The fall semester has started with a lot of excitement at University of Pécs (PTE), as the university celebrated its 650th jubilee this year*. According to jubileum.pte.hu, the first university in Hungary was founded in Pécs by Louis the Great in 1367. The university has always taken pride in its long history. In 2017, University of Pécs has 10 faculties and offers a variety of BA, MA and PhD programmes to both Hungarian and international students.
The ceremony for the 650th anniversary of the foundation of Hungary’s first university was held between 31 August and 2 September. The three-day-long celebration offered all kinds of activities to the visitors. The first day (31 August) was dedicated to the cultural events. The Magna Charta Observatory’s 29th anniversary was celebrated, an exhibition about the history of University of Pécs could be visited and a ceremonial concert was held at Dome square.
On the second day (1 September), the ceremony for the Day of Hungarian Higher-Education was held at Kodály centre. Besides József Bódis (Rector of University of Pécs) and Zsolt Páva (Mayor of Pécs), the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán also gave a ceremonial speech for the special occasion. In honour of the event, a high mass was organised at the Cathedral, and the day closed with the Pannon Philharmonic’s concert.
The third day was the Jubilee 650 PTE Day (2 September), when students, teachers and other visitors celebrated the university together at Pécs’s central spot: Széchenyi square. At the open-air event, people could choose from a wide variety of activities. Visitors could watch the different dance, sport and musical groups from the university perform on stage.
Those in need of a more physical activity, could join the students’ march across the city.
One of the most anticipated events was the Halott Pénz concert which put an end to the three-day festival. Halott Pénz is a Hungarian musical band with seven members: Dávid Marsalkó (singer/composer), Márk Járai (singer), Gábor Boros (DJ Venom), Barnabás Prifer (guitar and vocal), Samu Papp (keyboardist), Tamás Péter (bass) and Mátyás Varga (drum). People were agitated about the concert, because all seven members are from Pécs and six of them are former students of PTE. Pécs is proud to have such a successful band associated with its name, and residents are always excited when the band is in town.
On the whole, the three-day-long celebration was a great success, and University of Pécs is ready to start the next 650 years of its operation.
*Editorial note: it should be mentioned that there is a huge time gap between the founding of the first university in Pécs and the operation of the current University of Pécs, between the 15th and the 18th century, so the institution – in a legal continuity – is around 250 years old at most. Still, “the spirit of the academia” in the city can be rightly celebrated.
Translated by Kitti Erdő-Bonyár
Featured image: Wiki Commons CC BY-SA 3.0