On Wednesday, March 25th, the 619th Zadar's academic year and the 13th anniversary of the reformed University of Zadar was commemorated by a ceremonial meeting attended by the representatives of higher education institutions from Croatia and abroad, representatives of the University of Zadar, mayors and heads of towns and municipalities in Zadar County, courts representatives, workers in local administration and economy, representatives of institutions from the area of science, education and culture, as well as representatives from the police and military, public and religious life.
The commemoration of University Day started at 9 o'clock in Saint Demetrius Church with a service held by Zadar's Monsignor Želimir Puljić, PhD, and continued at 11 o'clock in the University's Great Hall.
The Mayor of Zadar, Božidar Kalmeta, said that Zadar's University offered intellectual strength and knowledge without whom it would be impossible to imagine the life of this town, and that it had something other universities lacked – the tradition.
The Head of Zadar County, Stipe Zrilić, pointed out that University Day was an occasion where the best excel, and that he especially wished to congratulate the students, and expressed the hope that they continue to learn and work in their country.
The president of Croatian Rectors' Conference and the Rector of the University of Rijeka, Professor Pero Lučin, PhD, congratulated on University Day stating that the University of Zadar was the centre of knowledge and crucial for the community.
Many of those who were unable to attend the ceremony sent their greetings, including Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, President of the Republic of Croatia, who greeted the University's members, wishing them to continue to contribute to the development and progress of Croatian academic community.
Ante Uglešić, Full Professor, Dr. h.c., Rector of the University of Zadar, pointed out that in similar occasions it was a custom to mention the most notable achievements during the previous year. A consistent development policy is the most important feature of the University of Zadar that cherished the identity of development in spite of deep economic crisis. The University had organised multiple scientific conferences; numerous scientific monographs, university textbooks and digests had been published, as well as eleven scientific magazines. International recognition and identity of the University had been growing, and papers published in magazines that were indexed in world leading reference databases, and acknowledgement that individual scientist had received abroad attested to that.
Rector concluded his speech with the following words:
“Today, dear colleagues, guests, friends and students, we stay true to our foundational sources – truthfulness, the value that defines the scientific practice; cooperation – internal, local, national, international, because it makes us strong; responsibility – because it makes us steady. We stand and build on the most important foundation – academic freedom.”
During the ceremonial meeting, yearly Rector's awards were given to deserving individuals and institutions for special contribution to the cooperation with the University of Zadar. The award was presented to Full Professor Valentin Pryanichnikov for cooperation with the University of Zadar and the construction of a robot for underwater work; Full Professor Borna Fὕrst Bjeliš for the contribution to the work of the Department of Geography from its beginnings; and to the Mayor of Benkovac, Branko Kutija, for the help in establishing the agricultural estate Baštica.
The award for outstanding sports achievements was given to men's and women's basketball teams of the Students Basketball Club of the University of Zadar.
The yearly Rector's award for the most successful students was given to: Katarina Batur, Martina Brzica, Marin Dujmović, Irena Jurković and Marko Stijić.
The yearly Rector's award for the most successful employees was given to: Stipe Živaljić, MA, Assistant Professor Tomislav Frleta, Full Professor Pavle Mikić, and Full Professor Nikica Uglešić.
The University's a cappella group AKA Crescendo, Mezzosoprano Ivanica Vunić, and the pianist Blanka Aždajić Medić performed in the musical part of the programme.