«We are in a deserted lecture hall, forced to protect ourselves, but we have no reason to feel alone, because these spaces are filled with the participation and affection of those who follow us from a distance and with the intellectual and moral legacy of all those who have made this place alive throughout the University's history». With these words the Rector of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Franco Anelli, began his speech on the occasion of the inauguration of the academic year 2020/2021, thus officially opening the celebrations for the 100th year of the University's foundation. The ceremony, which was streamed live online on the University's website www.unicatt.it and on the institutional social channels @Unicatt, was held on Tuesday 13 April in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella who, connected from the Quirinale Palace, attended the event and greeted the academic community, thanking them for the invitation.
In the background there were the unusual circumstances caused by the pandemic, «which obviously cannot be ignored», said Rector Anelli, and which «require us to reflect on them in a contingency and historical perspective». President Mattarella also referred to the particular situation we are going through, which «strongly conditions meetings», but which «allows us to maintain unchanged the meaning and all the value of this extraordinary moment for Università Cattolica». In fact, the President of the Republic continued, «one hundred years are a very important anniversary, not because of the long time that has passed, but because of the excellent results achieved during that time».