The General Meeting opened with an address from the CU Rector and President of the Carolinum Association Prof. Karel Maly. The date was the 1st of April 1998 and the university was in the midst of feverish preparations for the culmination of the celebrations of the 650th anniversary of its founding. It was therefore no surprise that the Rector devoted most of his speech to the preparation of the celebrations, their meaning and purpose. He talked about the way in which the attractive presentation of CU in the media would certainly strengthen its prestige with the general public, but emphasized that the main benefit of the celebrations (spread out over more than a year) consisted in the events which enriched the intellectual life of the teachers and students of the university - academic conferences and colloquia, seminars, lectures by top scientists and scholars from abroad, exhibitions, publication of new academic works, teaching texts etc. The purpose of the celebrations was not just to offer deserved tribute to the grand traditions of the university, but to define the new pedagogic and research horizons of the university and find the most appropriate ways to reach them.
The executive vice-chairman of the Carolinum Association then presented the annual report on the association's activities. He told the meeting that the association currently had 860 members and gave an account of the great variety of events that it had organized in the previous year. He drew attention to new souvenir items in the range on offer, and stressed the importance of the association's supplement published in the CU FORUM magazine, noting that it had also been made available on the internet. "We would very much like to see members of the association starting to make full use of the association supplement and developing it with their own contributions" said Dr. Michal Svatos, who went on speak about association finances, sponsorship and one of the major 650th-anniversary events that the Carolinum association was helping to organize. This was the "Czechs Abroad Week" to be held from the 28th of June to the 4th of July 1998. At the end of his report, Dr. Svatos turned to basic facts relating to the future of the association and the need for a new orientation. "Until now", he said, "the activities of the Carolinum Association have been directed, in a traditional spirit, to cultural and social activities. In this respect the association has almost reached the limits of its possibilities and resources and its activities have met with very positive reactions not only from members themselves, but from the wider academic public. Very little attention, however, has hitherto been devoted to the basic goal of the association, which is the creation of a feeling of solidarity with the Alma Mater among its members and the promotion and support of Charles University. Changes motivated by the growing activities of the association, its financial situation and inspiration taken from experience abroad, should all be aimed in this direction. We need to expand the membership base and establish a new orientation that goes beyond internal association activities and concentrates on obtaining support for the university. This goal can be achieved by gradual change in the organizational structure, membership composition and financial resources for association activities."
The Rector of Charles University and Chairman of the Carolinum Association Prof. Karel Maly speaking at the 8th General Meeting. From left to right: Head of the Sponsorship Section, Ing. J. Kubicek, Member of the Foreign Section, PaedDr. Vl. Rattayova, Prof. Karel Maly, Head of the Foreign Section, Prof. Z. Dienstbier, Executive Vice-Chairman, PhDr. M. Svatos and Chairman of the Foreign Section, Ing. Josef Svoboda.
The General Meeting is cognisant of
The General Meeting approves
Souvenir items with university themes have been produced for members of the academic community of Charles University, Czech and visiting participants in the various celebrations of the 650th anniversary of the founding of CU and all those interested in the university. Some of the items can be seen in published photographs (see photo). Information on the full range of items available together with a price list can be obtained from the Carolinum Association Secretary Mgr. Jana Vopravilova (see contact address). It is, of course, possible to order the souvenir items from the Secretariat by post, or to purchase them directly.