University Built from Dreams
65 years of tradition, 25 years of university - this is the motto of the culmination of the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the University of Opole (links to films from the ceremony and photo gallery can be found under the text).
The ceremonial gala in the Opole Philharmonic Hall was opened by the Rector of the Opole University, Prof. Marek Masnyk, who welcomed distinguished guests who wanted to share these unique moments with the university community. They included, among others, Marshall of the Voivodeship Andrzej Buła, Vice-Wivode Violetta Porowska, Mayor of Opole Arkadiusz Wiśniewski, Archbishop Alfons Nossol, Consul of Germany Birgit Fisel-Rosle, former rectors of the Higher Pedagogical College and Opole University, rectors of friendly colleges, parliamentarians, local government officials, businessmen, representatives of the academic, medical and artistic world, directors of important institutions in Opole, friends and patrons of our university, employees and students of the University of Opole, and also citizens of Opole.
Contribution to the European project.
- European culture has given the world a great, momentous invention: a university. - We, as the University of Opole, add our own contribution to it. Our university was built on dreams - emphasized Prof. Masnyk, referring to many years of effort to establish a university located in our region: first in Brzeg, then in Nysa. - We succeeded only in Opole, where first the Higher Pedagogical College was established, then the University of Opole. In 1994 we could say: Yes! We have a university! Today I invite you to memories and to a walk through the past decades.
Dreams and faith
The beginnings of the University of Opole were remembered from the stage (also in the film, to which a link can be found below) by, among others, Prof. Dorota Simonides. - A man is born having not only a father, but above all a mother - she joked referring to the group of fathers - founders of the University of Opole, among whom she worked very hard to establish the UO. She talked, among other things, about the efforts in the Parliament to push through the decision to establish our university.
Rev. Prof. Helmut Sobeczko mentioned, inter alia, the enormity of organizational work that had to be carried out during the establishment of the university, and Prof. Franciszek Marek, the first elected Rector of the UO, stated: - We could have had a university in Opole earlier, but the then Engineering University did not want to join the Pedagogical College. And praise for it, because we now have both the University of Opole and the Opole University of Technology!
The floor was also taken by the long-standing rector of the Opole University Prof. Stanisław S. Nicieja. - The University of Opole is a great adventure of my life and a world of great friendships - he said. - The establishment of our university was a nationwide event: the twelfth university in Poland was established! And then came the time of building, the time of investing.
Prof. Nicieja recalled discussions about where to build a university campus; for example, the area on the outskirts of the city. - However, we decided to stay in the city centre, wanting to become a significant part of Opole, - he said. - When we decided to renovate a ruined building of an old hospital at Kopernika Square, very few believed in success. Today I think that raising 54 million zlotys for this investment was an ordinary miracle....
Archbishop Alfons Nossol mentioned the moment when he heard the word "university" for the first time. - In the first grade of primary school, I was waiting for the teacher. I asked him what this university was. He looked at me and said, " My boy, you will never see a university, don't worry. And he left. Who could then suppose that I would have to deal with a university in a specific way, that I would be in a way a co-founder of the university....
New rector's insignia
A beautiful moment of the celebration was the ceremony of handing over new insignia of the Rector's power: a ring, sceptre and chain to Rector Marek Masnyk. The insignia, made of silver and amber, were donated by the Opole entrepreneurs, assembled in the Economic Council of the rector of the UO. The author of the design is a well-known sculptor Prof. Marian Molenda from the Faculty of Art of the UO.
Congratulations on the occasion of the jubilee and wishing the university community all the best for the future were expressed, among others, the Vice-Voivode Violetta Porowska, Mayor Arkadiusz Wiśniewski, Deputy Marshal Roman Kolek, MP Katarzyna Czochara, who read a letter from Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
As Maciej Kochański, the spokesman of the UO, stressed, the guests of the gala could meet a pantheon of people who created and developed our university - both the Higher Pedagogical College and the University of Opole. - 25-year-olds are people full of dreams, energy and open to the future, just like our university, - he added.