January 25, 1755: M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University is established at the instigation of Ivan Shuvalov and Mikhail Lomonosov by a decree of the Russian Empress Elizabeth. It is the largest and arguably the oldest university in Russia. [The other candidates have not been in continuous use.] Shuvalov was a leader of the Russian Enlightenment and became the first Russian Minister of Education. Lomonosov was a Russian polymath, scientist, and writer with important work in literature, education, and science. He was involved in natural science, chemistry, physics, mineralogy, history, art, philology, optical devices and more. He was a poet and created the basis for modern Russian literary language.
Their current website (2010) states, there are approximately 4,000 staff with 40,000 undergrads and 7,000 post-grads at the university. There are another 5,000 researchers working there and 15,000 ancillary staff. Each year, 2,000 international students come to study in one of 26 different departments. Back in the 18th century there were three departments: philosophy, medicine, and law.
The campus is sprawling. Sparrow Hill, once at the outskirts of Moscow, is the home of many of the department buildings. Moscow has grown and now the buildings are about midway between the Kremlin and the city limits. Today there are over 600 buildings and facilities making up the campus for this impressive university.
The main building was designed by Lev Vladimirovich Rudnev. Stalin ordered seven huge tiered neoclassic towers built around Moscow and the main building of Moscow University was by far the largest. It contains 20.5 miles of corridors and 5000 rooms. The star on top of the tower weighs 12 tons.
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” – Plutarch
“Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.” – John F. Kennedy
“But if you ask what is the good of education in general, the answer is easy: that education makes good men, and that good men act nobly.” – Plato
“Education…has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.” – G. M. Trevelyan
Also on this day, in 1787 the Shays’s Rebellion heats up.