Jewel in Crown

Zdjęcie nagłówkowe otwierające podstronę: Jewel in Crown

During the gala celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Mayor of Opole, Arkadiusz Wiśniewski called the University of Opole the jewel in the crown, and the Rector of the UO, Prof. Marek Masnyk, was delighted with the fact that the whole university community was entering the fourth decade of the UO.

The jubilee gala, which was the culmination of a three-day celebration of three decades of the UO, was held on 8 March 2024 at the Jan Kochanowski Theatre in Opole. The guests included the Opole Voivode, Monika Jurek, the Deputy Marshal of the Opole Voivodeship, Zuzanna Donath-Kasiura, the Mayor of Opole, Arkadiusz Wisniewski, the Chairman of the Opole Voivodeship Assembly Rafał Bartek, and the Senator of the Republic of Poland, Piotr Woźniak. 

 The special guests also included rectors of 21 universities from all over the country, associated in the Conference of Rectors of Universities in Poland (CRUP), headed by Prof..Bogumiła Kaniewska, President of CRUP and Rector of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Present and retired academics and administrative employees of the UO also came in numbers.

The audience was taken on a musical and film tour, during which the past three decades of the UO were shown. The short films presented, inter allia, the beginnings of the UO, its biggest investments, scientific development and its effects, international cooperation of the university,  academics, administrative staff and students, as well as the 52 honorary doctors of the University and the Higher School of Education, the effects of the latest evaluation, the strategy and directions of development, cultural activities, and plans for the future of the University of Opole. The film journey was interspersed with vocal performances by UO alumni: Magdalena Meg Krzemień, Anna Maczura, Łukasz Szuba and Robert Klimek. The evening was rounded off with a mini recital of Michał Bajor, an actor and singer, who spoke of his Opole roots and attachment to the city, and extended his congratulations on the jubilee.

“This is what our university is like: beautiful, wise, European, singing and dancing,” summed up Prof. Marek Masnyk. “This is your university and your holiday, the feast of our entire academic community. We are entering our fourth decade today. I hope that together, over the next months, years, decades, we will continue to build the prestige, pride and glory of our university, just as you expect of us.'’

There was also no shortage of good wishes from the invited guests. Senator Piotr Woźniak read out a letter from the Speaker of the Senate, Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska. “Thirty years have passed like one day, one would like to say,” he commented. “You are entering your fourth decade of existence. I am happy to say that the vision and mission you are pursuing is in good hands. The University of Opole records successes and I am sure that it will have even more reasons to be proud of in the decades to come.”

The Opole Voivode, Monika Jurek emphasised that the University of Opole's jubilee gala was a beautiful story of what happened 'between tradition and modernity', referring to the motto of the jubilee celebrations: 70 years of tradition, 30 years of the University of Opole. “I am extremely proud to be here today and to offer my wishes, congratulations and words of appreciation to the former and current builders of our university, to the people who develop this university for the benefit of residents and students, and attract young people to us,” she said.

“On behalf of myself and the board of the voivodeship, I would like to thank you for the fact that you have managed to realise that beautiful dream of a university thanks to which people living here and coming here can develop, get educated, and carry out research. Thanks to which the region develops and increases its potential,” said Zuzanna Donath-Kasiura, Vice-Marshall of the Opole Voivodeship. “You fantastically show how to use the best that our region has to offer: our Silesian tradition and industriousness, German culture rooted in the people who live here, and Polish resourcefulness and romanticism. You constantly teach us how we can change the world for the better. You also teach us how to be a civic society. You have proven time and again that in times of crisis you can help those who need help, e.g. refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine. For the years to come, I wish you determination, diligence and consistency in making your dreams come true.”

In turn, the Opole Mayor, Arkadiusz Wisniewski noted that he himself was one of the 110,000 graduates of the UO. He thanked for a gala “worthy of the capital of the Polish song”, as well as for the ceremony held the day before, on March 7th, at which Prof. Franciszek Marek was awarded an honorary doctorate from the UO. “30 years ago, when the University of Opole was founded, all the citisens felt that we were gaining an institution that would keep the young in the city, give prestige to the city and the region, give us opportunities for development,” said the Mayor of Opole. “After these 30 years we can see that it is not only a great success to have established the university, but also to have made it such a unique institution. For we have succeeded in developing an enterprise that today is the jewel in the crown of our city. There would not be such a unique Opole if it were not for the University of Opole. I am touched because over the years I have watched the beautiful development of the university and I know that it has not been easy at all. Today, we can rejoice together that our university is already seventh in the national rankings, following the great brands that have worked even hundreds of years for their prestige and recognition.'’

At its latest meeting, the Opole City Council awarded three employees of the UO with the title of “Distinguished Citizen of the City of Opole” and at the gala, the titles were conferred on Prof. Krystyna Czaja, former Rector of the UO and one of the founders of Polish and Opole chemistry, Prof. Jolanta Nocoń, Director of the UO Institute of Linguistics, and Prof. Lech Rubisz, Director of the UO Institute of Political Science and Administration by the Mayor of Opole, Arkadiusz Wiśniewski and the Chair of the Opole City Council, Łukasz Sowada.

“They are representatives of three schools, three disciplines, which have markedly contributed to building the prestige of the University of Opole in recent years, as evidenced, inter alia, by the A categories in the latest evaluation,” concluded Prof. Marek Masnyk.   

The gala was also an opportunity to organise a charity collection for Mr Adrian Chabior, the last President of the Student Union of the Higher School of Education, the predecessor of the UO, and the first President of the Student Union of the UO. Mr Chabior, who was present at the gala, is raising funds for his rehabilitation after suffering a serious illness with Covid-19 and a stroke. He can be supported through an online collection HERE.

Sponsors of the UO's 30th anniversary gala included the following: Wolters Kluwer OVID, Clarivate and EBSCO, providers of scientific information sources, and Sages, which implements Omega-Psir software for comprehensive management of information about science and research potential and supports evaluation processes of scientific institutions.


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