Publish Date: 05.12.2019

Category: News from the University

 On precisely the University of Ljubljana’s 100th anniversary, Rector Igor Papič conferred the highest awards of the University at the Solemn Session of the Senate of the University of Ljubljana. The title of honorary doctor was bestowed on Prof. Kenneth Brian Frampton, the title of honorary senator was awarded to Msgr. Ivan Jurkovič, PhD, while the Pro Universitate Labacensi Plaque was bestowed on Fr. Jože Kokalj. The Rector also awarded Golden Plaques and certificates of recognition to young higher education teachers and staff. 

The Solemn Session of the Senate of the University of Ljubljana took place in the Chamber Hall, where Dr Fran Ramovš gave the very first lecture at the newly-established University exactly 100 years ago. To date, 26 University members have grown from the initial five. As per the annual custom, the deans of these members attended the Solemn Session dressed in academic robes and mortarboards, complete with the accompanying necklaces. This special outfit with a necklace is a symbol of the honours and duties of deans, and particularly those of the University’s rector. The University of Ljubljana received its first rector’s necklace upon its 10th anniversary in 1929. The necklace has been in its possession to this day, with only the pendants changing, and the rectors of the University have worn it on all major occasions. Upon today’s 100th anniversary, the University of Ljubljana received a new rector’s necklace, which was made according to the initial designs of Jože Plečnik. Replacing its predecessor, the new necklace will accompany the University in its next 100 years. The necklace was bestowed on the University of Ljubljana by the Municipality of Ljubljana, which has held the title of a university city for the past 20 years. It was given to the University’s Rector Igor Papič by the mayor of the Municipality of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković, who wished for the rector to wear it for a “further 100 years”, while also expressing his pride in the fact that such an excellent university should be situated in such a beautiful city as Ljubljana. 

In his speech, Rector Igor Papič pointed out that the new necklace represents an important symbol of the connection between the City of Ljubljana and Slovenia’s main university. He expressed his certainty that many of the young people, from Slovenia and abroad, who have come to study at the University of Ljubljana decided to do so because the city, in which the University has now been active for an entire century, is so attractive and friendly. Upon the 100th anniversary of the oldest and largest university in Slovenia, Papič emphasised that the University has been contributing through its knowledge to the development of both the state and society from its very beginnings, that all its employees and students strive to contribute to the University’s progress on a daily basis, and that he is looking forward to what the future may bring. “This is a comprehensive University, offering studies in virtually all fields - social science, natural science, the humanities, art, engineering, medicine, sports. This academic year, almost 38,000 students are enrolled at the University of Ljubljana. Our researchers and alumni are the driving force of the research, discoveries and international achievements through which Slovenia consolidates its international renown. We are actively involved in international associations, and we are managing the major European university alliance of EUTOPIA. Yesterday, we gave the first public presentation of this three-year development project, which involves five other foreign and renowned universities in addition to the University of Ljubljana. It is an ambitious and socially inclusive project, which will provide students and staff with opportunities for exchange, international guest appearances, joint research and target-oriented projects, the introduction of innovative teaching practices and much besides. Cooperation, exchange and searching for new opportunities will also be discussed at tomorrow’s Rectors’ Forum, which the University is hosting. It is a meeting of rectors from South-East Europe and the Western Balkans. Openness and international involvement and visibility are among the main guiding principles of the University of Ljubljana,” he emphasised. 

This year, the title of honorary doctor was awarded to Prof. Kenneth Brian Frampton from the University of Columbia in New York for his exceptional work in the fields of the science and art of architecture, and for his contribution to the international standing of the Faculty of Architecture and the University of Ljubljana. The title of honorary senator of the University of Ljubljana was bestowed upon Msgr. Ivan Jurkovič, PhD, who serves as the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva, for his exceptional work in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms and his focus on global justice and respect of human dignity. In his acceptance speech he said: “Soon after graduating from the Faculty of Theology, I was sent to study canon law and diplomacy in Rome. My service for the Holy See has been taking me to various parts of the world for nearly 40 years. Nevertheless, I believe geographical distance has never diminished my connectedness with events taking place at home. I am therefore especially pleased to see that my alma mater follows the lives of its alumni across the globe with great care.” He emphasised the need for every individual and each generation to strive again and again, intellectually and morally, to enhance peace, justice and human dignity in all dimensions of living. “In international institutions, including in Geneva, concerns over the fate of humankind are clearly felt once again. Peace is in greater danger than ever before, the gulf between the rich and poor is widening, and we are still not taking proper care of our environment. The University is certainly among those institutions that cannot avoid facing these facts, as a temple of the human mind and creativity, as well as of historical memory and civilisational identity,” said Dr Jurkovič. He reminded the audience that, 100 years ago, the University’s founders had a clear vision of its role in forming Slovenia’s cultural and national identity. “Today, we are probably facing the same task once again: to preserve the cultural and spiritual characteristics, which have been created throughout the centuries of our nation’s history, and refine them in a new dialogue with modernity,” he concluded his thanks. 

