On the afternoon of Wednesday, the 20th of November 1996, The CU Rector's reception rooms became a place of celebrations as the CU rector Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc. met the students (or recent graduates) of CU, who had successfully represented the Czech Republic at the 26th Olympic Games in Atlanta and the 10th Para-Olympic Games. At the very beginning of the meeting the Dean of the CU Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, PhDr. Josef Dovalil, CSc., said: "Naturally it gives me pleasure that many of those present are students or graduates of our faculty..." he then introduced the following sportsmen and women to Prof. Maly: Stepanka Hilgertova (4th-year student at the CU FPES, canoeist, 1st place at the OG 96), Marcela Sadilova (graduate of the CU FPES, canoeist, 9th place at the OG 96), MUDr. Lukas Pollert (graduate of the 2nd CU Medical Fac., now a postgraduate student, who won two silver medals at the OG 96), Marek Svec (student of the CU FPES, qualified in wrestling), Jiri Prskavec (3rd-year student at the CU FPES, canoeist, 19th place in the OG 96), Martin Kovar (now in postgraduate study at the FPES, paraplegic - swimmer), and Milan Bily (lecturer at the FPES, Chief Trainer of the Czech Team). Other sportsmen and women were unable to attend the meeting because of travel and training schedules. The Rector of Charles University gave a short speech of welcome. "Today" he said, "I have an excellent reason for thanking you, Charles University students and fresh graduates. He continued, "We are very well aware of the close link between moral and ethical training and sport, and I see many motivating factors that are common both to training for top sporting activities and preparation for academic achievement. One of the most important of these is the sense of fair play. Hitherto Charles University has given most prominence to its results in the field of science, research and education. I am glad that you, with your great successes, are contributing to a new mark of honour by propagating the good name of our university in sport as well. I thank you all for your personal commitment and example to the others." The Rector then presented each of the guests with a letter of thanks. At the informal meeting that followed a toast (those enjoying the occasion included, besides the Rector and Dean of the FPES, the Dean of the 2nd Medical Faculty Prof. Josef Koutecky and the Pro-Dean of the FPES Doc. PhDr. Frantisek Dvorak) discussions centred on the most successful discipline - canoeing, and the Czech achievement in producing so many fine canoeists, and the water-sports centre in Prague 7 - Troja. The sportsmen and women also chatted with the university officers about their further study and sports plans.
In 1904 Josef Hlavka - one of the greatest of Czech patrons, founder of the Czech Academy, and a distinguished Czech architect (a full list of his achievements would be very lengthy), founded the Josef, Marie and Zdenka Hlavka Foundation. Even after the death of its founder this institution continued to fulfil its mission of supporting poorer students and artists in the realisation of their ambitions. It was the only organisation of its type to survive the years of the communist regime and continues to serve Hlavka's timeless legacy.
Last year once again saw the ceremonial presentation of Josef Hlavka Awards to students proposed by Prague universities, the Technical University in Brno and the Czech Academy of Sciences. The ceremony took place, as is traditional, in the superb interior of Hlavka's small chateau in Luzany near Prestice, and on the eve of the anniversary of the November Revolution, Friday the 15th of November 1996. The presentation of the Hlavka Awards was preceded by a tour of the chateau, after which the students and guests gathered in the beautiful Czech Quartet Hall. The ceremony, which took place in the afternoon, was opened by Doc. Jaroslav Nedved, Chairman of the Foundation's administration. He welcomed and introduced the important guests to all present: Deputy Education Minister Prof. E. Ondracek, Chairman of the Czech Academy of Sciences Prof. R. Zahradnik, Deputy Minister of Finance Dr. L. Benesova, Rector of Charles University Prof. K. Maly, Prof. R. Palous, and Chairman of the Union of Fighters for Freedom Dr. J. Cermin. Dr. Nedved also greeted other guests from universities in Prague and elsewhere.
Over forty students were awarded Josef Hlavka prizes (20,000 CKr each). The Vice-President of the Foundation, Prof. V. Pavlicek, presented the prize. At the same time the administration of the Josef, Marie and Zdenka Hlavka Foundation presented what are known as "permanent foundation legacies" to the town of Prestice (for the support of schooling and culture), the gymnaisum (secondary school) in Klatovy (for the support of gifted students) and the National Museum in Prague (to augment the collections). Last year also saw the first awards of the Josef Hlavka Medal for Lifelong Work, which went to Prof. Ing. Jiri Hlavac, DrSc. and the Czech cameraman Jan Curik. The award ceremony continued with a concert of classical music in the chateau.
