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UCSC celebrates its 90th anniversary


October 27, 2010, Università Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) inaugurated its 2010/2011
academic year and celebrated its 90th anniversary. The highlight of the celebration was the Honorary Degree award given to illustrious Belgian religious anthropologist Julien Ries.

UCSC Rector, Professor Lorenzo Ornaghi, made the welcome address in the University's Great Hall,  "Aula Magna", followed by comments by Cardinal Tettamanzi as the president of the Institute of Giuseppe Toniolo for Higher Education.

  Julien Ries presenting a speech after receiving
  his honorary degree

The special tribute of the inauguration was the award of the honorary degree for the Faculty of Education to Julien Ries, founder of Centre d’Histoire des Religions  of the Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, who received a standing ovation.

The Rector presented Julien Ries as a Belgium theologist and founder of religious anthropology. He described how Julien Ries's research demonstrates that “religion does not belong to a stage of human history that will be overtaken or lost, rather it represents an essential dimension of the human being, as well as a structural existence and a deploy of time.”

After the commemorative speech by Professor Michele Lenoci, Dean of the Faculty Education, Monsignor Julien Ries gave his speech on the theme Death, Survival. The thought and religious tradition.


Julian Ries's work has greatly contributed to the University's Centre for the Social Doctrine of the Church, thanks to his Archive on Symbolic Anthropology. As of today, this exceptional laboratory for scientific research is located in via Lanzone 18, where researchers will have access to over 8000 volumes, many of which rare pieces were individually selected by Ries. These works will support in depth analysis of the world of religions, of the Sacred, of myths, and of initiation rites.

On December 7, 1921, UCSC officially celebrated the opening of its first campus in Milan. The year 1921 saw the enrollment of 68 students in the university's two schools- Philosophy and Social Sciences. Today, fourteen Faculties are available to over 42,000 students throughout the university's five campuses: Milan, Brescia, Piacenza-Cremona, Campobasso and Rome.

In his inaugural speech, Rector Lorenzo Ornaghi explained that the University is undergoing a strong generational change: an important number of professors, of which four Faculty Deans, are approaching the end of their academic career. This year the University will see the changing of the guard in its four Faculties, Humanities, Law, Political Science and Medicine, that will be led by professors Angelo Bianchi, Gabrio Forti, Carlo Beretta, and Rocco Bellantone.

The University has seen an increasing number in enrollments for undergraduate and master’s courses. Internationalization has become a fundamental growing aspect of UCSC over the years. Partnerships and international exchanges have tripled. The latest figures from May 2010 show that there are 949 students enrolled in international programs. With 579 partner universities, 1205 students are studying abroad, whilst 1508 international students are enrolled at UCSC.

The Rector was also proud to mention that “as part of a new initiative, ten young African students were offered scholarships partaking in our different masters courses.” 2010 also marks a special year for individual faculties. The Faculty of Agriculture at Piacenza celebrates its 60th anniversary along with the 50th birthday of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in Rome, 40 years for the Faculty of Mathematical Science and Physics in Brescia, 20 years for the Faculty of Language Science and Linguistics and finally 10 years for the Faculty of Sociology.

Article by Maria Strumendo



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