GMU Inaugurates 103rd Academic Year
The new academic year officially got underway at Gdynia Maritime University this Saturday, 8th October with an official inauguration ceremony onboard the Dar Młodzieży in Gdynia.
The official opening of the 2022/2023 academic year was the 103rd in the history of the Maritime University. The University's newest students were welcomed in an authentically maritime atmosphere - with the ceremony taking place in front of the training sail ship "Dar Młodzieży" in Gdynia - the home of the Maritime University since 1930. The University's history of educating maritime personnel reaches back more than 100 years.
Saturday's ceremony at the Pomeranian Quay was preceded by a Holy Mass at the Redemptorist church in Gdynia, offered for the intentions of the staff, students, doctoral candidates and alumni of the University. The Mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of Gdansk Piotr Przyborek and the Pastor of the People of the Sea, Dr Edward Pracz.
Gathered in front of the "Dar Młodzieży" were members of the University's academic community – students, doctoral candidates, lecturers, and members of staff – but also representatives of national and regional government authorities, the rectors of other institutions of higher education, representatives of companies connected with the maritime industry, GMU partner associations, as well as alumni and associates of the University, local residents and tourists.
The inauguration ceremony began with the maritime tradition of breaking 6 "glasses" onboard the ship. This ancient tradition dates back to when the passing of time was marked by the flowing of sand in an hourglass - from where it takes its name. The passing of time in more recent times is marked by the ship's bell, as it was during Saturday's event. A single toll of the bell marks the passing of 30 minutes between the hours of 8:00 and 16:00.
This was not the only maritime tradition incorporated into the ceremony. When boarding the ship, the University's honourable guests were welcomed by a boatswain's trap whistle - a tradition which welcomes and marks the departure of notable guests from a ship.
After the breaking of the "glasses" at 11:00 am, the Gdynia Maritime University banner was introduced in the company of the Border Guard Unit of the Maritime Orchestra and the Gdynia Maritime University Guard of honour. The Polish flag was raised on the mast during a rendition of the national anthem.
HM Rector Professor Adam Weintrit then welcomed all students, doctoral candidates, staff, and guests of the University, following which letters of congratulations were read from:
- President of Poland – Andrzej Duda,
- Marshall of the Polish Sejm – Elżbieta Witek,
- Marshall of the Polish Senate – Professor Tomasz Grodzki,
- Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
HM the Rector, then gave a speech on the occasion of the inauguration, in which he addressed this year's new students more than once, with words such as:
"We stand here today at the Pomeranian Quay in Gdynia, a place that is born of dreams and the sea. It is here that during the next few years, you will develop knowledge, gain experience, improve your skills, and build friendships.
Gdynia Maritime University will be your second home, your window to the world - and for those who have chosen maritime programmes of study - your window to the sea. Our four Faculties are opening their doors to you: Electrical Engineering, Navigation, Mechanical Engineering, and Management and Quality Science. And for doctoral candidates, the doors of the Doctoral School.
Grasp the knowledge offered to you enthusiastically with both hands. Be inquisitive, ask questions, and search for answers and solutions together with your colleagues and professors. Create new projects and strategies, and be creative and confident in yourself and your own value.
Standing here today, you already have reason to be proud and to feel special. For today, you are joining the academic community of an elite university, a world-class educational institute. A university with rich maritime traditions, where we proudly wear the uniform and where we honour the Polish flag.”
HM the Rector also spoke of the history, successes and plans for the development of the University. He spoke of new study programmes, new investments, and newly established organisational units - centres, workshops, and laboratories. He referred to the University's areas of cooperation with business, the scientific community and international organisations.
The Rector then concluded his speech as per tradition with the following words in Latin.
“Quod Bonum Felix Faustum Fortunatumque sit!
I wish you all a happy, propitious, and successful
academic year 2022/2023!
Vivat Academia, vivant Professores!
I declare the 2020/2021 academic year open!
The opening of the new academic year was also signalled by a lengthy siren from the "Dar Młodzieży". Following the Rector's speech, the Gdynia Maritime University Academic Choir, conducted by Dr Karol Hilla, performed the "Maritime School Anthem" by Tczew Maritime School graduate Michała Hłaski.
The anthem was followed by the swearing of the oath. The oath was sworn by those students that gained the most points during admissions on behalf of all new University students:
- Sebastian Skwarczyński (Faculty of Navigation),
- Wiktor Reiter (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering),
- Jakub Michniewicz (Faculty of Electrical Engineering) and
- Jakub Złoch (Faculty of Management and Quality Science).
The names of all students were read out by Deputy Rector for Student Affairs, Dr Mirosław Czechowski. At this point in the ceremony, the students swore the oath before the University banner, repeating the following
"Aware of my responsibilities as a student of the Gdynia Maritime University,
I do solemnly swear that for the good of my country I shall endeavour to gain lasting knowledge and skills, uphold the dignity of students and the good name of Gdynia Maritime University,
respect the University staff, abide by the rules of collegiate coexistence,
and be a righteous and honest human being.
"I do solely swear to protect the honour of the Polish flag and to remain faithful to it.”
The swearing of the oath was followed by a rendition of the hymn Gaudeamus Igitur by the GMU Academic choir, after which there was the matriculation of the representatives of each Faculty:
- Franciszek Paciuszkiewicz and Patrycja Wiernik (Faculty of Electrical Engineering),
- Bartosz Lubecki and Bartłomiej Rawski (Faculty of Marine Engineering),
- Martyna Neumann and Zofia Flis (Faculty of Navigation),
- Wiktoria Burda and Jakub Pepliński (Faculty of Management and Quality Science),
- Katarzyna Kłopotek (doctoral candidates' representative).
The representatives were then by HM Rector on board the "Dar Młodzieży" using the Rector's mace. The newly matriculated students were then addressed in a speech by Jakub Strzelczyk, the acting Chair of the Student Parliament and a 3rd-year student in the Faculty of Marine Engineering.
The matriculation ceremony was accompanied by the hymn GaudeMater Polonia, performed by the GMU Academic Choir.
A letter of congratulations on the occasion of the inauguration was then read from the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Marek Gróbarczyk.
The Inauguration ceremony also provided an occasion for the presentation of the Minister of Infrastructure Awards. Rector Adam Weintrit presented the awards to:
- Professor Tomasz Zdzisław Tarasiuk – for his scientific achievements to date;
- Professor Andrzej Grzegorz Miszczak – for considerable organisational achievements;
- Professor Lech Ireneusz Murawski – for considerable achievements in science.
After the presentation of the awards, a further letter of congratulations was read from the Minster of Education and Science, Przemysław Czarnek.
The event was also an opportunity to present exceptional young scientists with scholarships from the Minister of Education and Science. These were awarded to.
- Dr Agnieszka Lazarowska,
- Dr Paweł Szymon Dąbrowski,
- Dr Mariusz Mateusz Specht.
In the final part of the inauguration, the ceremony's conductor Aleksander Gosk gave the floor to the Chair of the University Council and Head of Gdynia City Council, Joanna Zienlińska, who read a letter from the Major of Gdynia, Dr Wojciech Szczurek, before shortly addressing the students in her own words. Also taking to the floor were Jerzy Woźnicki, the Head of the Committee for Strategic Higher Education Matters of the Foundation of Polish Rectors, the Rector of Hochschule Bremerhaven, Professor Alexis Papathanassis, and Honorary Doctor of GMU, Captain Zbigniew Sulatycki
The inauguration ceremony came to a close with a performance of the Hymn to the Baltic and the exit parade of the Gdynia Maritime University banner accompanied by the Polish Navy orchestra and the Gdynia Maritime University guard of honour.