In his welcoming address, Rector Prof. Sergei Ignatov said: “You are those who will bring the language of the European culture to life. The University has made every effort to help you become flexible and responsive to the challenges of contemporary world. I am confident that the experience of studying at our university will help you understand the causes of the contradictions of the modern world. The cohesion of our community will strengthen your spirit and will help you find like-minded people and support even in the most difficult times”. In addition, Rector Prof. Ignatov encouraged graduates to keep in touch with Alma mater and with each other, and also expressed deep gratitude to the donors, friends and the EHU community for joint work and long-term support.
Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Neris Germanas also addressed congratulations to the community of EHU. He noted the role of EHU in stimulating international dialogue and strengthening communication between Belarusian society and the University. Also, Vice-Minister Germanas emphasized solidarity of the Lithuanian government and the readiness to provide further support to EHU, noting the fact that on its anniversary the University found a new home within the walls of the former Augustinian monastery in the Vilnius Old Town.
The world-renowned political analyst, the author of the bestseller “After Europe” Ivan Krastev gave a keynote address to EHU alumni. Mr. Krastev noted the importance of the role of parents in the academic and professional development of young people, and also wished the graduates not only to feel the changes in the world, but to enjoy them, and also to strive to live in the present without losing past and future. In addition, Ivan Krastev emphasized the special role of European universities in the development of science and the community by the fact that some of them have been operating successfully for more than a thousand years.
During the ceremony, the presentation of distinguished EHU alumni award was traditionally held. This year’s award was given to the alumnus of the Bachelor’s program “International Law” Tsimafei Savitski (Class 2013). In his speech he thanked the University community on behalf of alumni and addressed to the graduates: “Do not think that after graduating from university you finish your studies. We learn the most difficult things after the graduation. EHU gives us an excellent opportunity to learn how to learn, find answers and analyze information”.
The most outstanding students of Class 2018 Uladzislau Pantsevich (Master’s program “Cultural Studies”) and Sophija Savtchouk (Bachelor’s program “Media and Communication”) also gave acceptance speeches to the EHU community.
An excellent accompaniment to the ceremony was the classical compositions by Frederic Chopin and Pyotr Tchaikovsky performed by a talented Belarusian pianist, laureate of international contests Yana Sheptunova.
In the evening of the same day, EHU alumni gathered for the traditional Alumni Homecoming, which took place in the inner courtyard of the new EHU campus. Since EHU’s establishment in Minsk, 2284 students have graduated from the University. During the Alumni Homecoming event more than 150 EHU graduates had a chance to reconnect with their peers and faculty members and recall the studenthood spent in Vilnius and Minsk.