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The KPI Alumni Group celebrates its 90th anniversary!

2012.10.06 Члени Секції вихованців КПІ у Варшавському будинку техніки

Meeting on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Group

On the 6th of October the KPI Alumni Group in Poland celebrated its 90th anniversary in the Warsaw Technicians’ Association House. General Secretary of the Federation of Scientific and Technical Societies of the Main Technical Organization (FSTS MTO) of Poland Jerzy Huminskii participated in the ceremony. He described the activities of the Federation, emphasising the work of the Technicians’ Association House and active participation of the KPI Alumni Group in the engineering movement. The Head of the Society for Cooperation Poland-East Józef Bryll praised highly the work of the Group in establishing the cooperation between Poland and Ukraine. The Professor of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute Volodymyr Liubymov provided information about the National Technical University of Ukraine "Kyiv Polytechnic Institute" and expressed his point of view concerning the importance of the Group in promoting positive perceptions of the KPI in the Polish society.

The Head of the Group Janusz Fuchs delivered a report about the history of the KPI alumni organization from its establishment in 1922 and recovery after the war in 1957 to the present day. In his speech he dwelled upon the personality of one of the main initiators and founders of the organization the KPI graduate of 1906 Professor Wojciech Svyentoslavskii. The Head of the Group reported that prior to the Warsaw meeting in the KPI, a memorial stone was laid on the site where the monument to the prominent scholar and statesman will be erected.

The Professor of the Warsaw University of Technology Wieslaw Lutsiyanek devoted his presentation to the cooperation between his university and the NTUU "KPI", particularly between the departments engaged in research in the field of aviation and aerospace.

Guests who attended the ceremony, were given the commemorative addresses, and the Chairman of the Group expressed the appreciation from the Rector of NTUU "KPI" Michael Zgurovsky for achievements in promoting scientific and technical cooperation environments between Ukraine and Poland to the head of FSTS MTO Evie Mankevich-Tsudny and the Secretary General of FSTS MTO Jerzy Huminsky.

From the history of the Group

Ninety years ago, on the 20th of November, 1922 the graduates of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute gathered in Warsaw. Their goal was to create the group of the KPI alumni. One of the initiators of the association was a prominent physicist and chemist Wojciech Svyentoslavskyy, who graduated from the KPI in 1906. Antony Romanovsky was elected as a chairman of the group.

The Group worked alongside with the Society of Polish technicians. Early in its work it consolidated 293 graduates of the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. In 1928 the work of the first session of the Group was attended by 250 people, and the following year they were about 700. The third congress was held in 1938, 600 people attended it.

After World War II the KPI graduates of the pre-war years met on the 22nd of September, 1957 in the Technicians’ Association House in Warsaw. They decided to create the Group of the KPI alumni under the Main technical organization (MTO). The honorary head of the conference was Wojcekh Svyentoslavskii, the professor at Warsaw University, Director of the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Stanislav Gzhymalovskii was elected as the president of the group. In May 1959 the group organized the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the KPI, which was attended by the KPI vice-rector Ivan Chyzhenko.

As long as the head of the group established friendly contacts with the management of the KPI, in June 1961 the first group of the KPI alumni with their families visited Kyiv and took part in the celebration of the end of the studying year. Visiting their institute in June has become a tradition for the Polish graduates, that has lasted until 1967. In addition to the official ceremony the KPI organized the evening balls in front of the main building, which were creatively decorated by the students from all the faculties.

In September 1966, in Warsaw was held the third post-war Congress, which was attended by the delegation of the KPI graduates. It consisted of 10 professors headed by the rector Olexander Plyhunov, who was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of the revival of Poland.

In 1968, the period of studies in the KPI was extended to five and a half years. By the time the Institute had introduced a new form of solemn dedication of freshmen students with a rally and concert. Since that time the Polish graduates began to come to Kyiv in late August. In 70-80s of last century the Freshman’s Day was attended by a large number of the Group members. Thus, in 1981, 67 people visited Kyiv. However, in the 90's, their number significantly decreased. Only in 2007 33 graduates with their families arrived by bus. They took part in the celebrations dedicated to the beginning of the studying year, met their professors and peers, and recollected their memories about Kyiv in the tomes of their student youth.

After the death of Stanislav Hzhymalovskii in 1968, the Group was headed by Jerzy Syatetskii, Eugeniusz Letsyk and Richard Andzheyak. In 1974 the new members of the Board were elected. The President of the Group became Janusz Fuchs.

In 1976, the conference was held in the Technicians’ Association House in Wroclaw, it was dedicated to the Polish-Soviet scientific and technological cooperation. It initiated the annual seminars, which the KPI delegation usually participates in. The Group conducts the seminars in different cities of Poland. Besides, the Congress of the KPI alumni is held every four years to elect the new board of management. There have been held twelve of them.

In order to preserve the history of Polish-Ukrainian ties the Group held three literary competitions. The works submitted have been included in the three volumes of the "Memoirs of Kyiv", published in the eighties. Twenty-five volumes of essays devoted to the relations of the KPI graduates with their institute, Kyiv and Ukraine have already been published. The history of the Group is described in four thick volumes of the chronicles. TRP also publishes the "Biographical Dictionary of Polish technicians" which has already been published in 22 volumes, containing the biographies of the prominent KPI alumni. In the Polish newspapers and magazines the KPI graduates published the articles dedicated to the technical and economic cooperation, contemporary and historical events in Ukraine. On the web site of the Group it is available to read about their work, view the excerpts of the publications and take a virtual walk around the KPI.

Whenever possible, the Group took care of the training of graduate education by promoting Polish citizens in graduate school, internship organization, candidate and doctoral dissertations in the KPI. In the 80s there were trained 75 graduates, besides, 4 doctors of science also benefited from the support of the Group. The Group honours the achievements of the KPI teachers, their contribution to the development of the Polish engineers and professionals, the Polish science and technology. Eventually under its initiative the scholars, teachers and staff of the KPI received 80 golden plaques of the TRP since 1975 to the present day. In 1985 the KPI was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit.

Today, the Polish citizens do not study at the KPI, therefore there are no new members at the Group. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Education of Poland does not send students to the largest and most famous Ukrainian higher technical school. Now, there are 327 people in our list – the alumni, former students and trainees of the KPI. Now we attach all the hope to cooperation agreements between NTUU "KPI" and Warsaw and Wroclaw Polytechnic Universities. Perhaps, this will get the situation improved.

From the day of its establishment the Group of the KPI alumni has been developing friendly relations with the fellow university, promoting cooperation between the Polish and Ukrainian scientific and technical societies, between the universities, enterprises and cities. At the workplace the graduates are concerned with the strengthening the relations with the fellow companies and schools as well. It helps to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries. For 90 years the Group has been devoted to the rapprochement between our nations. It intends to continue to serve this noble task.

Janusz Fuchs, Head of the KPI alumni Group in Poland


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