• News


10 April 2024

Charles University celebrates 676th birthday, presents awards

On Tuesday, 9 April, a festive meeting commemorating the 676th anniversary of the founding of Charles University took place in the Great Hall of the historic Carolinum building. On this occasion, the Miloslav Petrusek Prize for Presentation and Promotion and the Bedřich Hrozný Prize for Creative Achievement were awarded.

Charles University was founded 676 years ago, on 7 April 1348. The oldest Czech university traditionally perceives its birthday as a space to support and appreciate university science and members of the academic community who positively influence the events at the university with their active approach. At the same time, the university jointly commemorated the tragic milestone of last December at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University. Those present observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims. The ceremony was conducted by the Vice-Rector for Academic Appointments Jan Kuklík.

The opening words of the Rector of Charles University Milena Králíčková referred to the sad reminder of the tragic event that occurred on 21 December 2023 at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University. “We lost 14 colleagues from the ranks of students and staff. We will carry the consequences for many months and years to come. But day by day, we strive to heal our academic family with incremental steps, as strongly and fervently as we remember those who have left us. I want to thank from the bottom of my heart the leadership team of the Faculty of Arts, headed by Dean Eva Lehečková, all the members of the Central Crisis Staff, academics, the staff, and the students. Also to many external partners - the Integrated Rescue System, a number of non-profit organizations, the Czech Red Cross and many others who accompany us on the road to recovery. Without the interplay of many, we would not be able to help all those who need support and assistance now,” the rector said.

However, she also pointed out a number of bright moments of 2023. She mentioned the results of the Czech Head competition, where the most prestigious scientific award - the National Government Award for 2023 - was awarded for the first time ever to a woman, Professor Zuzana Mot'ovská from the Third Medical Faculty of Charles University, for her exceptional contribution in the field of cardiology. She also recalled success in the Neuron Award, which has been awarded four times to representatives of Charles University - for example, to Professor Švec from the Faculty of Arts of Charles University or Dr. Lenka Slavíková from the Faculty of Arts of Charles University.

The rector also presented a new international project in the field of education, the European Degree Label, which is being developed with 4EU+ partners, which expands the possibilities of international study, maps study programmes that can be studied simultaneously at several partner universities and is completed with a joint diploma. “At the same time, in 2023, we moved a significant step forward in the preparation of the system of micro-certificates in the Czech Republic, in which CU is an important national and European leader," Milena Králíčková said. The rector made clear her conviction that it is precisely universities that play an irreplaceable role in the field of education, in the field of innovation, through their foreign graduates and in international relations, as well as fulfilling their third role in society.

“In December 2023, tragedy enveloped our entire academic community. We have had to find the strength and courage to move on in difficult days, to cope with the painful loss of our members and to provide mutual support. To find the strength to carry on the light for those who no longer can. But wherever evil manifests itself in such a powerful way, good will also manifest itself to a greater degree - a wave of human togetherness, consideration and hope for a future journey together washed over the academic family. May we all feel this togetherness and belonging together whenever we need it this year,” she concluded.

Her words were followed by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts Eva Lehečková. “We all know that the reason why I am speaking to you today is unfortunately not only my gratitude to Charles University. It is an event whose characteristic many of us do not want to put into words even after three months. We are loath to do so, even though words are our bread and butter. It is a healing wound that we stumble over in our thoughts - some days, perhaps casually, as if by mistake, other days it echoes insistently, even at the most innocent impulses. After the past three months, I am convinced that our academic community, our staff and our students need our empathy and time most of all now,” the Dean of the Faculty of Arts of Charles University admitted openly, adding that it is study or scientific work that can give people affected by the tragedy at least partly a sense of control over the current situation.

Eva Lehečková shared the experience that the University gained during the process of dealing with the consequences of the December tragedy. She also called for greater support for mental health, not only in the academic environment, but in educational institutions in general. “I am convinced that building the psychological resilience of students in regional education, who eventually become students at universities and other schools, is one of the best investments in the future health of our society. The Faculty of Arts prepares clinical and school psychologists, so we are ready to contribute to this need, supported by the many experiences that we unfortunately have to go through now,” said Eva Lehečková.

