Magna Charta Observatory at the University of Siena for its 775th Anniversary
The Observatory was represented at the inauguration of the University of Siena’s 775th Academic year on 28 October.
The ceremony, which took place in the grand surroundings of the Teatro dei Rinnovati, in the Town Hall, took a traditional form with banners, trumpets, drums and processions before speeches and the official opening of the Academic year. Representatives of civic society were present and delegates attending the international conference of the International Association of Universities were welcomed. The President of the Association was one of the speakers at the occasion which also marked the opening of the IAU conference.
In his address the Rector of the University, Professor Angelo Riccaboni, spoke of the achievements of the university and the significance of internationalisation to it for its future. He set out the University’s internationalisation strategy and put the benefits for students and staff at its centre.
He was followed by a spirited address by the President of the Students’ Union, demonstrating that the student voice was alive and well and that students were concerned about national policies and their implications as well as more local matters affecting their studies. In a town where one third of the population are students their voice is significant in civic as well as academic contexts.
There were other contributions from staff and visitors and a professorial lecture before the presentation of medals and the official opening of the academic year.
David Lock, the MCO’s Secretary General said ‘This was an event which combined rich traditions with modern vibrancy. It showed the University taking a central place in civic society and looking out beyond borders to strengthen its position in a faster paced global world. The involvement of various academic and support staff and students as speakers reflected the important part that all of them had to play in maintaining the University’s strength. With a mixture such as this it is no surprise that Universities are capable of continuing to thrive after such a long life.’
The University of Siena signed the Magna Charta Universitatum the 18th September 1988.