May 17th, the academic community of Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) celebrated the birthday of Prof. Michał Pius Römer, one of the idealogues of the Lithuanian Independence Movement, father of Lithuania's Constitutional Law and scholar. MRU community members lit commemorative candles on the grave of Prof. Michał Pius Römer in Rasų Cemetery. A minute of silence was observed for this scholar and important personality of Lithuania. MRU lecturers, students and alumni gathered with citizens from Rokiškis to the “Celebration of Scientific Thought“ that was held in Bagdoniškis Manor (near Rokiškis), which is the birthplace of Prof. Römer.
Prof. Römer Admirers Say He Continues to Be Relevant Today
MRU Rector Prof. Inga Žalėnienė welcomed participants of the Celebration and noted the importance of Prof. Römer‘s (1880-1945) research legacy for the University, for Lithuania and the entire academic community in Europe. She said his legacy only grows stronger with time.
“Professor Römer's lessons of citizenship, love for his country – Lithuania and democracy are lessons from which we can learn today and which are becoming even more relevant,” said Rector Prof. Žalėnienė.
She noted that Prof. Römer often examined students in the garden of Bagdoniškis Manor. All those gathered at the Celebration could consider themselves students of this professor, she added. According to the Rector, the thoughts of the Father of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law, the principles of a legal democratic state fostered by him, the pursuit of a harmonious coexistence and mutual understanding between neighboring nations, the broad horizons of a true European are the foundations on which Mykolas Romeris University was created and established.
“Today, I am sure that I could tell Prof. Römer that we - the community of Mykolas Romeris University, are well prepared to pass your exam,” said Rector Prof. Žalėnienė.
We, the followers of Prof. Römer, overcame the challenges of establishing a University and survived the trials of geopolitical tensions. We grew and we became stronger. We entered the wide sphere of the international academic community.
Today, we firmly stand shoulder to shoulder with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters and together we defend their "front" of academic freedom. We help, if possible, all Ukrainian Freedom Defenders and their families as much as we can. We continue to study Prof. Römer's legal thought. We learn from his works how to defend state sovereignty, human and citizen rights and freedoms in international courts and various international forums," said Rector Prof. Žalėnienė.
Rokiškis District Mayor Ramūnas Godeliauskas also welcomed those gathered at the event.
During Ukraine's Year of Freedom - Awards to Academics for Aid to Ukraine and to Students for Excellent Research Articles
MRU Senate Chairman Prof. Romas Prakapas reminded those at the event that this Year was declared by Resolution of the Univesity Senate as Ukraine's Freedom Year. Two MRU academics have been awarded Senate Honour Badges for aid to Ukraine. They include: Assoc. Prof. Alvydas Medalinskas and MRU Public Security Academy Prof. and Head of MRU's Business Innovation LAB Prof. Žaneta Simanavičienė. More info here.
Special commemorative "Celebration of Scientific Thought" diplomas were awarded to students for excellent research articles. They included students from MRU's Law School, Faculty of Human and Social Studies, Faculty of Public Governance and Business and the Public Security Academy.
The full list of students who received the special awards for their excellent research is here
During the event, Rokiškis Juozas Tumas Vaižgantas high school students read excerpts from the diaries of Prof. Römer. MRU Law School Prof. Dr. Ieva Deviatnikovaitė presented a report on Prof. Römer's life and activities. Later, it was possible to participate in a quiz conducted by Prof. Deviatnikovaitė with MRU Assoc. Prof. Gintaras Šapoka.
MRU's POP Vocal Group headed by Artūras Novikas performed at the event along with violinists' from the Rokiškis Music School.
MC's of the Celebration of Scientific Thought were: MRU Law School Assoc. Prof. Dr. Juozas Valčiukas and Prof. Dr. Eglė Bilevičiūtė.
The event was organized in conjunction with the Rokiškis District Municipality, educational and cultural institutions.
Lithuanian LRT "Panorama" 3-minute news broadcast about the event (in Lithuanian) here.