At the end of her speech, she thanked her colleagues at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University and the management of Charles University not only for their continuous practical help and cooperation from the first hours after the attack, but above all for how quickly and easily, in her words, all those involved were able to agree on the values that will guide CU in rebuilding academic life at the faculty. “It was a formative experience for me, which firmly reassured me that Charles University is undoubtedly a diverse community of 17 faculties with different specificities, but in key situations we find very easily harmony on the same principles that persist. This, I think, on this year's anniversary of the founding of our university is a good knowledge that we can celebrate together and that we can wish to Charles University in the years to come,” Eva Lehečková said in conclusion.


In the second part of the ceremony, the awards were presented by the Rector of Charles University Milena Králíčková. The

Miloslav Petrusek Prize for Presentation and Promotion is awarded for a positive achievement that has a significant impact on creating the image of Charles University in the perception of the general public. It is named after one of the most important Czech sociologists, the Dean Emeritus of the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University. It was awarded to:

  • The podcast studio at Kampus Hybernská and Filip Liška for supporting student popularisation activities and its development.

  • Dr. Irena Kalhousová, Director of the Herzl Centre for Israeli Studies at Charles University, for her long-term development of the third pillar of the university through her activities in the media, participation in public discussions and lecturing activities in high schools.

  • Special honourable mention was given to the Faculty of Humanities Student Chamber of the Academic Senate, Safe Space Collective and the Faculty of Humanities Students Association for the joint FHSafe initiative aimed at awareness-raising and prevention actions regarding sexualized and gender-based violence.

In addition, the Bedřich Hrozný Prize was awarded for a creative achievement, a significant and original contribution, such as a professional journal or book publication, a work of art, the organisation of an exhibition or a patent. The award is named after an esteemed former rector of Charles University, an orientalist and linguist who deciphered the language of the ancient Hittites. This year, four laureates received the award..

  • PhDr. Marek Brčák, Ph.D., from The Institute of the History of Charles University and Archive of Charles University for his monograph The Capuchin Order in Bohemia and Moravia 1599-1783

In this monograph, the author meticulously maps the interactions of the Capuchins with the outside world, be it their preaching activities, alms collection, missionary work or their relations with lay communities. His work provides not only historical facts but also biographical medallions of well-known and lesser-known Capuchins, with pictorial accompaniment.

  • Mgr. Michal Ctibor, Ph.D., from the Faculty of Arts of Charles University for a new translation of Virgil's epic poem


Ctibor's work on this translation, which includes nearly 10,000 verses, took a total of 12 years (2011-2023). The Aeneid is a key work of ancient Roman literature and an important element of the European literary canon. Ctibor's translation is characterised by a sophisticated yet rich and colourful modern English that appeals to contemporary readers. The book is accompanied by an introductory study entitled The Heel of Aeneas, where Ctibor presents modern interpretations of the epic and analyses its inconsistencies, ideology, and Virgil's inspiration from Greek authors, especially Homer.

  • prof. RNDr. Ladislav Skrbek, DrSc., from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics for his monograph Quantum Turbulence

This is the first comprehensive book on quantum turbulence, which also describes state-of-the-art results and techniques. Prof. Skrbek and his co-authors highlight the differences and analogies with classical turbulence, opening new perspectives and challenges for further research. In addition, this book also provides valuable teaching material for physics and engineering students who wish to learn about advanced concepts of quantum turbulence.

  • MUDr. Michael Svatoň, Ph.D., from the Second Faculty of Medicine, Charles University for the publication NGS better discriminates true MRD positivity for the risk stratification of childhood ALL treated on an MRD-based protocol

The publication by Dr. Svatoň and his team represents an outstanding contribution to the diagnosis and treatment of malignant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children. Their study, which included nearly 800 samples in 432 patients, demonstrated the use of advanced sequencing in substantially improving the diagnosis of minimal residual disease (MRD) and thus refining treatment indications based on relapse risk.

The ceremony concluded with a musical performance by the Zemlinsky Quartet, which performed two movements from Bedřich Smetana's

From My Life.

TEXT: Jitka Jiřičková

PHOTOS: Michal Novotný

Sdílet na:  
Contact Us

Charles University

Ovocný trh 5

Prague 1

116 36

Czech Republic

CU Point - Centre for Information, Counselling and Social Services


Phone: +420 224 491 850

Erasmus+ info:



How to Reach Us