February 16th 2022 is a special day for the three Kaunas universities. Exactly on this day, one hundred years ago, the University of Lithuania (LU) was established in Kaunas, from which the nowadays Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Vytautas Magnus (VMU) and Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU) grew. To commemorate this occasion, the Lithuanian Parliament Seimas has declared 2022 the Year of Lithuanian Universities. This Wednesday, February 16, a celebratory event will take place, where the history of LU will be told through various stage performances and films.
Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas
Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas
© Organizatorių nuotr.

The three Kaunas universities joined their forces in celebrating the centenary of LU – an exclusive one-hundred-minutes long programme was prepared. During the show, a century’s worth of cultural and intellectual life of Kaunas will be introduced, and the importance of Lithuanian University in shaping the state will be revealed.

An impressive show awaits the audience. Lithuanian universities are promising artistic performances, short videos introducing the historical facts of the University of Lithuania in different periods, and much more.

In the show, the art societies of all three universities – KTU, VMU and LSMU (choirs, dance groups, chamber orchestra, brass orchestra) – will deliver unexpected stage performances together with popular Lithuanian bands.

Monika Liu, Monique, Free Finga, Bjelle, White Crows, Martynas Kavaliauskas, Liepa Norkevičienė, Linas Adomaitis, Sandra Lebrikaitė, Gebrasy, The Roop are among the performers who will sing on the stage of Žalgiris Arena.

The event will take place on February 16 at 9 pm without spectators.

The century’s worth of history will be reviewed

The main idea of the event is to review the whole hundred years since the founding of the University of Lithuania: how it was formed, developed, how it changed; how the University was affected by political events and social movements, to review the life of the three higher education institutions that grew out of the University of Lithuania.

According to KTU Rector Prof Eugenijus Valatka, the centenary since the founding of LU is important not only because of the mere fact but also because of how much the people who worked at this university did for the benefit of Lithuania and the formation of the state identity. For example, the University of Lithuania allowed the development of the scientific Lithuanian language, which is extremely important for the Lithuanian national identity.

“The establishment of the University of Lithuania changed the educational situation of the country’s population, created favourable conditions for the academic development of thought and the dissemination of science, and undoubtedly developed the intellectual potential of the state. With the festive event, we aim to mark the importance of LU and higher education in general for society and the state, to celebrate cultural and intellectual achievements. Moreover, we invite everyone to continue the celebrations after the date, all year round. After all, 2022 is an exceptional year for Lithuanian universities,” says KTU Rector Prof Valatka.

According to VMU Rector Prof Juozas Augutis, it is no coincidence that we are celebrating the anniversary of the University of Lithuania on February 16th: “The establishment of the University of Lithuania was one of the most important works of the interwar Government of Lithuania. Without Lithuanian education, we would not have had the kind of Lithuania we have now”.

The work, research and academic tradition born at the University of Lithuania in the interwar period, continued even during the occupations.

“Looking back, it is impossible not to admire the determination, erudition and quick decisions of the enlightened people of that time. In a very short time, studies and research have been developed, the impressive Central Palace of the Faculty of Medicine and the buildings of The Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Kauno Klinikos have been built, which we are proud of to this day.

The first studies of Lithuanian medicine were of a very high level and developed a generation of dedicated doctors and scientists, so the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences has strong academic roots,” says Prof Rimantas Benetis, Rector of LSMU.

2022 – the year of Lithuanian universities

The three Kaunas universities invite both the academic community and the general public to celebrate the special anniversary – the centenary of the University of Lithuania – throughout the year. Open lectures by renowned speakers, conferences, exhibitions, concerts and various other scientific and cultural events will be organised. Every month, at a different university the meetings with scientists, architects, political scientists, artists, historians and other personalities who inspire with their activities and insights, will be held.

The first lecture – the acquaintance with artificial intelligence – was hosted by KTU on January 19. The second open lecture, on psychotherapy, took place on February 9 at LSMU. On March 9, those interested will be invited to a lecture at Vytautas Magnus University.

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