Campus and Community

“We will do everything to be up to your dreams and your expectations”

These are the words of the Rector of Universidade de Lisboa who led one of the many speeches that marked the opening ceremony of the academic year.

As in previous years, the opening ceremony of the Academic Year 2017/2018 began in the same remarkable way: several dozen professors from the different schools of Universidade de Lisboa descended the rectory staircase towards Aula Magna. The audience was composed of hundreds of people with a link to the university.

Rui Mendes, who was representing Técnico staff was the first to speak. In a daring speech, he said “more needs to be done”, although this university is already “among the best universities in Europe”. The Coordinator of International Affairs Area at Instituto Superior Técnico reaffirmed “our future must be based on new discoveries and on innovation, but also on the definition of new processes and on the creation of value”. He also recalled that “the merit of institutions creates a spirit of harmony and development.”

Sofia Escária, who was chosen to represent the students, led one of the warmest moments of the event. She spoke on behalf of “all students” who are “the force of a dynamic university”. “In the beginning of this new cycle”, as she called it, “the students are prepared to face the challenges that may arise, and we are ready to overcome them, always defending students’ interests”, she said.

Also Professor Rogério Gaspar, who spoke on behalf of the professors and researchers of the University of Lisbon, addressed much of his remarks to the new students: “The beginning of a new academic year is also the moment when you begin a journey of discovery. For many of you, it will be a moment of growth, you will be responsible for the future of your families, of the economy, culture, knowledge, society”, said the professor. This will help you all to “become the actors and authors of a fruitful future that we all want,” he noted.

The newly inducted Rector of Universidade de Lisboa, professor António Cruz Serra, closed the session. “Aware of the great responsibility of being a Rector” he expressed his “ambition to build a more recognised and relevant university in Portugal and abroad”. Regarding the challenges faced by the university, the Rector is confident that “Universidade de Lisboa will be able to fulfill its role and help to build a better and more developed country, where everyone’s opinion and work will be appreciated and duly valued”.

Professor António Cruz Serra addressed a “warm welcome” to the new students: “you will have all the conditions to develop your scientific and technical skills in this university but also your human skills and your citizenship. You will inspire a lot of people.” He anticipated “hard work”, “difficulties”, but highlighted “the good moments, the independence and the critical ability” that the university will provide them. “Be well aware that we are expecting a lot from you”. We will do everything to be up to your dreams and your expectations”, said the professor.