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Klaipėda University Celebrates the Centennial of the Restored State of Lithuania

On the occasion of the Centennial of the Restored State of Lithuania, various festivities will be organised in Klaipėda University which will invite everybody to reflect on the meaning of the past for the present and on the questions of the present to the past: what have the state and the society managed to accomplish over the century and what goals are we setting for the next 100 years?

For the Centenary of Lithuania, the Opening of the Research Labs Complex of the Marine Research Institute

At 2 pm on February 14, the Research Labs Building of the Marine Research Institute, Klaipėda University, will be opened. This is a special event that the University of the only Lithuanian port city dedicates to the commemoration of the Centennial of the Restoration of Lithuania’s Independence. The advanced research infrastructure will enable a qualitative leap of Lithuania as a maritime state in the development of marine sciences and provide conditions for comprehensive partnerships in international scientific research. Moreover, it will be a significant contribution to the development of higher education in the region and to the training of highly qualified specialists.

The construction of the research labs complex in the campus of Klaipėda University started in June 2016 in the framework of implementation of Stage 2 of the Marine Valley Development and the Study Infrastructure Updating Project (JŪRA). The building houses contemporary laboratories: those of Coastal Environment and Biogeochemistry, of Waterborne Transport Air Pollution, and of Mechanical and Marine Engineering. The three storey-building is equipped with 90-seat classrooms for scientists and researchers to implement studies and to hold trainings, seminars, and conferences, as well as with restrooms, administrative offices, and ancillary premises. There is also a block of living rooms for visiting scientists. Solar collectors on the terrace of the building will produce energy to be used for the internal needs of the institute.

Upon moving into the new building, the Marine Research Institute of Klaipėda University will enjoy an advanced scientific research infrastructure for the development of fundamental and applied sciences, competitive in the international market, and for the preparation of highly qualified specialists for the Lithuanian maritime sector.

The Centennial in Klaipėda University will be celebrated by 2,300 children and students

At 10.30 am on February 15, an event Children of the Coast under the Centennial Flag, dedicated to the Centennial of the Restored State of Lithuania, will be held, with the participation of the communities of educational institutions in the northern part of the city of Klaipėda. It will be organised by the Verdenė Progymnazium.

The aim of the event is to promote the activity and cooperation of the Klaipėda city educational institutions, to educate schoolchildren’s public spirit and national self-esteem, to foster love for Lithuania and responsibility for one’s own nation and state, and to commemorate the Centennial of the State of Lithuania.

As planned, over 2,300 children and young people from the creche-kindergartens Obelėlė and Atžalynas, schools-kindergartens Varpelis and Verdenė, Tauralaukis progymnaziums, Žemyna Gymnazium, Medeinė School, the Lyceum, Klaipėda University, Vyturys Progymnazium, the Lithuanian Great Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion, and the Young Riflemen’s communities will be participants of the event. It will get together schoolchildren of different age and of different abilities and needs, their parents and teachers, and the academic staff and students of the university. The welcome address will be delivered by Klaipėda City Mayor Vytautas Grubliauskas who will hand each of the institutions a flag of the Republic of Lithuania. Welcome speeches will also be made by the administration of Klaipėda University and Dean of St. Kazimir’s Church.

During the event Children of the Coast under the Centennial Flag,, its participants, gathering to the square of Klaipėda University, will create a flag of the Republic of Lithuania from yellow, green, and red baloons and clothing accents. Later, the record-length “live flag” of Lithuania, created by the members of the educational institutions, will follow the orchestras of Brazilian drums of Vyturys Progymnazium and of the Young Riflemen and march along the Universiteto and Šiaurės Avenues; at the intersection with Kretinga Street, they will continue to their schools and kindergartens, bringing the donated flags of the Republic of Lithuania.

Unveiling of the memorial stand in the KU campus

The community of Klaipėda University celebrates the centenary of signing the Act of Reinstating Independence of Lithuania, or Act of February 16, and of the Restoration of Lithuania’s Independence and is ready to enter the second century of the Restored State of Lithuania feeling a sense of responsibility for Lithuania’s future. Therefore, at 10.30 am on February 15, a memorial stand Klaipėda University for the Centenary of the State of Lithuania will be unveiled which will present a brief history of the campus of Klaipėda University, the former military barracks.

In 1907, on the initiative and funds of the City of Klaipėda (Memel), military barracks were built, which in 1997, after the withdrawal of the troops of the Russian Federation from Lithuania, went to Klaipėda University. The history and political affiliation of that architectural complex kept changing, as well as the hosts of the barracks.

The memorial stand will be placed next to the three oaks, planted there in the interwar period. On 1 May 1924, the garrison officers planted the Tree of Vilnius and buried a bottle under it with an inscription: “In honour of the 600th  anniversary of the City of Vilnius, Butigeidians, in the presence of all the regiment, planted that oak. Klaipėda, 1 May 1924 “. On the same day, two other oaks were planted and called the Tree of Freedom and the Tree of Klaipėda.

In the territory of the former barracks, Song Festivals of Lithuania Minor were held, and Lithuanian politicians, cultural activists, and military men visited or lived there: Lithuanian Presidents Antanas Smetona and Kazys Grinius, Jonas Basanavičius, Martynas Jankus, Vydūnas (Vilhelmas Storosta), Maironis (Jonas Mačiulis), Generals Vladas Nagevičius and Silvestras Žukauskas, archeologist, museologist, and officer Petras Tarasenka, and officer and bibliophile Petras Jakštas.

The tradition for the heads of state to visit the territory has also been maintained after 1990: Klaipėda University was visited by Presidents Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas and Valdas Adamkus, as well as the first head of the restored Republic of Lithuania (Chairman of the Supreme Council-Reconstituent Seimas) prof. Vytautas Landsbergis.