Today is the day of our Alma Mater – a birthday, which we celebrate in exceptional circumstances. But this experience is new only to us. The University in its long history has been through a lot. The first Jesuits to come to Vilnius were trialed by plague. A part of the University’s community retreated to a safe place while others remained to help the city’s residents.
Such examples are inspiring. Historical experience shows that the University remains even in the most trialing situations. Our present realities encourage us to take greater responsibility and be actively engaged with what is going on around us, to help overcome this problem facing our society.
Today, before taking up the office of Rector, I read and signed an oath to Vilnius University. The call of our team – to foster the University together. A University that has authority and can change society, creates history and has national might. We can prove and establish this on a daily basis only as an integral and united community, sustained by nobility, dignity, respect and friendship. The University is changing, responding to new challenges, but its value core remains strong against the backdrop of economic, political, social change and even turmoil.
Therefore, while congratulating you with the 441st birthday, I invite the entire community – the faculty, researchers, students, administration – to nurture our stately historical tradition and create our University.
Rector prof. Rimvydas Petrauskas