The patron Josef Hlavka would be satisfied with the fulfilment of one aspect of his rich legacy to the Czech nation, and to Czech science and culture...
The high quality of students of the CU Mathematics and Physics Faculty was demonstrated in the final order of competitors at the 3rd International Mathematical Olympiad for University Students, which was held in Plovdiv in Bulgaria from the 1st - 5th of August 1996 with the participation of 104 students from 24 universities (e.g. Oxford, Cambridge, Athens, Moscow, Sofia and Bratislava). The First Prize went to Charles University MPF 4th-year student Michal Kubecek, and the Third Prize was shared by his fellow-students David Pavlic, Jan Rychtar and Robert Samal. The Rector of Charles University expressed his appreciation for the efforts and achievements of the young mathematicians. At a meeting of the Research Board on the 26th of Septmber 1996 these four students were awarded Special Charles University Rector's Prizes. Mgr. Zdenek Mistr (shown in the photo), a graduate of the CU Mathematics and Physics Faculty, was also congratulated at the meeting for the excellence of his work in geophysics and its presentation abroad.
Student success also represents success for the staff of the Department of Mathematical Analysis of the MPF CU, which because of the high level of its students has been able to arrange a year-round seminar aimed at the solution of various mathematical problems.
One of those assisting in the organisation of the seminar (essential work) has been P. Cizek, a final-year student of mathematical analysis at the MPF CU.
The proposal for the establishment of a Jan Palach Prize at Charles University's Philosophical Faculty was made at the beginning of this year. This will be what is so far the only prize open to the whole faculty, and is meant to uphold the memory of the Philosophy Faculty student who was not afraid to protest against the violence inflicted on the Czech nation by the sacrifice of his own life in 1969, in the wake of the Soviet occupation. By his act he saved the honour of his generation and of the nation as a whole.
The prize is to be awarded annually, in the period around the anniversary of Palach's act. It will be a prestigious award, aimed at stimulating students of the Philosophical Faculty (a faculty with a history closely linked to that of the nation), to more purposive study and deeper knowledge in their chosen subjects.
The prize is open to any full-time student of the CU Philosophical Faculty registered for BA or MA studies, who at the time of nomination is not over twenty-six years of age.
The prize is awarded for outstanding independent publication activity (including translations), for outstanding academic achievement in annual examination essays, Bachelor's or Master's Diploma work, or for significant activity raising the prestige of the CU Philosophical Faculty.
Nominations for the prize may be submitted by any member of the academic community of the Philosophical Facultyt (teachers and students), with a closing date of the 1st of December. i.e. 6 weeks before the award of the prize. Written applications (confirmed by the department or institute), together with the written work concerned, should be delivered to the Dean's Secretariat. Proposals will be assessed by a committee set up for the purpose.
When the Rector of Charles University Prof. Karel Maly welcomed the Rector of Sarajevo University Prof. Faruk Seleskovic, as part of the Month of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Prague in September 1995, one topic of conversation was the burning of the university library in Sarajevo. The CU Rector's immediate response was to offer a donation of books from the university's multifarious faculty libraries, since without information resources, teaching and research activity is impossible at any educational institution. A project with the working title Donation of Books for Sarajevo was very rapidly prepared and carried out by the faculties and other CU centres. A problem, however, arose in connection with the transport of the books to Sarajevo. The original plan was for the books and journals to be transported by the foundation People in Distress, but in the course of negotiations on dates and method of transportation this foundation ceased to function and another solution had to be sought. Thanks to the understanding attitude of the Czech Ministry of Defence, which had regular communication with the Czech IFOR battalion in Bosnia, it proved possible to get the donation to Sarajevo at the end of July 1996. Charles University provided approximately 1,092 books and 145 journals from its library collections, and this represents roughly 1,750 copies of information sources mainly in English and other major world languages. The donation could not have been made without the the selfless contributions of the many staff at Charles University who assisted in the choice of publications, and then their collection and packing at the place of transfer to personnel from the Czech Ministry of Defence.