Fr. Jože Kokalj was awarded the Pro Universitate Labacensi Plaque for his intensive collaboration with the Academy of Music of the University of Ljubljana. Over the years he has provided the Academy with material support and acted as a patron to young artists and professors. He also advocated a broader repertoire at concerts and promoted musical art. 

The Golden Plaque, awarded by the University of Ljubljana for extraordinary merit in the development of scientific, pedagogical or artistic creation, and for enhancing the reputation of the University of Ljubljana, was conferred this year on 15 of the University’s professors. This was also the first time we awarded the Golden Plaque of the University of Ljubljana for an important scientific, educational or artistic group project in the last two years. It was bestowed on a group of researchers and developers from the Bioinformatics Laboratory at the Faculty of Computer and Information Science of the University of Ljubljana, and the authors of the online Slovene course called Slovene Learning Online (Slonline). Special commendations for exceptional educational and research achievements were awarded this year to eight young higher education teachers and staff. 

Photo highlights of the event can be viewed here.
All photographs were taken by Foto studio NORA d. o. o. 

 

A list of all recipients of the highest awards presented at this year’s Solemn Session of the University of Ljubljana Senate: 

Honorary doctor:
Prof. Kenneth Brian Frampton, PhD 

Honorary senator:
Msgr. Ivan Jurkovič, PhD 

Recipient of the Pro Universitate Labacensi Plaque:
Fr. Jože Kokalj 

Golden Plaque recipients - individuals:
Prof. Miha Humar, PhD, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Romana Marinšek Logar, PhD, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Mihael Jožef Toman, PhD, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
Assoc. Prof. mag. Anja Planišček, Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Rado Bohinc, PhD, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Maja Bučar, PhD, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Marta Verginella, PhD, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Iztok Tiselj, PhD, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Milan Batista, PhD, Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Zoran Bosnić, PhD, Faculty of Computer and Information Science, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Iztok Golobič, PhD, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Polonca Kovač, PhD, Faculty of Administration, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Mitja Košnik, M.D., Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Dušan Štajer, M.D., Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Mojca Čepič, PhD, Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana 

Golden Plaque recipients - groups:
Authors of the online Slovene course called Slovene Learning Online (Slonline) from the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana: Tjaša Alič, Branka Gradišar, Tanja Jerman, Jana Kete Matičič

Researchers and developers from the Bioinformatics Laboratory at the Faculty of Computer and Information Science of the University of Ljubljana: Prof. Blaž Zupan, PhD, Prof. Janez Demšar, PhD, Ajda Pretnar, Asst Prof. Tomaž Curk, PhD, Marko Toplak, PhD, Lan Žagar, PhD, Tomaž Hočevar, PhD, Martin Stražar, PhD, Asst Prof. Marinka Žitnik, PhD, Aleš Erjavec, Vesna Tanko, Andrej Čopar, Primož Godec, Robert Cvitkovič, Rok Gomišček, Amra Omanović, Pavlin Poličar, Nejc Debevec, Anže Starič, Jaka Kokošar, Andreja Kovačič, Matjaž Pančur, Rafael Irgolič 

Recipients of a special commendation for young higher education teachers and staff:
Asst Prof. Rok Spruk, PhD, Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana
Asst Prof. Nik Stopar, PhD, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana
Asst Prof. Martina Hrast, PhD, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana
Asst Prof. Janez Šter, PhD, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana
Asst Prof. Slavko Žitnik, PhD, Faculty of Computer and Information Science, University of Ljubljana
Asst. Nika Jenko, PhD, Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana
Asst Prof. Bruna Žuber, PhD, Faculty of Law, University of Ljubljana
Asst Prof. Rok Fink, PhD, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana