the first place, it is a great opportunity for a significantly faster development. That opportunity we are planning to use effectively if it is given to us. Thanks to it, it will be possible to accomplish the objectives of our long-term programme, as well as making effective use of the university infrastructure.
– To conclude my speech, I wish the entire community of the AGH University of Science and Technology an academic year that will be as fruitful and advantageous as the last 100 years, and one that will bring even more success both in professional and personal activity.
On the occasion of the Jubilee, Andrzej Duda, President of Poland, awarded state decorations to long-standing and distinguished academics of the university.
Professor Ryszard Tadeusiewicz received the Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta for his outstanding achievements in the development of technical sciences and his professional achievements in the field of scientific research and education.
The Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta for outstanding achievements in the development of technical sciences and professional achievements in the field of scientific research and education was awarded to: professor Witold Byrski, professor Mirosław Handke, professor Maciej Mazurkiewicz, professor Stanisław Mitkowski, and professor Tomasz Szmuc.
The Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta was awarded to: professor Jan Chłopek, professor Antoni Cieśla, professor Piotr Czaja, professor Janusz Gajda, professor Bolesław Kacewicz, professor Antoni Kalukiewicz, professor Stanisław Piróg, professor Józef Salwiński, and professor Andrzej Tytko. The awards presentation ceremony was conducted by Roman Kroner, Director of Distinctions and Nominations Office at the Chancellery of the President of Poland.
In a further part of the event, the participants of the ceremony listened to the speech of Andrzej Duda, President of Poland:
– In 1919, at the Jagiellonian University (…) the main hall hosted the inauguration ceremony, exactly on 20th October 1919, and it was performed by Marshal Józef Piłsudski. Why was he in such a hurry? The university, as well as the reborn Polish state, is over one hundred years old. But it was only one year after Poland was reborn on 11th November 1918. Why was this particular university opened so quickly? There was a simple reason. At that time, Poland was fighting to have Silesia within its borders. It was an important task. Marshal Józef Piłsudski, as a visionary, could already see Silesia as part of the Republic of Poland. Three Silesian uprisings, the year of which we celebrate in 2019, were needed to make it possible. But at the same time when Upper Silesia was becoming part of the Republic of Poland, the first students were already educated to become engineers, and later to do work for Polish mines and foundries on this so important for Poland land, which constituted a foundation for rebuilding the country and creating prosperity of the Second Polish Republic. The Mining Academy was an extremely important element of developing this great vision of a reborn, new, and strong Polish Republic, which rose from the ashes after 123 years, and wanted as quickly as possible to become independent, wealthy, successful, and modern in all respects. It was obviously happening thanks to Polish universities, but from a technical, industrial, and economic perspective, Krakow’s Mining Academy was one of the fundamentals.
– Today, AGH UST is flourishing. New buildings, beautiful laboratories, unabated standards, and a permanently high position in national rankings. With all my heart, I want to thank you for this extraordinary effort of scientific work, research, and education of many generations of young Polish engineers who supplied the Polish labour market, Polish workplaces, and who make us proud by means of working at universities and in companies all over the world. An AGH UST graduate is perfectly prepared to do their job wherever they find themselves in the world, because the disciplines you teach and research here are so universal in character.
In a later part of the ceremony, Piotr Ćwik, Voivode of Małopolska Region, read out a letter from Mateusz Morawiecki, President of the Council of Ministers. Next, speeches were given by Jarosław Gowin, Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, Minister of Science and Higher Education; Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Industry; Jacek Majchrowski, President of Krakow; professor Jerzy Buzek, President of the Council of Ministers in the years 1997-2001, President of the European Parliament in the years 2009-2012, and holder of AGH UST degree honoris causa; and professor Jan Szmidt, President of the Conference of Rectors of Polish Academic Schools, Rector of the Warsaw University of Technology.
The most important part of the ceremony was the matriculation of first-year students. Each AGH UST faculty was represented by one new student, who took a solemn oath on behalf of themselves and their fellows. The ceremony was performed by professor Wojciech Łużny, AGH UST Vice-Rector for Education. The Assembly Hall heard the cheerful Gaudeamus Igitur, and professor Tadeusz Słomka addressed the students with the following words:
– I wish all students who begin their academic year today a lot of success and persistence in coping with everyday student life. Please do not forget that education is something that nearly everyone is given, many pass it further on, but very few possess, said the AGH UST Rector.
