On August 26th, the Hungarian Alumni's Forum was held by Voronezh State University. Graduates of 1990–1993 from the Faculty of Philology, gathered to visit their alma mater and see what changes it has undergone in all these years.
At the opening ceremony, VSU Rector Prof. Dmitry Endovitsky addressed the audience with words of welcome:
“It is very important for us that you enjoy your stay here and tell your friends and relatives back in Hungary about our university and Voronezh. We’ve been collaborating with our graduates a lot lately. Analysing the situation we saw that a great number of our graduates live and work in other countries. Additionally, there are a lot of famous people among them. And I am glad that our graduates, that means you, finally decided to establish the VSU Alumni Association. We are eager to keep in touch and cooperate with our graduates. Education is like a bridge between countries, the bridge that unites us no matter what happens in world politics.”
Tamara Diakova, head of the VSU Culture Centre and chair of the Alumni Association, made a report about the role of VSU in today’s Russian-Hungarian cultural relations. The dean of the Faculty of Philology, Professor Olga Berdnikova, addressed the participants of the forum with a speech about the importance of studying philology today.
Oleg Belenov, Vice-Rector for Economic Development and International Cooperation, said he hoped that the children and grandchildren of the members of the Association would also choose to study at Voronezh State University. He reminisced with the guests about their student years and gave a kind of home task – to remember VSU and promote it in their own country.
Gabriella Solti, a graduate of the Faculty of Philology, addressed the audience on behalf of the graduates from Hungary, and told them about her own experience.
“It is great to be here at VSU again! Osip Mandelshtam once wrote: “I’ve returned to my city, familiar to tears, to veins, swollen glands of childhood years”. That’s how I feel about Voronezh. Before the forum, we wondered what it would be like to come to Voronezh again, to the city of our youth. And I can now say that it is wonderful. I first came here 31 years ago, and I will always remember the day of my arrival. Later we realised that we were very lucky to get to study in the Soviet Union. We will never forget those years. We learned a lot here and became a real team. We also had great teachers, whom we’ve always remembered, especially the dean, Vasily Fedosov, who was so helpful and caring. He will always remain in our hearts.”
Gabriella Solti also said that students from Hungary enjoyed reading books by Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky in Russian very much.
In gratitude for everything they learned at our university, the Hungarian Alumni Association made a generous donation to the VSU Endowment Fund.
Another surprise for the guests was a musical performance by the son of one of the graduates.
The ceremony finished with a performance by VSU folk music group “Terem”. After that, the Hungarian graduates went to the Faculty of Philology, where they had the opportunity to feel like they were students again, attend a lecture, and visit the Ethnographic Museum.