Georgian Prime Minister’s Speech at the Event Honoring the 100th Anniversary of the TSU Print Version

2018-02-08

Your Holiness,
Dear Rector,
Greetings!
I greet representatives of the Government and government branches, members of the diplomatic corps, and students!
I am excited because our joy is shared by representatives of the world's scientific communities who are visiting Tbilisi to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our University together.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honor to be addressing you from this platform that has witnessed milestone speeches by great Georgian scholars and praiseworthy patriots. Allow me to start my speech by quoting the great Ivane Javakhishvili, the founder of the University, who said that national education needs a nationwide school of higher education as its crowning achievement.
It was Ivane Javakhishvili, along with his associates, who made this crowning achievement of Georgian national education a reality. Their tireless efforts and faith in the sufficiency of the Georgians' intellectual resources made it possible to embody within these walls the dream cherished by our glorious ancestors and to give rise to a totally new era in the life of Georgia. And it is symbolic that it happened on February 8, a hundred years today, on the feast day of Davit Aghmashenebeli, the greatest Georgian of all.
Today, the University bears the name of Ivane Javakhishvili. Quoting historian Mose Janashvili, "Ivane Javakhishvili is the knight of our University. Javakhishvili's vigor has overcome all obstacles and kindled a new lamp for us. He has turned the building of the Georgian Gymnasium into a cathedral of national glory and the abode of the nation's first University."
The implementation of the University idea was far deeper and more multifaceted than the establishment of yet another, however successful, educational institution. This spirit was elevated to the national and state level because it matured along with the growing idea of freedom from the empire and the restoration of state independence. Our great ancestors viewed the country's independence and the existence of a strong center of education and national culture in the same context, which made perfect sense only a few months after the University's establishment, on May 26, when Georgia's Democratic Republic was declared through the Act of Independence. These dates are of vital importance in our history.
Thus, the year 2018 is special anniversary year in Georgia, and we owe it to the immortal souls of our ancestors to celebrate these two historic events with due honor.
We are proud that the University's 100th anniversary is celebrated under the aegis of UNESCO.
Dear Friends,
One hundred years ago, a progressive idea was conceived within these walls by our scientific and cultural communities, and what made it especially important was that the skills of scientific thought and communication in the Georgian language was being forged. As Ivane Javakhishvili stated later, "The youths have cut their teeth in language here... The study and knowledge of Georgian culture would allow us to make use of the ancient resources that would give rise-or resurrect, if you will-ancient Georgian science, once rich but faded over time," thus spoke the great Ivane Javakhishvili.
At the same time, the scholars working in the University turned this space into an educational hub and, more importantly, into a center of culture, a center of national thought and statehood mentality. Through their lives and works, such Georgian scholars as Petre Melikishvili, Ivane Beritashvili, Dimitri Uznadze, Kote Bakradze, Andria Razmadze, Shalva Nutsubidze, Giorgi Akhvlediani, Niko Ketskhoveli, Korneli Kekelidze, Akaki Shanidze, and many others could, have become pride and joy of both this University and the elite of the global intellectual community.
Today, our University stands strong on the very foundation built by these scholars, celebrating its 100th anniversary as our nation's leading educational, scientific, and research institution numbered among the world's top universities.
Exchange projects between schools of higher education, which are so relevant today, were first launched by the Tbilisi State University as early as 100 years ago, cooperating and exchanging students and professors with the world's leading universities. Thus, it is only natural that today the Tbilisi State University enjoys partnership with almost 180 universities in 50 countries, and I welcome the establishment of departments of Georgian studies in our partner universities, which is a noteworthy trend, of course.
Another issue I would like to raise before you is the take our scientific thought takes on the Abkhazian and Ossetian languages. The founders of the University were first to ensure the development and scientific study of the Abkhazian and Ossetian languages. Today, the Scientific Research Center for Georgia-Abkhazia relations operates at the Tbilisi State University. It is very rewarding that today the University also celebrates its 100th anniversary by establishing the Institute of the Abkhazian Language and Culture.
I am convinced that we will worthily continue and breathe new life into the work initiated by our honorable scholars 100 years ago, to which they dedicated all their enthusiasm and love.
Once again, I congratulate all of you on the 100th anniversary of the University. I congratulate the University's hero professors and students, every employee, and everyone who cherishes the celebration of the 100th anniversary of this most important center of education, science, and culture.
Thank you so much!
Congratulations!