The five-minute video compilation on the centenary year celebrations of the University of Turku depicts an exceptional year. The coronavirus was a major factor in shaping the centenary year plans. The events that could be organised showed a strong presence of joy, communality, curiosity for new information, and a great change.
– The year 2020 has been the centenary year of the University of Turku. At the same time, the past year has also been exceptional for our University community. In late February, we got to celebrate the UTU100 Carnival and the Anniversary Celebration as the highlights of the anniversary year. After March, many of the plans for the anniversary year had to be cancelled, but on the other hand, we found new ways to reach people, says Rector of the University Jukka Kola.
The University of Turku was founded in the wake of a great change, Finland gaining its independence, with the preparations for its founding having already started before the independence. The centenary celebrations were also organised during a major change.
The UTU100 Carnival, which gathered around 4,000 people on the University Hill, and the Anniversary Celebration in the Logomo event centre were still organised under normal circumstances in late February, but already after the professorial lectures of the spring, the coronavirus caused exceptional circumstances in Finland. The centenary year ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees planned for May was first re-scheduled for autumn, but in the end had to be postponed for the next year.
In the summer, the situation grew little better, and the UTU100 Fair organised by the Aura river and the Opening Carnival could be organised as planned. The fair gathered around 4,000 visitors. The programme was similar to what had been planned but ensuring the safety of the event and the health of its visitors brought many changes, one of the most visible ones being the face masks distributed to the visitors. On the Opening Ceremony’s part, the change was bigger: the event was held completely online.
The University also participated in the Turku Day celebrations: the Yliopistonkatu street held an exhibition of campus areas of the past as well as the plans for campus areas that never came to be, and the guided walking tours on the University Hill presented the visitors with art, architecture, and plants. The free entry to the Zoological Museum was the most popular attraction of the day.
Having been left unfinished at the beginning of the year, the centenary year Studia Generalia lecture series was executed as video lectures at the end of the year. The video lectures can still be watched on the web page of the lecture series. In addition to Turku, the Centenary Exhibition could also be seen in Lieto, Pori, Uusikaupunki, Salo, and Loimaa.
Text: Erja Hyytiäinen
Video: Antti Tarponen
Photo: Hanna Oksanen
Translation: Lotta Junnila