Gdynia Maritime University celebrated the 102nd anniversary of the birth of Maritime Education education in Poland today, 21st June 2022.

On this very same day, the head of the Department for Maritime Affairs, Rear Admiral Kazimierz Porębski appointed the authorities of the newly established Maritime School, including Engineer Antoni Garnuszewski as director, Captain as School inspector and head of the Faculty of Navigation, and Engineer Kazimierza Bielskiego as head of the Faculty of Marine Engineering. It is with these events that the History of our Gdynia Maritime University, the successor to the Maritime School in Tczew began.



The celebrations began at 8:00 am sharp with the traditional raising of the white and red flag of the Polish Merchant Navy on the main University building on Morska Street. The act of raising the flag as part of the University's Celebration Day is an exception to the rule, as the flag is normally only raised on ships and Polish embassies abroad. However, to this day the white and red flag is hoisted up on the flagpole at 8:00 am sharp on the main University building in Gdynia to the sound of Dąbrowski's Mazurek in memory of the same act carried out on the building of the Maritime School in Tczew in 1920.

Employees, students, and alumni gathered to watch in the square in front of the University. The Gdynia Maritime University's standard was paraded ceremonially by the GMU's Guard of Honour, accompanied by the Maritime Orchestra of the Border Guard Unit. The Orchestra performed the national anthem during the raising of the Polish Merchant Navy's flag. 


Following the raising of the flag, the celebrations moved to the  Redemptorist Church in Gdynia at 8:30, where holy mass was said in the intentions of the University's staff, students, doctoral candidates, and alumni. The mass was assured an atmosphere of solemnity by the Gdynia Maritime University Academic Choir and the Guard of Honour.


Following mass, the celebrations returned to GMU, where they continued in the T. Meissner hall in the University's main building. Here at 11:00 am, the Ceremonial Opening of the GMU Senatorial Sitting took place and was attended by the members of the Senate, representatives of the University Council, as well as invited guests. The ceremony was broadcast online and an air of celebration was added to the proceedings by a performance by the Academic Choir. 

Rector Professor Adam Weintrit took to the floor to give a speech for the occasion. During this speech, Professor Weintrit recalled important events in the life of the University during the past year, including awards given to the University, conferences organised by the University, structural and organisational changes, including the establishment of new study programmes specialising in offshore wind energy, the Executive Offshore Wind MBA and postgraduate studies in “Risk Management in the Offshore Extraction and Offshore Wind Energy Industries”, signed contracts, agreements, and letters of intent with the most important offshore enterprises in Poland.

The Rector recalled the creation of new organisational units and opening of new laboratories and workshops, including the establishment of the Offshore Wind Energy Centre, the Maritime Cyber Security Centre, and the Sports and Recreation Centre.

At the end of his speech, HM Rector of GMU addressed the staff members of each of the university’s faculties, thanking them for their involvement and enormous effort in their work.  

-Independently of we are assessed in the ongoing evaluations, I would like to thank all faculties for the huge amount of work they’ve put in and the efforts made for our University to compete with the very best.

Gdynia Maritime University staff were presented with gold, silver and bronze medals for long service awarded by the President of Poland Andrzej Duda.  The awards were presented by Marek Gróbarczyk, the secretary of state and government plenipotentiary for water management and investment in the maritime and water economy in the Ministry of Infrastructure and HM Rector Professor Adam Weintrit.

Gold Medals for Long Service were awarded to:

  1. Piotr Borawski
  2. Krystyna Chodnicka
  3. Wiesław Citko, PhD(Eng)
  4. Andrzej Januszewski, MSc(Eng)
  5. Mariola Jastrzębska, DSc(Eng), Associate Professor
  6. Andrzej Kasprowicz, PhD(Eng)
  7. Hanna Miller, MSc(Eng)
  8. Ryszard Pomeranek, MSc(Eng)
  9. Piotr Sikora     

Silver Medals for Long Service were awarded to:

