University Celebrates 103rd Anniversary of Maritime Education Education in Poland

Gdynia Maritime University celebrated the 103rd anniversary of Maritime Education education in Poland today, 16th June 2023

The June Gdynia Maritime University Celebration Day marks events that took place more than 100 years ago, when General Józef Leśniewski signed an order on 17th June 1920 to establish a Maritime School in Tczew. It is with these events that the history of Gdynia Maritime University, the successor of 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 8:00am 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.

GMU staff, the Senate, students and graduates all gathered in the square in front of the main University building. The Gdynia Maritime University banner was ceremonially introduced by the GMU Guard of Honour, accompanied by the Border Guard Unit's Maritime Orchestra. During the raising of the Polish Navy's flag, the orchestra played the National Anthem.


The next item in the order of events was the unveiling of a plaque attributing the name Captain Stanisław Kosko to a square on the main University campus.

Stanisław Kosko was the last director of Gdynia State Maritime School before the Second World War. He died on 8th September 1939 from injuries sustained during the bombardment of the ORP Gdynia, which was under his command.

The plaque was unveiled by the current and previous Rectors of Gdynia Maritime University, Professor Adam Weintrit, Professor Piotr Jędrzejowicz, Professor Józef Lisowski, Professor Piotr Przybyłowski and Professor Janusz Zarębski.


A traditional part of the University's June celebration is a solemn Mass celebrated for the intentions of the staff, students, doctoral candidates and graduates of the University at 9:00am at the Redemptorist Church in Gdynia. An air of solemnity was provided for the occasion by the GMU Choir and Guard of Honour.


At 11:00am, the celebration of the 103rd anniversary of Maritime Education moved to the T. Meissner auditorium, the main hall in the central building of the University. 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 invited guests. The Ceremony was accompanied by performances of the GMU Academic Choir.

Rector Professor Adam Weintrit gave a speech for the occasion, recalling the most important events in the life of the University during the past year, including investment projects, such as the Centre for the Offshore Industry in Gdansk, the new Sports and Recreation Centre currently undergoing construction on the main campus.

The Rector spoke of the extensive degree programmes offered by the University and proudly summarised the scientific successes of the University's staff.

Professor Adam Weintrit also informed those present of the decision of the University Senate in May to initiate proceedings for the award of the title of Doctor honoris causa to Professor Bradford Parkinson of Stanford University, the creator of GPS. HM The Rector of GMU also announced the news that the late Professor Bogumił Łaczynski will be posthumously awarded the title of Doctor honoris causa of Odessa Maritime Academy.

He also mentioned recent events, including the voyage across the equator of the "Dar Młodzieży" and the expedition of the Horyzont II" which reached Spitsbergen just a few days ago. 

The speech was an occasion for the Rector to announce the appointment of captain Dariusz Jellonnek to the position of Director of the Ship Management Office. 

In closing, HM The Rector Professor Adam Weintrit addressed the University's Faculties and the Maritime Institute, thanking them for their commitment to the University's development.

A speech was also given by the Deputy Secretary of State in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Grzegorz Witkowski. Minister Witkowski thanked the University for his invitation to University Celebration Day:

"Participation in this event is an extraordinary privilege and honour for me as a representative of the Polish Government. At the Ministry of Infrastructure, we are continually committed to the further development of the University and the strengthening of its position as a renowned academic centre for training future personnel, who represent a valuable potential for the Polish maritime economy.”

The Minister positively assessed the past academic year, and in particular the dynamic development of the University's infrastructure: 

"Since 1920, Gdynia Maritime University has developed a rich history marked by spectacular achievements, including its voyages around the world (the recent Independence Sail), participating in peace missions, or the discovery of shipping lanes. The University occupies one of the top spots in the rankings of the world's maritime universities, providing the highest level of education based on close cooperation with numerous centres of higher education in Europe and around the world."

He concluded by extending his congratulations and expressing gratitude to the Rector and the entire research and teaching staff for their dedication and commitment to the achievement of the University's goals and innovative approach to meeting the needs of the University's students.


During the open sitting of the Senate, a letter of intent was signed on cooperation between Gdynia Maritime University and the Maritime Search and Rescue Service. The document was signed by the Rector of the Gdynia Maritime University, Professor Adam Weintrit, and the Director of the Maritime Search and Rescue Service, Sebastian Kluska.

As part of the agreement, the two Parties declared their cooperation in the implementation of joint scientific research projects in the field of marine rescue, as well as cooperation in the publication of articles and releases presenting the results of joint research and development projects.

Following the signing of the agreement, Director Sebastian Kluska spoke of his hope for successful cooperation in marine rescue between the University and the S&R Service.

 As part of the ceremony, Gdynia Maritime University staff were presented with medals, awards and distinctions.

His Magnificence, Rector Professor Adam Weintrit, awarded the decorations "Meritorious Service to Maritime Education", "Meritorious Service to Gdynia Maritime University", and "Meritorious Worker of Gdynia Maritime University" to those who contributed to the development of the Gdynia Maritime University and maritime education.

He also presented "Żagle Nauki" Scientific and Academic awards to academic teachers for their exceptional achievements and recognition in the scientific community or in industry.  

The next item of the ceremony was the presentation by the Rector of certificates in recognition of the best scientific monograph and the highest-scoring article published in 2022.

The Academic Choir of the Gdynia Maritime University, under the baton of Dr Karol Hilla, performed the piece "In Trutina" from the third part of the cantata of Carmin Burana.

This performance was followed by the presentation of Rector's awards to the University teaching and non-teaching staff, and in the break, a performance of the famous Liverpool F.C. anthem, "You'll Never Walk Alone" for which the Rector personally thanked the conductor, Dr Karol Hilla.

The Rector honoured with awards members of staff on the occasion of the 50th anniversary and 45th anniversary of their employment at the University.

The Rector also presented a GMU student with a special distinction. Kamel Miarowski, a student of the Faculty of Navigation, and winner of the "Mam Talent" competition organised by the GMU Student Parliament was presented with a certificate confirming him as the "Gdynia Maritime University Musical Discovery of 2022”.

The ceremonial sitting of the Senate also provided an opportunity for the presentation of the Captain Danuta Kobylińska-Walas Award (the first female Polish Merchant Navy captain) "Women in Maritime" medal on behalf of Andrzej Królikowski. The award was presented to Magdalena Wołowiec, Director of the Rector's Office by the Master Mariners Association for her service to the maritime economy.

The ceremony came to a close with a performance of the "Hymn of the Maritime School" by the GMU Academic Choir and the retreat of the University banner. The Rector thanked all present for taking part in celebrations of the 103rd anniversary of the establishment of Maritime Education in Poland.

Photos by GMU/Cezary Spigarski

Providing entity: 

GMU/Gdynia Maritime University

Generated information: