They Created the University of Lithuania
16 February is the Day of the Restoration of the State of Lithuania as well as the day of the establishment of the national higher education. After the announcement of the Act of Independence on 16 February 1918, Lithuania did not have a single higher education institution. Vilnius University was closed in 1832, after the uprising of 1831. On 15 December 1918, the Council of Lithuania approved the Statute and was preparing to open Vilnius University but it was prevented by the beginning of the invasion of the Army of the Soviet Russia in Lithuania. The Council and Government of Lithuania had to evacuate to Kaunas which became a temporary capital. On 16 February 1922, on the basis of the Higher Courses, the National University of Lithuania was established in Kaunas. Most of the lecturers of the University had no defended dissertations; however, they were the pioneers in many science fields in Lithuania that was finally free from a long-time occupation. They created the Lithuanian terminology for various science fields, prepared dictionaries and textbooks, developed study programmes for higher and secondary education. Thanks to them, the Lithuanian language became the language of science.
This year marks the anniversaries of the creators of the University of Lithuania, professors and rectors Pranas Jodelė, Antanas Purėnas and Vincas Čepinskis; therefore, on the Day of Independence of Lithuania, KTU Museum invites to remember people whose lives were dedicated to higher education in Lithuania. The virtual exhibition “They Created the University of Lithuania” uses the documents from KTU Archive and Museum, photographs from KTU Museum, Library and personal archives.