  1. Andrzej Bomba, MSc
  2. Beata Borkowska, PhD(Eng)
  3. Anna Platta, PhD(Eng)
  4. Katarzyna Skrzeszewska, PhD

Bronze Medals for Long Service were awarded to:

  1. Kalina Detka, PhD(Eng)
  2. Rafał Kołakowski, PhD(Eng)
  3. Agnieszka Lazarowska, PhD(Eng)
  4. Anna Miller, PhD(Eng)
  5. Przemysław Ptak, DSc(Eng), Associate Professor
  6. Monika Rybczak, PhD(Eng)
  7. Agata Skwarek, PhD(Eng), Associate Professor

The Rector also presented a further three special awards in different categories. 

The "Ulisses Award" - awarded for the first time in 2019 by the Nautical Institute, was awarded to Captain Sczepan Kowalewski.

A special award for services to Gdynia Maritime University was awarded to the director of the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management of the National Research Institute,  Janusz Karp.

An award entitled "Conqueror of the Seas and Oceans" was given to one of the commanders of the "Dar Młodzieży", Artur Król.



The latter part of the ceremony included the conferral on Professor Mirosław Jurdziński, PhD(Eng), Master Mariner, the title of Honorary Doctor of Gdynia Maritime University. The ceremony was accompanied by performances from the GMU Academic Choir.

A speech was given by HM Rector Professor Adam Weintrit,  who spoke of the reasons for awarding the prestigious title of Doctor Honoris Causa to Professor Jurdziński. 

The Rector confirmed the support of three other universities for the award of the Honorary Doctorate: the Polish Naval Academy in Gdynia, Szczecin Maritime Academy, and the Gdansk University of Technology. The scientific and professional achievements of Professor Jurdziński were reviewed by Professor  Andrzej Zdzisław Felski, DSc(Eng) of the Polish Naval Academy; Professor   Stanisław Gucma, DSc(Eng), Master Mariner of Szczecin Maritime Academy, Professor Cezary Specht, DSc(Eng) of Gdynia Maritime University, and Roman Śmierzchalski of Gdansk University of Technology.

The laudation was delivered by Professor Piotr Jędrzejowicz, DSc:

- The title of Honorary Doctor is the greatest academic honour, awarded to prominent individuals for their meritorious service to the progress of science, culture, the economy, education, or society. This special distinction is given to persons of unquestionable authority and moral standing. Those honoured by the title of honorary doctor have the desire and strength to change the world around them; to make the world a better, richer, more interesting and valuable place. Without a doubt, one of these people is Professor Mirosław Jurdziński.

In summary of the laudation in which he described the life and scientific research activity of Professor Jurdziński, Professor Jędrzejowicz said:

- Professor Jurdziński is an institution, an extraordinary person, a phenomenal scientist and teacher. It is hard to find sufficient words of praise for the scientific work and professional and educational achievement of Professor Jurdziński because all that he has done does not fit into the tightly constructed frame of words and their associated meanings. After all, all of us here gathered today know and feel that we stand before the impressive achievements of a great man whose by his work has contributed more than many to the knowledge of the sea and maritime education in Poland and around the world.

After thanking Professor Jurdziński for his outstanding contribution to the development of the University, the Polish school of Navigation and Polish maritime education, Professor Jędrzejowicz handed the floor over to HM Rector of GMU, who read the act of the conferral of the title of Honorary Doctor of GMU.

The conferral of the title was followed by a lecture on the occasion by Professor Jurdziński. The host of the ceremony, Aleksander Gosk, informed those in attendance of letters of congratulations received in connection with the occasion, and also read letters received from the Marshal of the Sejm, Elżbieta Witek and the Minister for Education and Science, Przemysław Czarnek.

Also invited to take to the floor was the Rector of the Maritime Academy in Szczecin Wojciech Ślączka, DSc(Eng), Master Marine, Associate Professor, who noted that Professor Mirosław Jurdziński took his first steps at the Sczcecin Academy, before presenting Professor Jurdziński with a laudation and a picture to mark the occasion.

