Полоцкий государственный университет


On September 10-18, 2018, Polotsk State University held a Solemn Ceremony of Registration of the First Year Students. This new tradition aims to make the students respect the past of our Alma Mater Polocensis, feel proud of being a part of the university and feel responsible for its future.

Traditionally, the academic year at Polotsk Jesuit College and Polotsk Jesuit Academy started on September 15. In honor of the students, the Jesuits always organized events that remained in the minds of participants and witnesses

199 years have gone since the last solemn Jesuit ceremony. Since 2018, such ceremony will become a part of students’ and graduates’ best memories again.

The Registration Book

On May 23, 2018, an object known as Rector’s entrance was opened.  Dmitry Lazovsky, PSU Rector, noted that the entrance would be opened twice a year for solemn occasions: the beginning of an academic year and new students meeting (September) and a graduation ceremony (June). His words matched the facts: the doors of Rector’s entrance were opened for the newcomers wishing to get a diploma of the oldest educational establishment in the country.

The Faculty of Humanities, the hosts of Polotsk College, were the first to go through the registration ceremony. Later, the 1st-year students learnt about the sculptures of a student and of a Polotsk academy professor from the staff of Tourist Center at PSU. Moreover, the students participated in the traditional rituals connected with the sculptures.

The 1st-year Students at Polotsk College

The 1st-year Students at Polotsk College

Dmitry Lazovsky (PSU Rector, Doctor of Engineering, Full Professor), Dmitry Glukhov (Vice Rector for Research, PhD in Engineering, Associate Professor), Pavel Kovalenko (Vice Rector for Education, PhD in Engineering, Associate Professor), Vladimir Strizhak (Vice-Rector for Administrative and Maintenance Work), Denis Kondakov (Dean at the Faculty of Humanities, PhD in Philology, Associate Professor), Galina Polyakova (Head of the Department of Educational Work), and Viktor Lukyanenko (Associate Professor, member of Belarusian Union of Artists) met the students at the Rector’s entrance.

D. Lazovsky talked about the new tradition and wished the students to go successfully through the university studies and to maintain contact with their alma mater after graduation.

Kondakov, Dean at the Faculty of Humanities, expressed satisfaction at the fact that the students of the Faculty of Humanities were the first to participate in the new tradition at PSU: “You are special students: you join the past and the present of the University. We hope, that every person who will enter these doors today, will graduate from the university and come out of them with useful knowledge and skills. Congratulations!”

The solemn ceremony was held in the room with a copy of the Gabriel Gruber’s "Mechanical Head". The students were invited one at a time to put their signature in the book “Students of Polotsk State Universuty”.

Rector’s Entrance

D. Kondakov with a 1st-year Student. Registration

D. Kondakov with a 1st-year Student. Registration

Later, the students received a registration certificate and listened to the memorial speech of the “Mechanical Head” in the Belarusian language.

A. R. Lavrinenko with 1st-year Students

I. Vegera

I. Vegera with 1st-year Students

Alexander Dudan,

A. Dudan

Y. Grozberg

After the ceremony, the students had an excursion around Polotsk College provided by Tourists Center at PSU. The students visited the concert hall, university lobby, internal courtyard with the reproductions of famous paintings, saw a reconstructed Jesuit well and a unique clock.

A 1st-year Student

1st-year Students

1st-year Students near the Well

Then, the other groups followed the tradition. The ceremony ended on September 18 and the doors are now closed until summer.

We couldn’t but talk to the students about the ceremony:

Anastasia Adamovich (18-RGF, Faculty of Humanities): “I’ve been a Student of Polotsk State University for more than a week now. Many interesting things have happened to me for this period of time. The university is very beautiful, and its architecture is eye-catching. It feels like you are a tourist when you are in the campuses of Polotsk College and on its territory, because you notice something new all the time and you don’t want to leave this place.

I liked the solemn ceremony of registration very much! It was very exciting for all of us. I was happy to be the first to put my name in the book “Students of Polotsk State University”. It was a great responsibility! Therefore, I’m still very excited.

“Mechanical Head” is incredible. Both its voice and appearance are astonishing. The ceremony will stay in my memory and I will certainly tell about it to my relatives and friends. It seems to me that PSU is one of the best universities!”

Anastasia Adamovich

Daria Maksimovich (18-IT-3, Faculty of Information Technologies): “I’m from Smorgon, it’s in the Grodno region. At first, I didn’t know where to go to study. My friends, who studied in Polotsk, influenced me greatly. They said: “Come here! It is very beautiful here and you’ll have fun!” I have been studying in the walls of the former Polotsk College for two weeks already and I see that my friends were right!

The ceremony was a very solemn one! I felt very excited when I was putting my signature in front of my name in the book “Students of Polotsk State University” and while receiving the certificate. It was a very unusual and interesting event.”

Daria Maximovich

Anton Chebotaryov (18-GEO, Faculty of Information Technologies): “I am from Vitebsk. At first, I wanted to enter a university in Minsk, but people from my city respect Polotsk state University. A lot of my acquaintances and relatives studied here and were satisfied with the quality of education. In the end, I decided on PSU.

Today I’m especially happy that it has happened this way! I was impressed by the solemn ceremony and particularly by receiving of the certificates. The atmosphere in the room with the “Mechanical Head” was a unique one. I even felt weird from time to time. It was very cool!”

Ilya Khotko (18-GEO, Faculty of Information Technologies): “I am from Vitebsk as well. I always wanted to enter Polotsk State University. Today I have received a certificate, which confirms that I am a 1st-year student at PSU. There has been nothing superfluous during the solemn ceremony. I felt that the ceremony had a deep meaning. I really liked it!”

