RSU Academic Ball
The RSU Academic Ball has been held since the conclusion of the 2002 academic year with the phrase Finis coronat opus - The end crowns the work. The academic ball marks the end of the intellectual and practical work done throughout the year, which manifests in the slogan of the ball Ad honorem artes, scientia, veritas – Honouring art, science, truth.
RSU students, empoloyees and special guests participate in the ball. The Annual Awards are presented during the evening for the best students, employees and structural units of the year, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award. Traditionally the ball starts with a polonaise, and the rest of the evening passes in a swirl of classical and modern dances.
History of the ball
The 2019 Academic Ball too place on 6 April at the Rīga Latvian Society. It acted as a culmination of the RSU Research wee which took place between 1 and 5 April.
The Ball commenced with the singing of the student hymn ‘Gaudeamus igitur’ and a speech by RSU Rector, Prof. Aigars Pētersons. This was followed by a performance by clarinettist Anna Gāgane. Anna is the winner of the 2019 Latvian Grand Music Award in the New Artist category. This was followed by a performance by pianist Agnese Egliņa.
The RSU Annual Awards were presented in nine categories:
- Student of the Year – Stav Brodsky
- Master's Student of the Year – Lāsma Ķite
- Resident of the Year – Signe Šetlere
- Doctoral Student of the Year – Jānis Zariņš
- Lecturer of the Year – Zane Vitenberga
- Researcher of the Year – Klāvs Sedlenieks
- Structural Unit of the Year – Student Services
- Administrative Employee of the Year – Rolands Bļujus
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Aija Rubene, Dagmāra Sprūdža, Andrejs Skaģers, Maija Eglīte
The RSU Alumni Association Award was presented for the first time. It was created to honour distinguished RSU alumni who actively support their university after graduation. The first award went to Reinis Joksts who graduated in 1982.
The Student Union handed out their award to the Communications Department to honour the good collaboration they have developed.
To round off the event, the RSU choir Rīga (conducted by Zane Zilberte and Evita Taranda) performed Imants Kalniņš’ song cycle from the rock opera Ei, jūs tur! with lyrics by Viktors Kalniņš.
Later in the evening the Jelgava Big Band, Elza Rozentāle, Normunds Rutulis, Ivars Pētersons, Atis Ieviņš and Rock Brother performed for guests. The creative society Skudras metropole oversaw the atmosphere and entertainment in the White Hall by organising colourful piano duels and ice-cream making, art workshops, Argentinian tango. There were also several dance performances, a photo salon and the large ball cake.
The event was moderated by Normunds Rutulis.
In 2018 the RSU Academic Ball was held on 24 March at Riga Latvian Society House. The evening began with a performance by Duo LV (violinist Kristīne Balana un pianist Andrejs Osokins). This was followed by the presentation of the RSU Annual Awards in various categories.
- Student of the Year – Rihards Pēteris Ročāns
- International Student of the Year – Johannes Georg Steibl
- Master's Student of the Year – Austris Keišs
- Doctoral Student of the Year – Davide Borroni
- Resident of the Year – Olga Zemļanuhina
- Researcher of the Year – Oskars Kalējs
- Lecturer of the Year – Kristīne Blumfelde-Rutka (social sciences) and Ilze Štrumfa (medicine and healthcare)
- Administrative Employee of the Year – Matīss Sīlis
Performances by Daumants Kalniņš and Kaspars Zemītis followed the RSU Awards ceremony. Big Al & The Jokers performed at the ball, as well as the Štrausa string quartet and soloists Aija Vītoliņa and Daumants Kalniņš and others.
In 2017 the RSU Academic Ball was held on 8 April at the Riga Latvian Society House. The RSU Annual Award Ceremony was followed by a cycle of songs by Uldis Marhilevičs together with the RSU choir Rīga and the folk dance group Ačkups with performances by soloists Aija Andrejeva and Andris Ērglis, and musicians Dzintars Beitāns, Modris Laizāns and Ivars Kalniņš.
- Student of the Year – Dmitrijs Rots
- International Student of the Year – Amanpreet Singh Grewal
- Master's Student of the Year – Anastasija Tjarve-Zimacka
- Resident of the Year – Liene Bērze
- Doctoral Student of the Year – Vita Skuja
- Lecturer of the Year – Rudīte Koka
- Administrative Employee of the Year – Asja Lunga
The Mirage Jazz Orchestra performed and Agnese Rakovska, Lauris Valters, Kristīne Prauliņa, Atis Ieviņš and others sang at the ball.
Hosts: Dita Lūriņa and Intars Rešetins.