On behalf of the students, a speech was given by Marcin Krukowski, President of the AGH UST University Board of Student Government.
During the session, professor Mirosław Karbowniczek, AGH UST Vice-Rector for General Affairs, announced the laureates of scientific awards. Professor Sebastian Wroński of the Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science received the Professor Władysław Takliński Award. Professor Marek Rotkegel of the Central Mining Institute received the Professor Henryk Czeczott Award.
During the ceremony, statuettes were presented to sponsors who supported AGH UST in the organisation of the jubilee. A co-organiser of the main celebrations of the Jubilee was the City of Krakow. The main partners of the celebrations of 100 years of AGH UST were the following companies: ArcelorMittal Poland, COMARCH, Mostostal Warszawa, Grupa PBI Kopalnie Dolomitu, and Bank Pekao. Among the companies that were partners of the celebrations there were: LOTOS, KGHM Polska Miedź, MASPEX, TAURON Polska Energia, CEMEX Polska, EXME Berger Group, RENKAR, Ceramika PARADYŻ, Tubądzin Management Group, Zakłady Magnezytowe ROPCZYCE, GEOBRUGG Partner in Poland, Valeo Autosystemy, TITAN POLSKA, and Wodociągi Miasta Krakowa.
The inauguration lecture “As the years pass, as the days pass…”, a story about the history of technology, was given by professor Jacek Tarasiuk of the Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, and doctor Krzysztof Kluza of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Automatics, Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering. The lecturers drew the listeners’ attention to transformations with reference to three important aspects of the development of our civilisation: the method of obtaining energy, the type of materials used, and applied technologies.
Closing the session of the Senate, the AGH UST Rector thanked the scientists for a wonderful lecture, the gathered guests for coming, and he also acknowledged all individuals involved in the organisation of the celebrations.
At the end of the ceremony, the AGH UST Song and Dance Ensemble "Krakus" performed Gaude Mater Polonia.
After the ceremonial session of the Senate, the gathered guests raised a jubilee toast, and the jubilee cake was cut into slices.
In the evening at 6 p.m., the audience had an opportunity to watch the theatrical and musical performance “Kids of Evolution”, directed by Maciek Sobociński. The performance script was entirely inspired by the Jubilee of 100 years of AGH UST, and the elements of the stage world related to the history of the university, as well as people connected with it, and their achievements.
The stage featured some leading artists of the Polish music scene – Edyta Górniak, Natalia Kukulska, Kasia Kowalska, Igor Herbut, Kamil Bednarek, Leszek Możdżer, and L.U.C ORCHESTRA. Alongside the stars, performances were also given by the music bands from our university – the AGH UST Representative Orchestra, and the AGH UST Choir and String Orchestra “Con Fuoco”.
The cast included the following actors: Lidia Bogaczówna as EVOLUTION PROFESSORA, Marcel Wiercichowski as EVOLUTION PROFESSORE, Franek Sobociński as EVOLUTION KID, as well as AGH UST students and employees, for example, Paweł Janowski, Przemysław Drożdż, Agata Zwolak, Marek Długosz, DSc, Paweł Węgrzyn, Bartosz Postulka, Alicja Kubera, Szymon Kurpiel, Zuzanna Matwiejczuk, and Bartosz Sobik. The performance included themes based on scientific projects, such as a robot with proximity sensor for building 2D maps, a rocket of AGH UST Space Systems, the autonomous robot Aquilo, an electric motorbike, an unmanned solar plane, and the KRAKsat project.
An integral part of the performance were video sequences with the utterances of university employees. Jubilee greetings for AGH UST were expressed by, inter alia, AGH UST rectors, professors, doctoral students, students, office administration employees, and also the oldest AGH UST graduate – professor Zofia Orman, who turned 100 this year.
The narrator of the performance was Tomasz Knapik.
The day ended with an open-air show that took place in the evening in the beautiful scenery of Bulwary Wiślane (banks of the River Vistula).
All rights reserved © 2020 AGH University of Science and Technology