Sacred Heart University

SHU marks end of 50th anniversary year

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(CS) Sacred Heart University on Friday evening closed its 50th anniversary celebrations with baritone songs, jazz and a lecture on Europe's relationship to its neighbours south of the Mediterranean.

Friday marked the final lecture of the 2013/2014 academic year conference cycle, dedicated to the future of Europe. Previous talks included a panel discussion on the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and a lecture on the relationship between politics and economics in Europe.

Speaking to an audience of students, alumni, friends and members of the business community, the university's academic director Alfred Steinherr opened the evening, saying that 50 years might not be much by the standards of the oldest universities in Europe, but that SHU has reached maturity and continues its concept of holistic education, bringing together different elements and disciplines, such as academia, social skills and political activities.

Proud of the university and its graduates, Steinherr said SHU is “thankful for all the support received” from Luxembourg to establish the campus in the Grand Duchy, with the parent university located in Connecticut, US.

Europe – a message of hope

While keynote speaker of the evening Jean-Claude Juncker cancelled his appearance at the event, the former Luxembourg Premier nonetheless offered his congratulations to the university. Scheduled to speak on his vision for Europe, Juncker said in a statement delivered to the audience by Steinherr that “Europe has to reconcile social justice and financial stability, sustainable growth and budget consolidation,” calling for a “renaissance of the social market economy.”

Juncker added that he believes the “best years of Europe are yet to come” and that new ways of “political freedom, economic prosperity, social coherence and human brotherhood” need to be found, “for peace remains at the very heart of European integration.”

Its role as a peace power is not only important for European, he concluded, but also as a “message of hope for mankind.”

With musical interludes by baritone singer David Pike together with pianist André Roe, the audience also heard a lecture by Jean-Louis Reiffers, honorary dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management at Aix-Marseille University, on Europe's links to north Africa and the Muslim neighbours that lie beyond its borders.

Jazz band Variation delivered some lighter fare to close the evening and guests chatted over canapés and crémant as the 50th anniversary celebrations came to an end.