On Friday, November 22, Luiss University officially inaugurated the 2019/2020 academic year in the Aula Magna Mario Arcelli, to a packed room of students and representatives of government and business. Speaking during the ceremony were Luiss President Vincenzo Boccia, Vice President Paola Severino, Rector Andrea Prencipe, General Manager Giovanni Lo Storto, Student Representative Alessio Tessitore, Professor Marta Simoncini and New York University Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah, who delivered a Lectio Magistralis on the theme of identity in a cosmopolitan world.
Opening the ceremony was Luiss General Manager Giovanni Lo Storto who welcomed all present by retracing the University’s history. “In 1977, the University had 695 students, 63 instructors and 50 staff members. In 2019, Luiss has 9,244 students with a 37% increase in international students over the past three years, 122 tenured professors and 1,170 contract professors,” underlined the General Manager. “We offer students a complete education, preparing them to face our common future and objectives with awareness. To do so, we offer high quality degree programs as well as 29 volunteer projects and 73 programs focused on Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability. The University believes in advancing education, stimulating innovation, creating sustainable communities and shaping a future generation of open-minded, international and inclusive leaders.”
Next on stage was Student Representative to the Luiss Board of Directors Alessio Tessitore. “We have witnessed the University’s exponential growth over the past few years. As students, we can be proud, but we must continue to aim higher. Today marks another step in the right direction for us young people who are preparing for our futures through a university education.”
Luiss University counts over 300 partner universities in 58 countries, with 45 Double Degree programs and structured partnerships. Every year, over 2,000 students participate in international programs while the University welcomes over 70 visiting professors from some of the world’s most prestigious institutions of higher education. “This is the Luiss University of the next academic year: a community based on a concrete and cosmopolitan concrete identity, where individual cultures meet without becoming uniform, a philosophy represented by our guest Kwame Appiah,” declared Rector Andrea Prencipe. “The engaged university that we propose acts according to a model of a university that actively involves business, public administration and government institutions in research and teaching programs in order to shape the future and allow students to create their own personal compasses. We want students to be actively involved in their futures in order to be more than passive witnesses of change – especially technological change – but to grasp the future with new, productive initiatives.”
With these words, the Rector officially opened the 2019/2020 academic year and invited Luiss Professor of Administrative Law Marta Simoncini to deliver her prolusion to students, during which she underlined the importance of rethinking the world and the political, economic, environmental and social challenges of tomorrow in a global perspective.
“We must recognize and celebrate the fact that our global co-citizens, in the places in which they live, with their different languages, cultures and traditions are not subject to our moral preoccupation, but to our interest and curiosity,” stated philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, during his Lectio Magistralis on the theme of global citizenship. “A recognition and a celebration of the fact that our fellow world citizens, in their different places, with their different languages, cultures and traditions, merit not just our moral concern, but also our interest and curiosity. The cosmopolitan impulse that draws on our common humanity is no longer a luxury, it has become a necessity.”
Bringing the event to a close, Luiss President Vincenzo Boccia concluded: “Being a community means sharing values, perspectives, rights and obligations, that today must also take inclusion and openness into consideration, as Professor Appiah reminded us during his Lectio Magistralis. Ethics must be the cornerstone of all that we do. From this point of view, Luiss, the Confindustria University, is a vital intersection of the entire country, for the education of our youth and for the future of our nation.”