On August 31st, the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy opened its doors to 1442 new students in a traditional ceremony called Posviata u Spudei or Inauguration into Studenthood. It has become a custom to attend the ceremony wearing the traditional vyshyvanka, which adds a particular charm to an already unique and emotional day.

As the attendance at the graduation and the opening day of the academic year has grown steadily through the years, the ceremonies have been moved facing the university at the historic Kontraktova Square.

President Andriy Meleshevych, with faculty and administration members and special guests welcomed the new students and their families into the family of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and wished them success, health and joy in their new discoveries and studies.  In attendance were many alumni, among them Oksana Markarova, Acting Minister of Finance, and Ostap Semerak, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, who delivered an inspiring speech: “Twenty six years ago I stood in your place.  I dreamed, I rejoiced, and I was apprehensive. Later I studied and worked a lot. This is what I recommend to you – study and work a lot and become the leaders that will build Ukraine.”  Later, he commented, “I saw their eyes filled with light, sincerity and inspiration. I believe in them and in their future. I believe in the Akademia and I believe in Ukraine.”

 

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The Inaugural Lecture And Motivational Guidance

On the next day, the students, faculty and the general public were invited to attend the Inaugural lecture from the newly elected Honorary Professor NaUKMA. This year, Peter-Christian Müller-Graff, professor at Heidelberg University (Germany) and a well-known scholar in European Union law, commenced the academic year with his lecture on European law and integration.

Finally, a traditional lesson on spirituality was presented to the new students as part of their on-boarding process. On September 3, the students had an opportunity to hear Volodymyr Kolyvay, who spoke about life management and spirituality.  He presented the dilemma of our present age, when people are surrounded by a consumer society with emphasis on material things, and yet they search for meaning in their lives.  The absence of spiritual values results in confusion, hopelessness, violence, and sadness. Mr. Kolyvay, an articulate and witty motivational speaker, is the first Ukrainian to be honored with an official audience at the residence of His Holiness Dalai Lama XIV and was allowed to name Dalai Lama as his friend after the meeting. Kolyvay’s message about living life with honesty, transparency, good deeds and patience resonated with the audience and prompted a flurry of questions from the students.

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