The traditions of University of Silesia do not focus only on science and research. Unlike other universities in Poland, we celebrate our heritage in more unconventional manner – through interfering with both high and popular culture.
Some of the finest examples of such activities are:
The story of our mascott begins with the University of Silesia adopting the donkey - which in Polish culture is the embodiment of stubbornness, but also hard work.
In the year 2009 (August, 1st) the University of Silesia symbolically adopted an animal in the Chorzow's zoo. This event, apart from highlighting the importance of taking care of the environment, made an enormous impact on the university's reception, exposing that the university was no longer just an emotionless educational institution. The negative cultural connotations are a parallel to the university's constant efforts in self-development, diligence and consequence.
The likeable image of the donkey (called Michael; in Polish: Michał) was with the University of Silesia ever since. In this way, when in the December 2009 the contest for the university's mascott was organized, it was clear that the final project should also focus on the donkey.
The winning design was prepared by Justyna Mikusz - a student of graphics on the university's Faculty of Fine arts and Music - and rapidly gained an enormous popularity. The jury appreciated the sympathetic and original design of proposed pet. Basing of her work, the final image of the university's mascott was created.
The donkey in Chorzow's Zoo is with us. He is currently over 15 years old, but still keeps himself in great shape!
The student’s Monument
A joint initiative of the university and local authorities, the student’s monument was unveiled on 24 June 2008 in front of the rector’s office at 12 Bankowa Street. It was designed by Professor Jerzy Fober and Professor Andrzej Szarek of the Institute of Fine Arts in Cieszyn.
With the 2-meter monument made from bronze the authors combined the ancient idea of beauty with a bit of contemporary sense of humour. Instead of creating a standard depiction of a student’s monument - in a sitting person, sprawled on a bench, the artists decided to use the motive of kouros and Plato’s Academy, from which modern science and university education originate. Kouros was an ancient monument that represented standing naked young male with his arms straight at sides, left foot advanced and with a faint smile on his lips. Such male figures had served several functions in ancient times: they represented gods, usually Apollo or served as a memorial for winners in the games.
However, the kouros standing at Bankowa Street is wearing a pair of jeans, that represents contemporary society, and a square academic cap, which derives from Anglo-Saxon tradition - a symbol of united Europe. As such, the monument has already become a noticeable part of Katowice.
Walk of Fame
The walk of fame on the University of Silesia dates back to the year 2011, when the authorities, together with Student Government of the university, decided that it is worth commemorating the greatest of the university. Analogically to its famous inspiration, the walk comemorates the “stars” – the ones who contributed to what the university is today, and is an expression of thankfulness to all those who have ever supportted the university: lecturers, students, alumni and university's friends.