Celebrations Scheduled for Yangon U Centennial Run-Up

By Lei Lei 15 July 2019

YANGON—With Yangon University turning 100 years old next year, pre-centenary celebrations will be held beginning this in December of this year and continuing through to its centennial birthday in December 2020, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said at the first meeting of a centenary commemoration committee meeting Wednesday.

In the run-up to the centenary, alumni gatherings, ceremonies paying respects to retired teachers, paper-reading sessions, anniversary dinners and musical performances will be organized, she said.

In addition, research papers and other studies will be published, and Yangon university magazines of successive periods and related publications will be displayed, according to the committee.

Essay and poem contests, funfairs and variety shows will also be organized. Vintage films about university life will also be screened. University students will also display their scientific and IT inventions and contests focused on 100 years of fashion at Yangon University will also be held.

“We have yet to discuss details,” deputy education minister U Win Maw Tun told The Irrawaddy.

Yangon University is being renovated to host the celebrations, said U Aung Myint Oo of the Myanmar Literature Department of Yangon University. Seventeen work committees have been formed to organize centenary celebrations, he added.

The Yangon University was established on Dec. 1, 1920, and its golden jubilee and diamond jubilee were heled on a grand scale respectively in 1970 and 1995.

The university was one of the most prestigious universities in Southeast Asia and one of the top universities in Asia in before World War II and just after independence.

Speaking at the meeting on Wednesday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said she hopes that the university will be able to restore its former status and do even better.

When the plan to establish Yangon University by merging Rangoon College and (Baptist-affiliated) Judson College under the University of Rangoon Act was announced in 1920, around 400 students from Rangoon College and Judson College staged a protest, as the act also included rate hikes that went far beyond what the common people could afford.

The protests were later joined by basic education students and finally led to the establishment of national colleges and schools.

Yangon University was at the center of Myanmar’s anti-colonial movement and independence struggle, turning out inspirational leaders like Myanmar’s independence hero General Aung San and United Nations Secretary-General U Thant.