Ksenia Karchevskaya (18-RGF, Faculty of Humanities): “I came from Bobruisk. When I first came here, Polotsk College astonished me. At first, I didn’t know where our group would study: in Polotsk or Novopolotsk. I really wanted these ancient walls to become our “home”. I am glad that my wish came true. The first week of study will stay in my memory. I was pleased with the work of the teaching staff. I have already been motivated to study, but because of their work I want to get even more knowledge!

Today’s solemn ceremony just blew my mind! I didn’t expect to see such a ceremony. I was impressed by the concert hall and university lobby and in particular by the “Mechanical Head”. I’ve never seen anything like this before! I can imagine how such a magnificent thing could strike with awe and inspire fear in the ancient times.

It wasn’t an easy task for me to decide which university to enter. However, today I see that I’ve made the right choice. I am glad that I will study here!”

Ksenia Karchevskaya

Timofey Kovalchuk (18-GEO, Faculty of Information Technology): “I came to PSU from Orsha. I didn’t expect that everything would be so interesting here! The ceremony of registration is a unique one. It seems to me that there is no such ceremony in any other universities in Belarus. Moreover, to my mind, it is impossible to create a similar atmosphere anywhere else. There are Jesuit College buildings preserved in my city, but it feels different in Polotsk. It is very pleasant to understand that you are studying not just in the building of an educational establishment, but in a marvelous historical and cultural monument!”

Maria Orul (18-RGF, Faculty of Humanities): “I came from Vitebsk. The same as Polotsk, my native city is famous for its beauty. But Polotsk has a unique atmosphere and everything around me is just steeped with history! Polotsk College is a real palace with its architecture, arched ceilings and a courtyard with marvelous paintings! You don’t want to leave this place even after classes. My younger sister was on excursion here and she was impressed as well.

More than a week has passed since the beginning of studies. I can say that the educational process is perfectly organized. The wonderful lecturers, who are teaching us, adore the disciplines they teach and are competent enough to give their knowledge to students.  

Today we have become the participants of a significant ceremony. We were informed about the program, but we didn’t expect this event to be so festive and exciting. The “Mechanical head” and, in particular, its deep voice amazed me. You understand that it is just modern technologies but it makes skin crawl anyway. To say that PSU is a fantastic university would be an understatement.”

Ivan Gavyzo (18-GEO, Faculty of Information Technologies): “I am from Polotsk. I finished school 16. I always intended to enter PSU. It is very convenient to live and to study in the native city and, what’s more, PSU is one of the few universities preparing geodesists.

Unfortunately, I have never visited Polotsk College before, though I am interested in history and, in particular, in the history of my home city. That is why it has been a double pleasure to learn about Polotsk College. The Solemn Ceremony impressed me a lot. I’ll remember it for the rest of my life!”

Maxim Korzenok (18-GEO, Faculty of Information Technologies): “I came from Glubokoye. When I was enrolled in the specialty “Geodesy”, I thought that I would study here for a year and then would transfer to another specialty. But after a week of study and getting acquainted with the lecturers and group mates, I have understood how lucky I am to study here! I want to become a geodetic engineer and work within my specialty in the future.

I am amazed by today’s ceremony. When I was informed about an excursion, I thought of a banal and boring event, but it turned out to be a completely different one. A real show, prepared for us, included a talking head, a musical clock and a registration ceremony. I really liked it!”

Nikita Lavrinovich (18-VS, Faculty of Information Technologies): “I am from Novopolotsk. I liked both the solemn ceremony of registration and the excursion around Polotsk College very much. Everything was very interesting! The university is very cool! I am glad that I will study here. I will do my best to achieve the goals!”

Nikita Lavrinovich

Alexander Leshkevich (18-GEO, Faculty of Information Technologies): “I came to study at PSU from Verkhnedvinsk. I was impressed by the organization of the ceremony: everything was prepared very well. The moment of receiving the certificate was the most exciting one.

I wish the university to continue preserving and increasing its traditions so that more students come here to study. It’s worth it!”

Denis Kondakov, Dean at the Faculty of Humanities: “The Jesuits left a rich heritage to our university. In 2005 we started to restore the spirit of Polotsk College by transferring the Faculty of History and Philology into this campus. This year we are restoring a tradition of the solemn ceremony of registration of 1st-year students. For this purpose, we have created the book “Students of Polotsk State University”. It is very symbolic that the students of the Faculty of Humanities are the first to put their names in the book, because the Jesuit education was mainly humanitarian.

The first impression of the ceremony is very positive. I have seen that 1st-year students have tuned into the spirit of the event. I want to wish the students of all the faculties to be proud of being PSU students and remember that by writing their names down in the book, they have touched both the past and the future. But it depends on them whether the names will remain in history.”

Rector and Dean

Sergey Ekhilevsky, Dean at the Department of Information Technologies, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor: “The ceremony of solemn registration of 1st-year students of the most ancient university in the country is held at the most beautiful place in Polotsk: in the walls of alma mater, which has been providing education to prominent people for more than 400 years. By putting the signature, every student sends a message into the future and takes up the torch from famous predecessors, takes responsibility for maintaining the ancient traditions of education and preserving values of our land. The students should ensure their stage in the continuity of generations by studying and working hard. Only this way our posterity will preserve and respect our spiritual, moral and cultural message. There is no other way to do that in our constantly changing world.”

S. Ekhilevsky

Vladimir Filipenko

Photos and videos provided by: Polina Kosarevskaya, Vladimir Krivoborodenko, Vladimir Supranyonok