Blood donation, art exhibiton, celebratory mass, annual ball – UP Academic Week kicks off the semester

Illustrative photo: Vojtěch Duda
Thursday 9 February 2023, 14:00 – Text: Egon Havrlant

Palacký University will again launch this year’s summer semester with Academic Week, where its students, employees, as well as the general public will be able to choose from a wide range of events. The oldest Moravian university thus traditionally commemorates its post-war re-instatement in February 1946; however this time, Academic Week events are included in the year-long celebration of the 450th anniversary of the founding of the Olomouc’s university. There will be a week-long volunteer event Donate Blood with the Rector, a cultural programme culminating with the UP Ball, a Holy Mass celebrated by Archbishop of Prague and Primate of the Czech Catholic Church Jan Graubner, a film screening AFOcinema, and a ceremony where the Rector’s Awards will be presented to authors of academic publications.

The twelfth year of Donate Blood with the Rector is the traditional first event of Academic Week and it will be commenced on Monday, 13 February at the Transfusion Department of University Hospital Olomouc. “I am honoured to launch this week-long event because as a doctor I know all too well how vital blood donations are for saving health and lives. During the last year, more than nine hundred donors from among our students and employees came to the Olomouc hospital to donate blood. I firmly believe that this year we’ll be able to surpass the one thousand mark,” said UP Rector Martin Procházka.

The university and its 450th anniversary will be commemorated on Monday evening with a special pub quiz, in which teams consisting of UP students and employees will compete. On Tuesday, at a traditional ceremony, Rector Procházka will award the authors of publications from the academic community and successful students for the best Bachelor’s and Master’s theses, scientific works, and sporting achievements of 2022. Halfway through Academic Week, a regular meeting of the UP Academic Senate will take place, where the senators will symbolically commemorate the anniversary of the university’s reopening.

On Wednesday evening, an exhibition of artworks called “Faces of Palacký” will be commenced including a happening at the UP Arts Centre. Invited artists will create works on the theme of František Palacký in front of the audience. In the evening, a film screening will also take place in the Convictorium, consisting of four short films by students of the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, with the participation of the Academia Film Olomouc festival team.

Two masses will add a spiritual dimension to this year’s Academic Week in the Baroque Church of Our Lady of the Snows, which was built in the 18th century by Jesuits who at that time managed the University of Olomouc. A mass for students is scheduled for Wednesday, while a Holy Mass on Thursday will be celebrated by His Excellency Monsignor Jan Graubner, Archbishop of Prague and Primate of the Czech Catholic Church, who until last year was Archbishop of the Olomouc Archdiocese and the Grand Chancellor of the Sts Cyril and Methodius Theological Faculty of Palacký University.

The week-long programme will culminate in the annual UP Ball, which ranks among the most important social events of this year’s celebration of the 450th anniversary of the second oldest university in the country. “We are very happy that after two Covid years the ball can return to our programme of events. Its participants can look forward to the popular Martin Kumžák Moondance Orchestra, a dance workshop, a light show, plentiful refreshments, and a tombola. The evening at the NH Hotel in Olomouc will be hosted by Natálie Tichánková, a member of the Moravian Theatre Olomouc drama troupe,” said Barbora Plonka Schwarzbachová, head of the University Events Office.

The bells of the Olomouc churches of St Moritz, St Michael, and St Wenceslas will ring out traditionally on 21 February at 3 pm. They will commemorate a crucial event in the history of both the university and the city, when on 21 February 1946, the bells rang out to inform Olomouc citizens that a law had been passed on the re-instatement of the University of Olomouc, thus fulfilling the dream of their predecessors of Olomouc as a university town.

A detailed programme is available on the UP Academic Week website.


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