In 2016 the Academic Ball was held on 19 March in the Large Hall of the Riga Latvian Society House. It began with the student anthem 'Gaudeamus Igitur' and a speech by RSU rector professor Jānis Gardovskis. Following this the traditional RSU Annual Awards were distributed to the best students and employees in the following categories:
- Student of the Year – Dana Kigitoviča
- International Student of the Year – Linda Veith Sanches
- Master’s Student of the Year – Baiba Jakobsone
- Resident of the Year – Arta Spridzāne
- Doctoral Student of the Year – Vita Začesta
- Researcher of the Year – Maija Dambrova
- Lecturer of the Year – Maija Rumaka
- Administrative Employee of the Year – Andulis Priednieks
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Professor Ivans Zagorskis
After the concert guests were invited for refreshments in the Golden Hall and the White Hall.
Dancing started with the polonaise, and the first dance set was played by the Big Band of the National Armed Forces from Liepāja, followed by the Jelgava Big Band led by Raitis Ašmanis (soloists – Aija Vītoliņa and Daumants Kalniņš), this was followed by presentations by dance studio Evita and dancers from the Intelligence Academy.
On the second floor guests had an opportunity to participate in creative workshops, as well as watch a water cinema performance - or painting on water - and were able to try out their talents in this ancient Persian technique.
Atis Ieviņš, the musical association The Rock Brothers and DJ Kārlis Ķilkuts entertained guests in the Golden Hall. A photo room was set up nearby.
The ball was hosted by Intars Rešetins.
The mixed RSU choir Rīga and folk dance group Ačkups performed at the official ceremony. Their performance was inspired by Latvian cultural events from the previous year – poets Rainis and Aspazija, composer Emīls Dārziņš, choreographer Uldis Žagats. The ceremony ended with asong by Imants Kalniņš with lyrics by Rainis – 'Jau ziediem rotātas pļavas'.
In 2015 RSU celebrated its 65th anniversary which meant that the traditional spring Academic Ball was replaced by an Anniversary Ball on 19 September. The Ball took place in Culture Palace Ziemeļblāzma.
The event was opened with a traditional polonaise followed by a speech by the RSU Rector, musical performances and dancing. The Ball was hosted by Dita Lūriņa and Mārtiņš Egliens.
The Mirage Jazz Orchestra and soloists Diāna Pīrāgs, Dita Lūriņa, Andris Ērglis and Laimis Rācenājs performed for guests in the Large Hall, while DJ Kārlis Ķilkuts, Atis Ieviņš and The Rock Brothers entertained in the Chamber Hall.
The Academic Ball was held in Culture Palace Ziemeļblāzma for the first time on 12 April 2014.
The official part of the Ball started at 19:00 in the Large Hall with a speech by RSU rector professor Jānis Gardovskis followed by the student anthem 'Gaudeamus Igitur'. The traditional RSU Annual Awards were distributed to the best students and employees in several categories:
- Student of the Year – Kārlis Rācenis
- International Student of the Year – Wasifa Butt
- Master’s Student of the Year – Aleksandra Aitullina
- Doctoral Student of the Year – Marina Makrecka-Kūka
- Resident of the Year – Irina Rjabceva
- Researcher of the Year – Juris Ērenpreiss
- Lecturer of the Year – Silvija Umbraško
- Administrative Employee of the Year – Uldis Berķis
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Professor Uldis Teibe
The ball was hosted by Normunds Rutulis.
Bus transportation was available to ball participants to and from Culture Palace Ziemeļblāzma.
The mixed RSU choir Rīga, folk dance group Ačkups and an instrumental band performed at the official ceremony devoting their performance to Rīga. A new Rīga choir CD with song cycles titled 'Spuldze un nakts taureņi' and 'Mīlestības dziesmas' was presented to a large group of attendees.
After the concert guests were invited to a glass of wine and refreshments in the halls and cafeteria on the 1st floor of the palace.
Dancing in the Large Hall began at 20:45 with the polonaise. The first dance set was played by the Big Band of National Armed Forces from Liepāja, then the Jelgava Big Band led by Raitis Ašmanis (solo singers – Aija Vītoliņa and Normunds Rutulis) took over followed by a performance by dance studio Evita.
The musical association Tonick and Miks Dukurs’ band played in the Chamber Hall with dance performances which were followed by a DJ.
Magicians Dace and Enriko Pecolli gave two performances - Doctor Dulakmar and Micro-magic - in the Chamber Hall and in the hall next to the Large Hall.
The palace cafeteria was open to all attendees to enjoy a peaceful atmosphere at tables.
The exhibition halls, park and watch tower were open to visitors.
A fortune-telling parlour and Imants Prēdelis’ photo room were set up for ball attendees.
At 22:45 the ball cake was cut.
Raimonds Pauls was special guest at the 2013 Academic Ball.
While expecting guests, music and a pair of mime artists from the youth theatre Brīvo aktieru biedrība created a special atmosphere in the foyer of the Riga Latvian Society House.
Rector Jānis Gardovskis gave a speech during the official part of the ball and the annual RSU Awards were distributed to the best students and employees in several categories.
