The ceremony will be held on site at Irchel Campus once again, but some aspects from the years when it could be held only virtually have been retained: video portraits will present exceptional personalities from the world of academia and wider society, and for all those who cannot attend in person, the complete event will be filmed and made available later online. Barbara Bleisch will conduct the proceedings, including a keynote address by Federal Chancellor Walter Thurnherr, who is “looking forward to congratulating the largest comprehensive university in our country on its 190th anniversary and to sharing my reflections on apparent certitudes and political convictions with the Dies guests.”
“A successful 190 years of providing excellent education and conducting first-rate research is a true cause for celebration. The University of Zurich stands for the pursuit of knowledge, joined-up thinking and innovative potential – in national and international contexts,” says UZH President Michael Schaepman. “We will continue to develop and build on our accomplishments.”
Due to the positive reception of the videos recorded for the last three Dies ceremonies, it was decided that a film would complement the ceremony this year too. The short movie will show highlights from 2022, accompanied by live music from the Academic Orchestra Zurich. For example, we see the university being designated an Age-Friendly University and joining the Blue Community which recognizes water as a human right.
The movie also recalls highlights from research and teaching, including particle physicist Nicola Serra and his team chasing a phantom at CERN, historians Monika Dommann and Marietta Meier investigating structural causes of abuse in the Catholic Church, and immunologist Onur Boyman exploring how memory T cells can prevent severe disease progression. The interdisciplinary and international cooperation that plays a central role in many areas of academic life is also reflected in the video – such as a project examining the impact of stress on physical health, a simulated WHO hearing for law students to practice their skills, or UZH’s membership of the European higher education alliance Una Europa.
On the occasion of the Dies academicus, the faculties of the University of Zurich choose to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions through their research or life’s work. This year, the title of honorary doctor has been conferred on seven people:
The UZH Teaching Award is granted to Prof. Dr. Caroline Maake of the Institute of Anatomy. As well as her clear teaching style, students appreciate the professor’s well-structured documentation, the practical relevance of her classes, and her excellent exam preparation. She also presents anatomical dissections to break up blocks of theory and conveys complex topics in an understandable and entertaining way, say her students.
The 2023 Team Effort Award goes to a mixed team of scientists and technical staff for their anti-littering initiative at Irchel Park. The team investigated the use and management of the park and initiated a plan to reduce the waste problem and improve the quality of the recreational areas around Irchel Campus.
This year’s award winners are: Dr. Sophie Tätweiler (Faculty of Theology), Dr. Reto Walther (Faculty of Law), Dr. Ursina Schaede (Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics), Dr. med. Dr. sc. med. Kevin Sven Akeret (Faculty of Medicine), Dr. Erin Beebe (Vetsuisse Faculty), Dr. Molly Fitzpatrick (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) and Dr. Pascale Zwicky (Faculty of Science).
The Walter and Gertrud Siegenthaler Foundation of the University of Zurich presents its Science Award 2023 to Prof. Dr. med. Viktor Kölzer in recognition of his scientific and clinical activities at the Institute of Pathology and Molecular Pathology at the UniversityHospital Zurich.
The foundation’s 2023 research fellowship goes to attending physician Dr. med. Florentia Dimitriou of the Department of Dermatology at the UniversityHospital Zurich.
The Vetsuisse Faculty grants the Walter Frei Award to Prof. Dr. Frank Møller Aarestrup for his scientific contribution to international standards for the detection and monitoring of antibiotic resistance and the use of antimicrobial agents.