Solemnly inaugurated LSMU rector prof. Rimantas Benetis: “Alma mater’s reputation and progress is the ultimate goal”

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On Friday, 9 September, Rector Professor Rimantas Benetis was inaugurated at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU). The rector swore to lead the university honourably, to nurture its historical traditions. The rector of LSMU was presented with special rector’s insignia, he was congratulated by heads of state, rectors of higher education institutions, and other prominent persons.

During the solemn meeting of the joint council and senate of LSMU, an oath pronounced in Latin was heard in the meeting hall of Academician Zigmas Januskevičius, by which Prof. R. Benetis, who put his hand on the Statute of LSMU, undertook to lead the university faithfully and honourably, to nurture its historical traditions, to teach students the art of treatment based on the latest achievements of medical science.

During the ceremony, Prof. Rimantas Benetis was presented with special insignia of LSMU: the gown worn is a sign of protection, security, nobility, dignity, the golden chain– a symbol of universal community connection and order, the hat – a sign of eminence, legitimate power and success, the sceptre – a symbol of moral and just leadership of the university, and the great seal – a sign of authority of his post, solemnity, and service to society.

In the inaugural speech, Prof. R. Benetis emphasised that he accepts the functions of LSMU Rector as a service to the university and its community and considers the reputation and progress of the university as the ultimate goal.

Commitments to values and progress

After expressing his respect and gratitude to his predecessor – the previous long-term rector of LSMU, academician Professor Remigijus Žaliūnas, from whom he took over his work and duties, the inaugurated rector emphasised: the tenure began and continues in a difficult period, but neither the COVID-19 pandemic, nor the refugee crisis, nor the war in Europe, which have determined the complex international situation in the world, did not divert the university from the chosen course.

“I came to the election of the rector of the University with a clear vision – to lead the university community to a high-quality unity of science, studies and practice, to increase the university’s competitiveness by providing our students with high-quality, science-based knowledge and practical skills, so that after completing their studies and receiving University diplomas, they would be proud of their Alma After all, specialists would be welcome in the society”, said Prof. R. Benetis.

The rector of LSMU reminded the uniqueness of the university he leads: a specialised university of health sciences today covers the entire spectrum of fields related to human and animal health and is the largest institution of higher education and studies in the fields of health, life, and agricultural sciences, valued and visible both nationally and internationally.

Prof. R. Benetis appreciated the importance of the enthusiasm, dedication, and efforts of the entire LSMU community, and promised support for everything that would support academic work in creating optimal research and study conditions for teachers, researchers, and students.

The inaugurated rector also addressed the students: “The image and future of the university depends a lot on you, on the involvement of students not only in studies, but also in activities that create comprehensive and creative personalities. I trust the students of our University, I will rely on them, and I want them to become an integral and respected part of our academic community”.

Inaugural speech by Prof. R. Benetis finished by mentioning the values on which he will seek to base cooperation at LSMU and beyond: committed to protect and defend the University’s freedoms and autonomy, follow ethical principles, create equal opportunities for everyone, respect honesty, traditions, different viewpoints, and cultures.

Congratulations from honourable guests

Many dignitaries congratulated LSMU rector on the occasion of his inauguration. His Excellency President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda emphasised in his congratulatory speech that he was happy that the university is led by an excellent scientist, a famous, talented heart surgeon, an exceptional, Samogitian personality.

“For the university to achieve its set goals – to become the flagship of biomedical sciences in the Baltic region – it will require a great concentration of the entire community. I believe that not only the rector, members of LSMU’s senate and council, but also all scientists, teachers, doctors, and students are capable of reaching even higher and exploiting the existing potential”, emphasized the President, who also thanked for the great contribution of representatives of LSMU’s council of health experts, in the activities of other expert working groups in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“May today’s celebrations become the proper introduction to a new period of university growth,” wished President G. Nausėda.

Prof. Gintaras Skorupskas, Chairman of the LSMU Council, reminded R. Benetis in his congratulatory speech, that being a rector is both a great honour and a great responsibility, and assured the inaugurated rector that he has the support, loyalty and respect of the university community.

On behalf of the Conference of Rectors of Lithuanian Universities, Rector of the Lithuanian Sports University, Prof. Diana Rėklaitienė in her congratulations to Rector Prof. Rimantas Benetis was happy that the training of specialists in Kaunas are in particularly reliable hands, which have already saved many lives.

“I wish for great focus, togetherness, the ability to see broadly and the support of the entire LSMU community. You are a leader who has tested himself at every stage of your professional activity. This is especially important when mobilising the community to achieve important goals. I wish for the burden of responsibility to be lifted, for you to be surrounded by like-minded people, for you to receive support, for you to develop a new, better generation with light hearts and cool minds,” said the rector of LSU.

“Science – the key matter in universities”, noted the president of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, academician Professor Jūras Banys, who wished the Rector of LSMU strength, power and correct decisions that would help achieve important goals.

“On the university’s path, it is important to emphasise togetherness and partnership. I see a lot of meaning in the projects carried out by LSMU, I support and will support your projects, because they will directly contribute to scientific progress, saving lives and making Lithuania famous. And the university as a competence centre is an irreplaceable partner”, said the Minister of Health Dr. Arūnas Dulkys in his congratulatory speech.

Minister of Agriculture Kęstutis Navickas, MEP Juozas Olekas, World Health Organization Special Envoy for the European Region Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Metropolitan Archbishop of Kaunas Kęstutis Kėvalas and other dignitaries also congratulated the inaugurated LSMU rector.

Inauguracijos akimirkos