Topics of coins

100th Anniversary of the University of Poznań

Efforts to establish a university date back to 1519, when the Lubrański Academy was established in Poznań. It was several subsequent attempts and several hundred years later that the next opportunity arose. On the basis of the decision of the Headquarters of the Chief People’s Council of 30 January 1919, the organisation of the Polish university in Poznań was started. The Faculty of Philosophy was established. It was then that the name of the Piast Academy was adopted, which was changed to the University of Poznań in 1920. The inauguration of the academic year took place on 7 May 1919. The first rector was Professor Heliodor Święcicki. In 1919-1939, the University consisted of the following Faculties: Law and Economics, Humanities, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Agriculture and Forestry, and Medicine. The attempt to open a faculty of theology failed. Many employees of other universities, both Polish and foreign, who despite their young age could be proud of their significant scientific achievements, took up employment at the University of Poznań. For this reason, it was humorously called the “juvenile university”. In the interwar period, historical and archaeological research, emphasising the Slavic origin of the western Polish lands, developed particularly dynamically. After the Nazi army entered Poznań, the University was closed on 10 September 1939 and the Germans organised the Reichsuniversität Posen on its premises. Many employees and students were arrested, executed or deported from Wielkopolska. However, the University did not interrupt its work, and throughout the occupation it functioned as a secret University of the Western Territories. Classes were held in many cities within the General Government.

Already in March 1945 the University of Poznań resumed its activity. After a few years, several faculties were separated from it, and separate universities were established on their basis. At present they are named as follows: the Karol Marcinkowski Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Poznań University of Life Sciences and the Eugeniusz Piasecki Poznań University of Physical Education. In 1955, the University chose its patron – Adam Mickiewicz. The UAM survived the period of socialist ideology and after the transformations of 1989 it expanded its educational offer and the scope of its scientific research. An important chapter in its history was the construction of a campus in Morasko, in the northern part of Poznań, where seven faculties, the Centre of Advanced Technologies, the NanoBioMedical Centre and the sports facilities, are currently located on modern premises. Today, the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań means: the third university in Poland; 5,000 employees, including 3,000 academic teachers; nearly 38,000 students; 15 faculties; two institutes in Gniezno and in Piła, and Collegium Polonicum in Słubice.

On the reverse of the coins – silver and gold – there is a portrait of Heliodor Święcicki, the first rector of the University of Poznań. The obverses show a fragment of the University Hall in Poznań. The obverse of the gold coin additionally features an abbreviation of the name of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, i.e. UAM, and abbreviations of the names of universities which were established as a result of the separation of its organisational units from the University of Poznań: UMP, UPP, AWF.

Professor Zbigniew Pilarczyk