Academy Ceremony Marking the Twentieth Anniversary of the University of Nova Gorica

Oct. 16, 2015

The University of Nova Gorica shall remain a small, but different university with a strong research and international orientation

The central academy ceremony marking the twentieth anniversary of the University of Nova Gorica was held on Thursday, 15th October 2015, at the Zemono Mansion near Vipava. “The founding of the University of Nova Gorica dates back to 1994, when the management of the Institute Jožef Stefan were reflecting upon the future of the institution and wished to transform the largest Slovenian institute into the University of Technology, which would, upon following the model of the highly renowned American institute MIT, be named SIT (Slovenian Institue of Technology). As you can see, we missed our goal. Today, there is no University of in Slovenia, but we do have the University of Nova Gorica instead.” These were the introductory words of the speech held by the Rector of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik. In its twenty years’ period of its existence only, the University of Nova Gorica developed into a young and vital university with a strong research and international orientation, having seven schools, six research laboratories and six research centres.

“What makes the University of Nova Gorica different from other higher education institutions in Slovenia and in the wider area? One of the differences is definitely the status of a private, that is, non-state university, which enables us greater flexibility and more dynamics in following our mission. The second reason is the fact that we are not a result of a political project. The University of Nova Gorica was founded, formed and developed rather by individuals, employees, associates and students. Therefore, we all, including our students, feel strong affiliation to our university, we consider it to be a part of us and are thus ready to devote a part of us to it,” Prof. Dr. Zavrtanik stressed in his speech.

In line with its strategic mission, the University of Nova Gorica shall remain a small, but different university with a strong research and international orientation, offering affordable high-quality education to everybody. This very fact shall require new approaches, also in terms of the organisation, possibly also changes in the ownership and its founding members. It is only in this manner that the university can secure its existence in the international environment and can further contribute to the diversity in the Slovenian higher education area.

In the final part of his speech, the Rector of the University of Nova Gorica expressed his gratitude to everybody who has contributed to the successful development of the university, to its employees, associates and particularly students, who trusted us and shared pleasant as well as tough moments with us.

At the academy ceremony, the President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor bestowed a State Award upon the University of Nova Gorica for its extremely successful development and its achievements which have enriched the Slovenian higher education area. At the event, the University of Nova Gorica awarded two Doctor Honoris Causa Awards, two Honorary Member of the University of Nova Gorica Awards, the Professor Emeritus of the University of Nova Gorica Award, and the Golden Plate Award of the University of Nova Gorica.

On this occasion, Matej Arčon, the Mayor of the City Municipality of Nova Gorica, and Črtomir Špacapan, the former Mayor of the City Municipality of Nova Gorica in the period of establishment of the School of Environmental Sciences, the predecessor of the Nova Gorica Polytechnic, also congratualted to the University of Nova Gorica.

The Doctor Honoris Causa Award was bestowed upon one of the greatest authors of illustrated books, comics and TV cartoons, Miki Muster for his artistic achievements which have enriched the Slovenian world of art.

The Doctor Honoris Causa Award was also bestowed upon Prof. Dr. Gerald Schatten, Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of Pittsburgh, and President of the International Cell Research Organization (ICRO), a UNESCO Affiliated NGO, for his outstanding scientific and professional achievements in the field of developmental and regenerative medicine.

The Golden Plate Award of the University of Nova Gorica was bestowed upon the first Provost of the University of Nova Gorica Prof. Dr. Boštjan Žekš, for his important merits concerning the development, reputation and great acclaim of the University of Nova Gorica in Slovenia and abroad.

The Honorary Member of the University of Nova Gorica Awards were bestowed upon internationally-renowned scientist in the field of food processing, food chemistry and nutrigenomics, Prof. Dr. Urška Vrhovšek, for her outstanding contribution to the development of the scientific excellence at the University of Nova Gorica in the fields of viticulture and enology; and to Prof. Dr. Chieu D. Tran, Pfletschinger-Habermann Professor at Marquette University (Milwaukee, USA), for his extraordinary contribution to the development of the scientific excellence at the University of Nova Gorica in the fields of analytical chemistry.

The Profesor Emeritus of the University of Nova Gorica Award was bestowed upon one of the most renowned and successful Slovenian historians, Prof. Dr. Stane Granda, for his remarkable contribution to the development of the scientific activities and his outstanding work in the fields of teaching and mentoring.

We sincerely congratulate to all award recipients.

The history of the University of Nova Gorica from the year 1995 to the present day is also available at: “http://www.ung.si/en/about/history/”

More photos available at: “https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1247085635317470.1073742009.696092123750160&type=3”

Andreja Leban, Public Relations

President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor and Rector of the University of Nova Gorica Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik. Photo: Miha Godec
Profesor Emeritus of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Stane Granda. Photo: Miha Godec
Honorary Member of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Urška Vrhovšek. Photo: Miha Godec
Honorary Member of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Chieu D. Tran. Photo: Miha Godec
Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Nova Gorica, Miki Muster, Photo: Miha Godec
Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Gerald P. Schatten. Photo: Miha Godec
Golden Plate Award of the University of Nova Goric, Prof. Dr. Boštjan Žekš. Photo: Miha Godec
Academy Ceremony Marking the Twentieth Anniversary of the University of Nova Gorica.
Academy Ceremony Marking the Twentieth Anniversary of the University of Nova Gorica.
Academy Ceremony Marking the Twentieth Anniversary of the University of Nova Gorica.