Pubblicato il: 30/03/2023
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The University of Milan presents the celebration programme for its upcoming 100th anniversary in 2024

The University of Milan was created on 28 August 1924 in the Milan Prefettura – a local administrative office – when the first Rector Luigi Mangiagalli, who at the time was also Milan’s Mayor, signed the founding papers. He had been working passionately towards this goal for 20 years, firmly supported by members of the city’s ruling class, who were well aware of the interconnection between cultural and scientific development on one hand, and the general progress of Milan and the whole country on the other. 

One of the most prominent universities in Europe, and with a truly interdisciplinary offer, the University of Milan has always been deeply rooted in its territory and city. This connection to the local dimension is also at the core of the programme of events planned by the University to celebrate its 100th Anniversary and unveiled to the press in the majestic Ca’ Granda complex.

The press conference was attended by the Rector of the University of Milan, Prof. Elio Franzini, Milan’s Mayor Giuseppe Sala, Lombardy’s Regional Councillor for University, Research and Innovation Alessandro Fermi, Fondazione Cariplo’s current President Giovanni Fosti, the Deputy Rector of the University of Milan for the Third Mission, Cultural Activities and Social Impact Marina Carini, the Deputy Rector for Digital Innovation, Strategic and Special Projects Goffredo Haus, and the artistic director of the celebrations for the 100th Anniversary, Massimiliano Finazzer Flory.

Under the artistic direction of Mr Finazzer Flory, the celebrations programme for the 100th anniversary has been designed as an 18-month journey to discover the University and its values. Starting now and ending in September 2024, this journey will be a work-in-progress, a series of events bringing together past, present and future on Milan’s cultural scene. Both the academic community and citizens will be equally involved in multiple initiatives shaped by the wealth of scientific and cultural knowledge offered by the unique interdisciplinary context of the University of Milan.

The programme is focused on five main events, hosted in iconic locations in Milan and featuring prominent personalities in the fields of culture, art and science, who will lend their diverse voices to recount stories of nature, history, discovery and beauty. Among the major names participating in the events are Dacia Maraini, Massimo Recalcati, Fritjof Capra, Stefano Mancuso, Simone Moro. Details and updates of the programme will be posted on the dedicated website

To mark the opening of the celebrations for the 100th Anniversary, the University has chosen to present a project which is particularly emblematic of its history and identity: the Virtual UniMi Museum, or VUMM, a virtual space where the University of Milan deploys state-of-the-art technologies to make its cultural heritage accessible to the public. This heritage is the expression of a diversified and multidisciplinary knowledge embodied in historical and contemporary buildings, museums, as well as scientific, artistic, archival, bibliographic, historical, archaeological and naturalistic collections.

The VUMM showcases a wide selection of more than 2,000 digitalised images from over 20 collections that the University has inherited since its foundation. Decade after decade, the collections have been integrated by new acquisitions and donations, as well as by constant research, archaeological campaigns and digs. This process has accompanied the life of the University and its city for 100 years, from the legacy of ancient institutions to the latest achievements in research. In addition to their historical, cultural and scientific value, these objects often have some extraordinary aesthetic qualities.

The project has been entirely designed and implemented within the University, thanks to a fruitful collaboration with the Google Cultural Institute. The VUMM was inaugurated yesterday at 5 pm in the Great Hall, with an event open to the public. The museum can be visited online at

Prof. Elio Franzini, Rector of the University of Milan, commented: The 100th Anniversary implies a duty, for the Rector who has the honour of celebrating it, to outline a summary, an overview embracing the whole community that step by step, throughout the decades, often juggling the multiple difficulties of an exceptionally rich and therefore exceptionally complex system, has built one of the most important universities in Italy and Europe. To them, to those who have built this University and continue to build it every day, I express my gratitude and appreciation. But this is not a time to rest on the laurels of our numerous achievements. The 100th Anniversary forces us to look to the future. As we all know, many challenging projects are under way. The University of Milan is entering a memorable transformation process that involves both the city and its surrounding territory. This is surely the most challenging transformation the University has undergone since its foundation, and it is emblematic of a vital system that has never ceased to look forward, with an open mind and a clear guiding principle, valid today just as it was in the past: knowledge, learning and culture as a shared good and starting point of any progress”.

 “I am really glad that one of my first public appearances as Regional Councillor for University is at an event so important as the 100th Anniversary of the University of Milan – added Alessandro Fermi, Lombardy’s Regional Councillor for University, Research and Innovation – Being here to celebrate a century in the life of this University prompts us to look to the past, to highlight all the things that have been done for the city of Milan, for its territory and most of all for the young people of our Region. At the same time, it is essential to focus our attention on the future, since only through study and research can we achieve certain goals. Today, the University of Milan is not only the most important tertiary education institution in Lombardy, but also a jewel in the crown of Italian and European academia. Lombardy’s regional government has always supported the University of Milan, and now this support also extends to the ambitious project of works for the new science campus in MIND on one hand, and the revamped campus in Città Studi on the other. We truly believe in this development project: we live in times full of uncertainties and changes, and having an anchor point like this in our Region is surely something that makes us all proud”.

"The University of Milan is an essential part of the historical heritage of our city” said Milan’s Mayor Giuseppe Sala. “The body of knowledge, study, research and innovation which the University has promoted through its Faculties over a century has been, is, and will continue to be fundamental for the social, economic and cultural growth and development of Milan and our whole country. The upcoming 100th-year milestone is remarkable and deserves to be celebrated by Milan with gratitude, for all the results achieved so far, but also with the enthusiasm required to master the challenges of the present and future”.

“The University is the place where the thirst for knowledge is cultivated, a thirst for knowledge directed to all things and their connection with life. Indeed, the very root of the word universitas refers to this open-mindedness. For 100 years, the University of Milan has been the place – chosen and asked for by the city itself – where everybody was given a chance to learn, generate knowledge and build capacities to contribute to the growth of the city and its community. In times like these, marked by such important transformations, investments in training and the role played by universities are becoming even more central. Therefore, we are deeply thankful to the University of Milan for its history, and for the opportunities that it will continue to offer to its territory and the whole country”, said Giovanni Fosti, President of Fondazione Cariplo.