Opening of the 2023-2024 academic year
On Tuesday, October 10, 2023, at 11:30 a.m., the opening ceremony of the academic year 2023-2024, the 721st since the foundation of Sapienza, was held in the Rectorate Building's Aula Magna.
Rector Antonella Polimeni opened the event followed by speeches by Antonio Butruce, a student of the Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, and Enza Vallario, Sapienza's Educational manager.
During the ceremony, Sapienza awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Aeronautics and Space Engineering to Samantha Cristoforetti, an astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA), considered one of the most important personalities in the world of science, known for having linked the name of Italian astronautics to the most prestigious achievements in the history of space missions and exploration, contributing to the advancement of aerospace technologies and sciences.
Samantha Cristoforetti completed her first 'Futura' mission to the International Space Station between November 2014 and June 2015 and returned to space for her 'Minerva' mission in 2022, serving as the fifth European commander. She was the first European woman on the International Space Station during 'Expedition 68'.
The doctoral eulogy was delivered by Sergio Pirozzoli, coordinator of the PhD programme in Aeronautics and Space Engineering, followed by Samantha Cristoforetti's lectio magistralis.
The MuSa Classical Orchestra, acronym for Musica Sapienza, conducted by Maestro Francesco Vizioli, played GaudeaMuSa, the new arrangement of 'Gaudeamus' by Francesco Vizioli. Soprano Anna Koschina and members of the MuSa Blues choir also performed.
At the end of the ceremony, the guests were invited to admire the two pieces by the artist Alberto Burri, who died in 1995, Cellotex Rivoli no. 11 and Cellotex Rivoli no. 17, 1991, and to Boniface VIII's cope, a ceremonial cloak.