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In memory of the heroes

A ceremonial Senate meeting was held at the University of Debrecen on the occasion of the 171st anniversary of the Revolution and War of Independence of 1848/49. An honorary doctoral degree was awarded at the event to György Matolcsy, governor of the Central Bank of Hungary.







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“The 15th of March is the holiday that forged our nation into a unity, and the nation was united during the revolution and also afterwards,” the rector of the University emphasized in his ceremonious speech. Zoltán Szilvássy added that it would be worth paying attention to this notion also today.

“Even if not in the same way as in the 19th century, there are still attacks against our country today, in political and economic terms, and in case the nation forged into a unity by 15 March can react in a unified way, then I am convinced that anything can happen, since together we’ll be able to keep the nation on the path of success and growth,” the rector said.

István Ádám Bognár, the president of the Student Government, underlined the role and significance of the youth of March 1848.

“They were the ones who could be there when history was being written, in the main current of the revolutionary events, fighting together, motivated by patriotic feelings, taking personal risks in the interest of the success of the revolution,” the president said.

“15 March 1848 created the foundation for the overwhelming unity of the Hungarian people, which brought along an awakening to national identity, and then the declaration of the country’s independence,” the mayor of Debrecen reminded the audience. László Papp emphasized that those nations have an opportunity to shape the future that make plans not with the intention of complying with the will of external powers, but in line with their own national interests.

“One of the basic pillars of our city’s economic success is education, and especially the capital consisting of the knowledge accumulated at the university. At the same time, the economic growth of Debrecen, as well as the knowledge-intensive companies investing in the city are also important drivers of the development of the University of Debrecen. This is what the national government’s development strategy pertaining to Debrecen places into a larger framework, with the support of such partners of outstanding significance as the Central Bank of Hungary,” the mayor explained.

As Lajos Kósa, member of the Hungarian Parliament, recalled, the deeds of the great figures of the Reform Age were motivated by public good, giving priority to the interests of the community, faith, and thinking in national terms, which could be an example to emulate also for the “political innovators” of today.

“We can follow the great politicians of the Reform Age, we can be faithful to our predecessors, if we accept the guidance provided by them. If we do not lose sight of these cornerstones, then we can hope that we think responsibly, but we must always remain open to new, better solutions, and then we cannot miss the right direction,” Lajos Kósa declared.

The Senate of the University of Debrecen bestowed an honorary doctoral degree upon György Matolcsy, governor of the Central Bank of Hungary. The “doctor honoris cause” title is a high recognition, which is awarded by the university to its former excellent students and outstanding professors, but from time to time it is also bestowed upon Hungarian and foreign academics who have earned international recognition, and whose academic results contribute to the shared wealth of science and scholarship.

The career and the academic contributions of György Matolcsy were discussed by the dean of the Faculty of Economics. Károly Pető emphasized that it was at the initiative of the governor of the central bank that the Department of the Central Bank will be established at the University of Debrecen later this year.

The honorary doctorate was bestowed upon György Matolcsy by the rector.

In his lecture, the new honorary doctor underlined that the heroes of the Revolution and War of Independence of 1848/49 felt precisely that, in order to preserve its freedom and independence, Hungary would need a national bank. Without building the bank of issue, neither independence nor freedom can be achieved.  This continues to be important also today, but to preserve these values, we also need safety and growth.

“An impoverished and diminishing nation cannot be safe, and in order to have growth, we need safety, because otherwise freedom and independence will be lost. Since 2010, we have been building a new epoch in which Hungary has started the process of catching up with more developed nations through growth. This is a national task for which we need creativity, innovation, faith, self-confidence and self-consciousness,” the governor said.

In his lecture titled “Hungary on the sustainable path of clo