News News from Hungary How did the best Hun­gar­i­an uni­ver­si­ties get their names?

How did the best Hun­gar­i­an uni­ver­si­ties get their names?

Hungary’s high­er edu­ca­tion boasts many famous uni­ver­si­ties. Not all of these uni­ver­si­ties are like the Budapest Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy; most of them bear the names of famous Hun­gar­i­an per­sons. The names of Kálmán Kandó, Ignaz Sem­mel­weis, Loránd Eötvös, Saint Stephen and Péter Pázmány all belong to dif­fer­ent high­er edu­ca­tion insti­tu­tions. But who are these insti­tu­tions named after? 

St. Stephen I. 

He was the last Grand Prince of the Hun­gar­i­ans and the first King of Hun­gary. He was born by the pagan name Vajk.  He was the first mem­ber of his fam­i­ly who became a devout Chris­t­ian. After his father Géza died, he had to fight for the throne. He defeat­ed his rel­a­tive Kop­pány. He was crowned on 25 Decem­ber 1000 or 1 Jan­u­ary 1001 with a crown sent by Pope Sylvester II. Stephen estab­lished at least one arch­bish­opric, six bish­oprics and three Bene­dic­tine monas­ter­ies, lead­ing the Church in Hun­gary to devel­op inde­pen­dent­ly from the arch­bish­ops of the Roman Empire. He encour­aged the spread of Chris­tian­i­ty. He reformed the sys­tem of local admin­is­tra­tion. Hun­gary enjoyed a last­ing peri­od of peace dur­ing his reign. He was one of the most influ­en­tial per­sons of Hun­gar­i­an his­to­ry. He died on 15 August 1038. He was buried in his new basil­i­ca, built in Székesfehérvár.

Kálmán Kandó

Kálmán Kandó was a Hun­gar­i­an engi­neer, the inven­tor of the phase con­vert­er. He stud­ied mechan­i­cal engi­neer­ing at the Budapest Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty. After his mil­i­tary ser­vice, he trav­elled to France and worked there. He devel­oped a com­plete­ly new design-cal­cu­la­tion pro­ce­dure. This made it pos­si­ble to pro­duce eco­nom­ic AC trac­tion motors. He was a pio­neer in the devel­op­ment of AC elec­tric rail­way trac­tion. Many mod­ern elec­tric trains work on the same three-phase high ten­sion AC prin­ci­ple. In 2001, he received the posthu­mous Hun­gar­i­an Her­itage Award. In Budapest, the for­mer Kandó Kálmán Elec­tri­cal Engi­neer­ing Col­lege, which is now part of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Óbu­da, also bore his name. 

Loránd Eötvös

Loránd Eötvös was a Hun­gar­i­an physi­cist. He is most­ly remem­bered for his work on grav­i­ta­tion and sur­face ten­sion, and the inven­tion of the tor­sion pen­du­lum. He was born in 1848. He stud­ied law, then switched to physics. He became a uni­ver­si­ty pro­fes­sor in Budapest. He played a lead­ing part in Hun­gar­i­an sci­ence for almost half a cen­tu­ry. His weak equiv­a­lence prin­ci­ple plays a promi­nent role in rel­a­tiv­i­ty the­o­ry, and Albert Ein­stein cit­ed the Eötvös exper­i­ment in 1916. Eötvös Loránd Uni­ver­si­ty in Budapest bears his name. 

Péter Pázmány

Péter Pázmány was a Hun­gar­i­an Jesuit, a philoso­pher, the­olo­gian, car­di­nal pul­pit ora­tor and states­man. He was one of the most influ­en­tial fig­ures in the Counter-Ref­or­ma­tion. His most impor­tant lega­cy is his cre­ation of the Hun­gar­i­an lit­er­ary lan­guage. He was born in 1570. He went through his novi­tiate at Kraków, then stud­ied phi­los­o­phy in Vien­na and the­ol­o­gy in Rome. Pázmány was the soul of the Catholic renew­al in Hun­gary. Pázmány, as the head of the Hun­gar­i­an Catholic Church, used every­thing that could to stand in the way of the expan­sion and weak­en­ing of Protes­tantism, which had become influ­en­tial at the expense of his church.

Ignaz Sem­mel­weis

Ignaz Phillipp Sem­mel­weis was a Hun­gar­i­an physi­cian and sci­en­tist. He is most known as an ear­ly pio­neer of anti­sep­tic pro­ce­dures. He is the “sav­iour of moth­ers”. Sem­mel­weis dis­cov­ered that the inci­dence of puer­per­al fever could be dras­ti­cal­ly cut by the use of hand dis­in­fec­tion in obstet­ri­cal clin­ics. This kind of fever was quite fre­quent in the 19th cen­tu­ry. Ignaz Sem­mel­weis pro­posed the prac­tise of wash­ing hands with chlo­ri­nat­ed lime solu­tions. This looks quite obvi­ous, but back then, Semmelweis’s obser­va­tions were against the estab­lished sci­en­tif­ic and med­ical opin­ions. Semmelweis’s prac­tise earned wide­spread accep­tance only years after his death. On Novem­ber 7, 1969, the Budapest Med­ical Uni­ver­si­ty was named after him. 

Source: dai​lynew​shun​gary​.hu