A memorial plaque in honor of Ivan Vakarchuk was unveiled

On October 11, 2021, on the occasion of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv Day, a memorial plaque in honor of Ivan Vakarchuk, who was the Rector of Lviv University for many years (1990-2007; 2010-2013), Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine (2007-2010), Hero of Ukraine and Honored Professor of University, was unveiled. The representatives of the regional and city authorities, the academic community of the University, the members of Ivan Vakarchuk’s family, his colleagues, friends and all concerned Lviv residents took part in the celebrations. A memorial plaque was erected at  Drahomanov Street, 12 on the facade of the building where the Department of Theoretical Physics named after Professor Ivan Vakarchuk is located.

The event was opened by the Head of the Department of Theater Studies and Acting, Professor Bohdan Kozak. “This year we celebrate 360th anniversary of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. In fact, Ivan Oleksandrovych Vakarchuk strived  for the status of “National” for the University and managed to receive it. So today we start the celebration with the unveiling of an honorary memorial plaque in the name of Ivan Oleksandrovych, ” said Bohdan Mykolayovych

The Rector of the University, Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Professor Volodymyr Melnyk addressed the audience. Paying tribute to Ivan Vakarchuk, the Rector stated that “Ivan Oleksandrovych is a man who dedicated his life to science and education, having done much for Lviv University to strengthen the status of the Ukrainian language, its extensive use in the educational and scientific field and the development of Ukrainian state system.”

“Since 1990, as a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, as Rector, as Minister of Education and Science, and as a citizen of Ukraine, he dedicated his life to the development of science and education at the University and in Ukraine. Ivan Oleksandrovych as a state-minded person was always in the place where it was being decided what the fate of Ukraine would be, “said Volodymyr Petrovych, emphasizing that” any Ivan Oleksandrovych’s initiative was of nationwide importance and his every step was primarily aimed at the development of Ukrainian culture. “

“Ivan Vakarchuk was always a very interesting, many- sided personality, but above all he was a scientist who stroke for establishing the principles of good organization based on science in all fields of his life-activities. Ivan Oleksandrovych not only declared that a person must be intelligent, wise, hardworking and responsible, but also must keep inside the ever burning fire of moral Ukrainian imperatives: in order to be a good person you have to do something good to others, “- summed up the Rector, adding that” the Ivan Vakarchuk’s moral standards were to always tell the truth and to act in accordance with the truth and that was the meaning and essence of his life. “

After the Rector’s speech, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Professor Mykhailo Zarichny and Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Head of the Department of Theoretical Physics named after Ivan Vakarchuk, Professor Volodymyr Tkachuk solemnly unveiled a memorial plaque.

Later, Ihor Yukhnovsky, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Professor, Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Hero of Ukraine, was invited to speak. Ihor Rafaiilovych shared his memories of meeting Ivan Vakarchuk, who was a student at that time, told about his scientific endeavors as a student, a scientist and later as a Rector. “I remember Ivan Vakarchuk as a fourth-year student. He always had a desire to do something new, to be a leader. The department of theoretical physics became too cramped for him. Ivan Vakarchuk’s path from the Head of the Theoretical Physics Department to the Rector, and later to the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, was a long way, ”Ihor Rafailovych stated.

The head of the Lviv Regional State Administration Maksym Kozytskyi addressed the audience, emphasizing Ivan Vakarchuk’s invaluable contribution into the state building, placing the emphasis on his personal qualities at the same time. “The unveiling of the memorial plaque is an extremely great tribute to the memory of Ivan Vakarchuk. At the same time, I think that Ivan Oleksandrovych would be happy not only because his memory is revered here, but also if each of us demonstrated some of the ethical and moral, as well as professional qualities he had, if each of us did for this state at least a little of what Ivan Oleksandrovych did,”the head of Adminitration emphasized.

Instead, Chief Deputy Mayor of Lviv Andriy Moskalenko focused on Ivan Vakarchuk’s affiliation with Lviv University and the development of Ukrainian education. “The university and specific actions always have a name. While being still a student, I clearly understood who Ivan Vakarchuk was. What he did will always be associated with him. These are both an External Evaluation Exam and a new step up in order to develop the University. This is a kind of signal for each of us telling us that we need to move forward and set big goals, ” the official said, adding that” the University has a strong history and Ivan Vakarchuk managed to raise it even higher. “

Doctor of Economics, Professor, Honored Economist of Ukraine Stepan Davymuka also shared his memories about Ivan Vakarchuk. “In the late 80’s, when history called active people into politics, Ivan Vakarchuk went in for this field, although he was not a bright politician. Ivan Oleksandrovych was an extremely responsible, honest and systematic man and that was typical for his whole life,” Stepan Antonovych said.

Professor Volodymyr Tkachuk, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Head of the Theoretical Physics Department named after Ivan Vakarchuk, described Ivan Vakarchuk as a teacher and colleague. He paid special attention to publications written by Ivan Oleksandrovych. Candidate of Physics and Mathematics, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Physics Yaroslav Chornodolsky directed words of gratitude to Ivan Vakarchuk as a teacher.

The event ended with a performance by a Ukrainian singer, public figure, Lviv University graduate, Ivan Oleksandrovych’s son – Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, who shared his memories of his father. “When I see all of you here, I understand that you came here not because you had to, but because you couldn’t help but come. It is very inspiring, it makes me even more proud of my dad, makes me move forward and measure up to him, “said Svyatoslav Vakarchuk and described his parent as a talented scientist, wise leader and good father.

“We  are talking a lot about my dad’s memory today. He never showed openly all his dreams and desires, he rarely talked about them, but it was always visible in his eyes. I always read from his eyes how much he wanted something. The two biggest things that stimulated him in life were the the desire to understand the world and the desire to help others. I want you to remember him as a very human, kind man with a very bright soul, who is worthy to learn from  how to share your good deeds and good energy with people. That is why you are all here today. He did what he couldn’t help but do, that’s why you came here today, because you couldn’t help but come, ” said Sviatoslav Vakarchuk addressing the audience and thanking everyone for organizing this event.

Let us recall that the decision to install a memorial plaque in honor of the former years-long Rector of the University Ivan Vakarchuk was made by the Academic Council of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv on March 12, 2021. The day before, on February 24, the Academic Council of the University named the Department of Theoretical Physics after Professor Ivan Vakarchuk.

The work on the preparation of the memorial plaque design lasted for more than half a year. The authors of the memorial plaque are the famous sculptor Volodymyr Odrekhivsky and the architect Volodymyr Skolozdra.

Pictures: Олега Вівчарика та Юлії Гриценко More images