The centenary of the University of Turku, the first Finnish-language university in the world, is celebrated this year with many different kinds of events. Throughout the year, there will be several open events to the public, such as the UTU100 Carnival in the spring and the UTU100 Fair in the autumn.
The University of Turku was founded on 28 February 1920 by the Turku Finnish University Society with the donations of the Finnish people. Altogether 22,040 people donated funds for the founding of the first Finnish-language university in the world. The University of Turku started its operations with two faculties next to the market square in the city centre, from where the campus transferred to its current location at the University Hill.
Today, the University of Turku has seven faculties and five independent units as well as 20,000 students and over 3,400 staff members on three different campuses. The multidisciplinary and international University actively develops societal well-being and builds a sustainable future.
– The University of Turku has a firm standing and a strong foundation on which we can build a modern, even more international research university with increasing impact. We have to be able to renew our activities and be a national and international trailblazer. In a world built on connections, the significance of strategic partnerships and collaboration is increasingly important, says Rector of the University of Turku Jukka Kola.
He adds that, as the University was founded 100 years ago with the donations of the Finnish people, the University will open a fund-raising campaign during the centenary to support research and the education of new experts. The collected funds will be directed to the development of teaching and research prerequisites and research infrastructure.
Versatile Events to People of All Ages
The centenary will kick off with a bang in February with the UTU Carnival. The event is open for everyone and will be held on 27 February.
– The UTU Carnival is an open air event held at the University Hill and it will be a great and maybe even slightly surprising experience for everyone. We hope that the staff and students as well as the citizens of Turku are able to come and celebrate not only the past 100 years of the University of Turku but also our future, encourages Riitta Pyykkö, who retired as the University's vice rector at the end of 2019. Professor Pyykkö has been a central figure in the planning of the centenary programme as the chair of the centenary steering group.
On the same day, the University’s centenary exhibition will be opened at the lobby of the Turku City Main Library and the festival week will be visible in the city with the lighting of the Library Bridge and flag flying on 27–28 February.
President of Finland Sauli Niinistö Gives a Speech at the Anniversary Celebration
The University’s Anniversary Celebration will be held at Logomo on 28 February. The main speech at the Celebration will be given by the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö.
The anniversary speech will be given by the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö who graduated from the University of Turku with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1974 and was conferred as an honorary doctor in 2011.
– Additionally, the anniversary cantata Syvyyden yllä tuuli composed by Mikko Heiniö, our former Professor of Musicology, will be played for the first time at the Celebration. The piece has been composed for the baritone, mixed-voice choir and orchestra, says Riitta Pyykkö.
Also the history of the University of Turku, written by Professor Vesa Vares, will be published on the University’s anniversary.
Another large event during the spring semester is the Ceremonial Conferment of Doctoral Degrees at the end of May.
In the autumn, the UTU100 Fair will be organised by the Aura River on 4 September and it is an entirely new event open for the public.
– The UTU100 Fair will include versatile stage programme as well as fair stands where you can immerse yourself in science. The University's opening carnival is organised together with the UTU100 Fair, tells Pyykkö.
Website for the centanery celebration: utu.fi/en/100
The visual look of the centenary celebrations is a mural from a Turku-based artist Jukka Hakanen.