The Inauguration of the University's 32nd Academic Year was held on Thursday 4th December 2014 in the great hall of the "Polo Zanotto" building.
The rector Nicola Sartor announced the beginning of a new year of university teaching and research. He talked about his first year of mandate briefly and then he focused on the importance of basic research, of applied research and of technology transfer. The rector said: "The actions undertaken during the first year of my mandate aim to reach goals which are seemingly in contrast. We aim to consolidate the bond with the territory and the international relationships. On one hand, we must let people know our activities, spread knowledge and contribute to the development of the territory, on the other hand human knowledge is boundless because of costant progress in the field of communication techniques.". He added: "Without suited public politics, each centre of research must do its best in order to favour transfer innovation. In the field of research, the University of Verona has the joint projects, the spin-off, the so-called Computer Science Park and the recent establishment of the so-called "Polo vitivinicolo" in San Floriano. Then, the University of Verona Health Care Service is devoting itself to activities in the field of biomedical and clinical translational research.
Elena Cattaneo as life member of the Senate and professor of Pharmacology was the special guest. She made her speech, entitled: “Il semplice coraggio di tornare a credere nella scienza, in Italia” (The Simple Fortitude of Italian Population to Believe in Science Again"). Professor Cattaneo underlined: "I believe that research is of grat importance, not only for the results which are addressed to everyone, but also, above all, because it is a critical training which helps us to analyse critical situations and to search the truth of our current knowledges. In Italy facts and citizens, facts and institutions are not more linked. In my opinion, it is not true. The facts exist and I believe that university and research, scientists, intellectuals have simply to place themselves at society's disposal. It is necessary to invest on ideas. If we disregard this, we'll not only bar researchers' chances of obtaining results addressed to everyone, but also the civil growth of our country. I think this could not be acceptable.".
Then, Maria Giovanna Sandri as the president of the Students Council made her speech. She underlined the central role of students and of young generations in the future of our country. The country has the ambition to have the possibility to grow and to guarantee the young the future which they are worth of. The young try to build with difficulty and efforts, beginning from the walls of Verona University. Then, Sandri added: "Wea re daughters and sons of a country who has forgotten which are the fundamental rights of its own citizens, such as, first of all, the right to study and the right to work. We have decided to walk down a path that today is not easy, the path of university study, because we wanted to be trained and to gather all the instruments necessary to be able to interpret the reality which surrounds us with objective and critical attitude.
Tiziana Franco as Professor of Medieval Art History made her speech entitled "Ricerca e beni culturali. Studiare, documentare e valorizzare il patrimonio artistico" (Research and cultural well-being. Studying, documenting and making rhe most of the artistic property). She presented the various activities of basic and applied research which the University had carried out in the field of the cultural well-being. Tiziana Franco declared: "In the title of my speech you can find a synthesis of the actions reached thanks to our scientific tasks: to study, to document and to enhance. This sequence is not casual and the terms correspond to interlinked moments of the same action, none of them can be worth alone. This observation could seem banal, but it's too much time since we hear that some people claim, for example, that an idea of improvement of the artistic property is disconnected from the study and documentation phases, meaning it in mere economical and leaning towards aestheticism ways. In truth, as Leonard wrote: «He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.»”.
The inauguration closed with the delivery of diploma of the Honorary Professor to Vanessa Anne Mather, Professor of Ethno-Anthropological Sciences, and with the delivery of the University medal to Professor Alessandro Mazzucco, who had been rector of the University of Verona from the year 2004 to the year 2013.