Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends of the “Carol I” University Foundation, Welcome to the Auditorium of the “Carol I” Central University Library!
For the modern man, the Angel is rarely more than a smile occasion, rightly wrote Andrei Plesu. I truly believe that the Angel of this Library made it possible for us to be here today. An Angel with a difficult mission: 122 years ago, King Carol I signed the founding act of this settlement, opened then after 4 years … The Foundation was intended to strengthen “the brotherhood among university students” and nourish “the patriotic feeling that elevates its soul!” 99 years ago, on 9 May, it was here where Carol I made his last public appearance.
During the bombings of August 1944 the Foundation’s building was set on fire and badly damaged. Book deposits had to be moved … then reinvented. The Angel took care so that in a few years, the Library would reopen its doors.
The earthquake of 1977 severely affected the building we are in now, including its resistance structure. The Angel restored it again, with great dedication, including the architectural details of the Auditorium.
But the most difficult situation to which this institution was subject to occurred in 1989, when the library lost even its body: the building was completely destroyed, and together with it half a million books, including very rare editions, 12,000 bibliophile books, 3,700 manuscripts and letters – irretrievably lost… Teary-eyed but stronger than ever, the Angel stretched his wing out and managed to inspire those who began the work on the reconstruction of the building on the one hand, and of the collections on the other hand! The destiny of some great libraries was to burn throughout the ages but not all of them though had the energy to reborn from their own ashes…
Believing that there is a need in Romania today to recover at least part of the spiritual power, the prestige and the value of the generous institution from the beginning of the previous century, almost a year ago I reestablished the “Carol I” University Foundation. Yes, the Romanian elite must come together again! And this Foundation, whose current status was inspired by the original statutes, aspires to become a landmark in the landscape of cultural and educational organizations in our country as well as a quality partner, a prominent one, for international institutions.
The principles that guide the Foundation consider supporting the next generation of valuable people; equidistance towards politics; cultivating tolerance and equal rights and duties; respect for human rights, individual freedoms and property rights; supporting sustainable development and respect for the environment. And these are materialized through initiatives including social entrepreneurship… We generate ideas which gather people around them that capitalize projects, turning them into actions with added value for the society. Progress is the result of a joint effort around some torch vectors. Therefore, we want to become an exporter, a steering element for other associations and foundations which are in harmony with these principles, an integrator of different initiatives from across the country.
I started this journey believing that we must try more often to do something, before becoming someone. Let us invoke the Angel together so that he supports us to continue properly!