Kateryna Yushchenko visited the National University of Ostrog Academy to present students with awards for writing research papers on Ukraine’s Christmas holidays and rites, President's press office reported.

In her speech, the President’s wife said the academy was a “center of spirituality, science and tolerance” and stressed that it was genuinely European.

“Ukraine is becoming the center of Europe,” she said. “Europeans respect us as much as they did many years ago.”

The First Lady urged all students to actively support their alma mater.

“Support the academy financially.Come back hereas professors. Make its scientific fame grow,” she said, adding that it was important to revive charitable traditions.

“Look around to see who you can help personally or as a member of a charitable organization. Do not rely solely on the state and government. Do some community service to help those in need,” said Mrs. Yushchenko.

The Ostrog Academy President, Psychology Professor Ihor Pasichnyk told the First Lady about the institution. They visited the information center and the library. Kateryna Yushchenko presented a book to the academy.

In his turn, the President decorated the honorary guest with the Vasyl-Kostyantyn Ostrozky Medal for her charitable activity and support of the Ukrainian culture, while members of the Student Community gave her a traditional embroidered shirt and invited the President’s wife to visit the academy again.

They also asked Mrs. Yushchenko if she wanted her children to study at the academy. She replied in the affirmative.

“I would be proud if they studied here. I know that, to enter this university, one should be well-trained, so we will work hard for ten years to have adequate knowledge,” she noted.

The academy was founded in 1576 by Prince Vasyl-Kostyantyn Ostrozky. It became the first educational institution in Eastern Europe.


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