Monuments to two rectors unveiled on University of Tartu’s Memorial Day
Thursday, 26 September, the traditional Memorial Day is held at the University of Tartu to commemorate former members of the university. This year, monuments are unveiled on the graves of former rectors Peeter Tulviste and Volli Kalm. The construction of the monuments was supported by Tartu city government and the Rotary Club. University members as well as all others are welcome to attend the event.
On Thursday at 16, a memorial ceremony is held in the central square of Raadi Cemetery with speeches delivered by Rector Toomas Asser and Pastor Triin Käpp of the University of Tartu St. John’s congregation. Tartu Academic Male Choir sings at the ceremony.
After the ceremony, monuments are unveiled on the graves of Peeter Tulviste and Volli Kalm. According to Andres Soosaar, Academic Secretary of the University of Tartu, it is significant that the tombstones are opened shortly before the centenary of Estonia’s national university. “The recently departed rectors Peeter Tulviste and Volli Kalm shaped the present and the future of the national university,” Soosaar explained.
The design competition of each monument attracted three entries. The monument to Peeter Tulviste was designed by Tiiu Kirsipuu, and executed and installed by Kivilind OÜ. The monument consists of two cornerwise-placed blocks, with cutouts forming a cross between the blocks.
The tombstones of former rectors Peeter Tulviste and Volli Kalm. Photos: University of Tartu
The tombstone of Volli Kalm was designed by Ekke Väli, and executed and installed by OÜ Renott Kivi. The sculptor created the monument keeping in mind Kalm’s work as a rector and his professional work as a geologist. The monument features six grooves symbolising the columns of the university’s main building. Four of the grooves are filled with different minerals, while the two empty ones mark a life and work cut short.
According to the Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas, the late rectors of the University of Tartu Peeter Tulviste and Volli Kalm left a significant impact on the city of Tartu and the academic landscape here. “We can still perceive their effect in our current activities and our space for thought, and I am proud that the memory of these two notable citizens of Tartu has now been perpetuated in a respectful manner,” Klaas added.
After unveiling the monuments, the graves of other former rectors (since 2018) are visited. Science historian Erki Tammiksaar gives a talk about the rectors. Flowers and candles are placed on the graves.
Andres Soosaar, Academic Secretary of the University of Tartu, +372 737 5605, +372 5919 1116, andres.soosaar [ät] ut.ee
Kady Sõstar, Senior Specialist for Protocol, International Cooperation Unit, University of Tartu, +372 737 5685, +372 511 9188, kady.sostar [ät] ut.ee