Minister and GMU alumni Marek Gróbarczyk also paid tribute to Professor Jurdziński and thank him for his inspiring lecture as well as his contribution to maritime education.

- I would like to thank you Professor for your lecture, for all that you have contributed to maritime education, and youth development, and, above all, for your contribution to the development of our country, which is of special importance, particularly since much of what you created was during the post-war years when finding the way forward was of utmost difficulty. (…)I’d like to ask that you stay with us always, stay at the University and continue to teach and inspire us with your knowledge of navigation – the pearl of the maritime world. Thank you.  

Also addressing the room and Professor Jurdziński was Mayor of Gdynia Dr Wojciech Szczurek:

- The history of Gdynia, and especially the history of people connected with this University, is an extraordinary story. The sea has always had more to offer than a test of character, it is also a place that has attracted extraordinary people, people with passions, people of bravery and determination, who dared to change the world. Professor Jurdziński is undoubtedly such a person. I believe that not only his outstanding academic and research achievements, but also his extraordinary openness, warmth, kindness and understanding for all those with whom he has come into contact, is something all of you have had the opportunity to get to know, not only today but also over the years of his work. On behalf of all the residents of our city, I would like to extend my respect and gratitude for your achievements, which have contributed to the history of the Maritime University, an important part of maritime Poland and an important institution in the life of our city. I would like to thank you for your work, for your smile, for your warmth, and for everything you have done for the education of generations of maritime personnel in Poland. Professor, Gdynia honours your achievements, charm and character!

The conferral ceremony came to a close following the uncovering of the plaque with the names of the Honorary Doctors of Gdynia Maritime University in the main University hall.

During the latter part of the celebration, HM Rector of GMU presented further awards. Conductor of the GMU Academic Choir Karol Hill received an award for 20 years of activity of the GMU academic choir, and an award for promoting maritime traditions in print was awarded to Małgorzata Sokołwska and Joanna Stasiak.


The final item on the itinerary for the 102nd Anniversary of Maritime Education in Poland was the marking of the 40th anniversary of the training sail ship "Dar Młodzieży", which began with the showing of a video recorded during the "Dar Młodzieży" open days in Gdynia on 28-29th May.

The Director of the Ship Management Office,  Bogumił Łączyński, PhD(Eng), Associate Professor summarized the results of the "Memories of Work Experience Onboard the Dar Młodzieży", before announcing the names of the winners of the competition. The winners were presented with awards by the Rector. Filip Sularczyk and Yurii Slesarenko, and Anastazja Łuczak received first place in the category of "Film", and Piotr Świderski received first place in the category of "Text”.

There was also live coverage from the “Dar Młodzieży”, en route to Kiel in Germany from Rouen, with Ship Captain Rafał Szymański greeting all those participating in the ceremony and extending his congratulations to Professor Jurdziński. 

In the name of a generation of navigators, I'd like to thank you for your hard work in education, your scientific activity and your undoutable contribution to the achievements of our University. 

Captain Rafał Szymański also referred to the 40th anniversary of the "Dar Młodzieży":

- 40 years ago, on the 4th July, the flag was raised for the first time on the "Dar Młodzieży”. Throughout those 40 years, the "Dar” has faithfully served our University. It has been the place of training of thousands of students and hundreds of crew members have graced its decks.These 40 years are a true piece of history and a great achievement. 

The 40th anniversary of the “Dar Mlodzieży” was also marked with the launch of a book prepared specially for the occasion.  The godmother of the book – a collection of essays on the sailing ship - was Joanna Stasiak.

In reference to the publication, ceremony host Aleksander Gosk recalled a book dedicated to Honorary Doctor Professor Mirosław Jurdziński, entitled  “Professor Master Mariner”.

The day's events were then summed up by HM Rector of GMU, who named the three main characters of the day as the “Dar Młodzieży” on its 40th anniversary, Honorary Doctor Professor Mirosław Jurdziński, and the University, including all of its staff.


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GMU/Gdynia Maritime University

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