Prof. Kennedy to the Class 2017: “Don’t forget the solidarity and hospitality you have enjoyed at EHU”p]

Prof. Kennedy to the Class 2017: “Don’t forget the solidarity and hospitality you have enjoyed at EHU”

On July 7 the European Humanities University (EHU) Graduation ceremony took place in St. Catherine’s Church in Vilnius. This year EHU bestowed 171 Bachelor’s and Master’s diplomas. Hence the overall amount of the EHU graduates since University’s re-establishment in Vilnius reached the benchmark of the 2124, mostly Belarusian, alumni.

For two consecutive years EHU Graduation ceremony is hosted at the St. Catherine’s Church. This sacred place perfectly reflects the dignity of this occasion: here, in the Old Town of Vilnius, the Belarusian intellectual thought and tradition has sprouted giving way to the present achievements of EHU graduates.

The Head of the European Commission Representation in Lithuania Arnoldas Pranckevičius delivered a welcoming address to the EHU Class 2017: “Being EHU’s largest donor, European Commission has always seen it as a very meaningful investment in academic freedom and individual liberty. In today’s world of doubt and sometimes alternative facts, more than ever critical thinking and rational mind become important. We – the free citizens of our free societies – can not afford remaining silent. We have to take public positions, we have to be civically active, we have to be responsible citizens of our countries, our European and world community. This is the biggest gift that EHU has given to you”.

Dr. Žygimantas Pavilionis spoke on behalf of “EHU Seimas friends” and assured EHU community, that they have reliable friends in Vilnius who will always assist EHU in the implementation of its mission. Additionally, every EHU graduate received a written congratulation from the President of the Washington DC-based “Friends of EHU” Robert Nurick.

Maksim Tsarou of the “Cultural Heritage and Tourism” program was recognized as the the Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student of the Class 2017.  Kseniya Shtalenkova of the “Cultural Studies” program was chosen as the Most Outstanding Graduate Student of the Class 2017. Kseniya is widely known for her outstanding literary achievements, she’s also a faculty member of the EHU Foundation Year.

Prof. Michael Kennedy of the Brown University, who also served as the EHU Governing Board member addressed the EHU Class 2017 with a keynote speech. In his speech Prof. Kennedy noted: “In this year you graduate, EHU is approaching 25 years of its existence, with over the half of that time being here in Lithuania, a country which has offered EHU wonderful hospitality, and solidarity alongside other supporters from the European Union and others who appreciate what the EU has become, and still might be. Studying at EHU has demanded more effort, more awareness, more intention, than at most universities. Congratulations on what you have accomplished in this graduation, but more, thank you in anticipation of what you will accomplish. And when you accomplish those things, think back on the solidarity and hospitality you have enjoyed in this university, and anticipate how you might extend those qualities in the future. And I am grateful to have been able to be part of your sendoff”.

During the Ceremony Maryna Dubina was awarded the EHU Distinguished Alumna Award 2017. Maryna received her Bachelor’s degree in International Law at EHU in 2010. She is one of Belarus major environmental and ecological activist. Maryna works as a coordinator of the legal office of the “Green Network’”, as well as director of the Public Association “Ecohome”.

The talented Belarusian pianist Yana Shaptunova has arrived to greet the EHU Class 2017 with classical music pieces by Frédéric Chopin and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

After the Graduation Ceremony EHU Alumni from both Minsk and Vilnius period were invited to an informal Alumni Homecoming at “Paviljonas”. Since EHU’s re-establishment in Vilnius, 2124 students have graduated from the Belarusian University in exile. During the Alumni Homecoming event EHU graduates had a chance to reconnect with their peers and faculty members and recall the studenthood spent in Vilnius and Minsk. EHU is proud that it has become a big and united family, where everyone is ready to help and encourage each other. 

EHU Graduation Ceremony 2017
Duration: 2:38:02
Co-financed by:European Commission