Vilnius University fosters the freedom of thought and variety of opinions, openness to world ideas and innovations, values of collegiality, mutual respect, trust and academic ethics. The University activities and relationships among community members are based on the following primary principles: 1) freedom of science, research, creation and teaching; 2) morality; 3) unity of science and studies; 4) promotion of moral, cultural, experimental, social, economic and technological development of society; 5) advance of international partnership; 6) assurance of the quality of its activity; 7) solidarity, cooperation and mutual respect between members of the community; 8) coordination of interests of the University’s internal organisational structures and their cooperation; 9) subsidiarity in decision making; 10) publicity; 11) transparency in distributing and utilising resources and in taking other decisions; 12) equal opportunities and fair competition, and any other generally acknowledged principles of academic ethics; 13) responsibility to the Nation and the State of Lithuania, openness and accountability to society (Statute of Vilnius University).
Several celebrations marked in the University calendar have already become traditions of Vilnius University:
On the first day of autumn, the celebration ceremony of the new study year traditionally brings together the large community of Vilnius University.
Festive events at the University begin in the morning and take place throughout the day. As the new academic year begins, traditions are being followed – students, lecturers and the administrative staff can observe the solemn raising of the Vilnius University flag and participate in the procession on Gediminas Avenue towards the old Vilnius University campus. The new study year celebration also takes place at each and every faculty of the University, with the final part of the traditional Renovatio Studiorium taking place in the main University courtyard.
Vilnius University Birthday
The birthday of Vilnius University is an opportunity to appreciate and recapture history. It is celebrated on 1 April. On this day in 1579 King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Stephen Báthory issued a letter of privilege regarding the opening of Vilnius Academy, and on 30 October Pope Gregory XIII issued a bull confirming the reorganisation of Vilnius College into a university called Academia et Universitas Vilnensis Societatis Jesu (Vilnius Academy and University of the Jesus Society).
The celebration of each new year of the University is not only an occasion to remember history but has one more important intention – to bring our large and diverse community together.
Why is Vilnius University birthday important?
In 2019, Vilnius University had been celebrating its 440th anniversary for an entire week. A special highlight of the celebration was the science and history-based research initiative Recovering Memory and the awarding ceremony of Memory Diplomas itself. During the week various other events also took place: an already traditional community picnic at lunchtime, international forum World After University and debates among Vilnius University leaders, students and alumni. By celebrating the 440th anniversary, we are fulfilling our social mission and are not expecting greetings or gifts for ourselves but are presenting intellectual, cultural and educational gifts to entire Lithuania.
Finis Anni Academici
Traditionally, diplomas are awarded to the University graduates at the Church of St. Johns, and at the end of June each year, during the ceremony Finis Anni Academici, most deserving community members and graduate students with a Magna Cum Laude diploma are honoured. The Finis Anni Academici ceremony concludes with the traditional lowering of the Vilnius University flag, which is raised again at the beginning of the academic year.
Rector’s Inauguration Ceremony
It is a ceremony during which the newly elected Rector takes a solemn oath to the University: to be faithful everywhere and at all times to the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the Statute of Vilnius University; to spare no effort in taking care of the prosperity and well-being of Vilnius University and its community; to consistently defend the autonomy of Vilnius University based on the principles of self-government and academic freedom; to represent Vilnius University properly as well as promote its name in Lithuania and in the world.
Conferment Ceremony of Honorary Doctor Title Honoris Causa
The Honorary Doctor title (status) is conferred on distinguished Lithuanian and foreign scholars, art world and public figures based on their exceptional merit for their activities in line with the mission of the University.
Since 1979, the title (status) of an Honorary Doctor of Vilnius University has been awarded to 63 scientists and public figures from various foreign countries who have contributed to the University’s activities.