- Student of the Year – Anna Šaļapina
- International Student of the Year – Kirsten Ytreland
- Master’s Student of the Year – Valda Pastare
- Doctoral Student of the Year – Aleksandrs Derjabo
- Resident of the Year –Ņikita Bezborodovs
- Researcher of the Year – Elīna Škapare
- Lecturer of the Year – Andris Sprūds
- Administrative Employee of the Year – Edijs Šauers
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Professor Vija Eniņa
The ball was held in three halls at the same time. Dancing in the Large Hall started at 21:00 with a polonaise. Afterwards, dance music was played by the Jelgava Big Band led by Raitis Ašmanis with soloists and the band Bet Bet. This was followed by a performance by dance studio Evita led by Evita Pavasare.
The group Gain Fast and The Picture and DJ Kārlis Ķilkuts played in the Golden Hall.
A cafeteria was open in the White Hall where a light show and lounge music could be enjoyed. Projections created by a video artist specifically for this event were demonstrated on the walls. A screen was installed in the hall on which guests' heartbeats created music and a mosaic when a finger was placed on the device. Moreover everyone had the opportunity of seeing the interior of this peculiar device and to learn how information from the heart, flowing through different mechanical parts, turned into a work of art.
An exhibition devoted to the 100th anniversary of the painter Alfejs Bromults could also be viewed in the White Hall.
Alongside all this, there was also a fortune telling parlour and a photo room.
The ball programme was hosted by Valdis Melderis.
After the official ceremony a unique concert was held during which the mixed RSU choir Rīga and an instrumental band with Pēteris Liepiņš on the bass, Reinis Ašmanis on the drums, Raitis Ašmanis on percussion, performed a cycle of songs by Raimonds Pauls 'Spuldze un nakts taureņi' which had been updated after many years. Conductor – Zane Zilberte. Soloist – Zigfrīds Muktupāvels. Piano – Raimonds Pauls.
The Riga Stradiņš University Academic Ball tradition celebrates its 10th anniversary.
- Student of the Year – Klāvs Truševskis
- International Student of the Year – Massensen Izem Ayati
- Master’s Student of the Year – Diāna Potjomkina
- Resident of the Year – Anna Mihailova
- Doctoral Student of the Year – Arnis Āboliņš
- Administrative Employee of the Year – Ingrīda Kalviņa
- Researcher of the Year – Edvīns Miklaševičs
- Lecturer of the Year – Leons Blumfelds
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Professor Jānis Gaujēns
The ceremony was followed by a performance Mīlestības dziesmas with music by Pēters Butāns, lyrics by Fricis Bārda, choreography by Madara Galviņa. Evita Taranda was the conductor, and the performance was delivered by the soloists Aija Vītoliņa, Ingus Pētersons, the mixed RSU choir Rīga, and the RSU folk dance group Ačkups, as well as the group Tango Sin Quinto.
The traditional polonaise took place in the Large Hall, followed by Jelgava Big Band led by Raitis Ašmanis, the group Tango Sin Quinto, and the singers Amber and Ingus Pētersons. Dancers from the Evita dance studio danced the Viennese Waltz and the tango. The evening continued with an auction and the cutting of the ball cake.
Bellaccord and Čehols played music in the Golden Hall, and magicians performed magic.
In the White Hall – Mirage Cafe: Sand cinema, theatre of improvisation ImproZoo and Lounge.
The ball programme was hosted by Valdis Melderis. Photographer Jānis Brencis commemorated the festive events in a photo room.
A musical revue looking back at the academic year took place during the opening of the ball and the award ceremony. The concert was performed by the RSU choir Rīga, Raitis Ašmanis’ Big Band, the vocal group Ambermusic, Liene Circene, Diāna Pīrāgs, Marko Ojala, Laimis Rācenājs and Andris Ērglis.
The bands Undertango and La Petite Paris played in the Golden Hall, and the bands Kaža, Vadītājs konduktors, MadDry and Catus Catus played in the White Hall.
The ball was hosted by Artis Robežnieks.
This year’s ball continued the Christmas Charity mission, donating to those in need. When visiting the art parlour during the ball all donations and fees for photographs and for having your portrait painted by painters Agnija Ģērmane and Agnese Rolava were donated to the rehabilitation centre Vaivari for children with special needs. Funds collected during the Last Champagne Auction at 23:00, as well as other funds donated during the ball, went into the donation box. These funds were used to replenish the equipment of the Art and Music Therapy Room in the rehabilitation centre with specialised toys.
The Academic Ball did not take place in 2010 and was instead replaced by an Anniversary Ball commemorating the Rīga Stradiņš University 60th anniversary. The Anniversary was celebrated with many events, and a alumni reunion as well as a celebratory concert at the Arēna Rīga on 18 September.
The musical event of this year’s RSU Annual Award Ceremony was a concert of the cantata Carmina Burana by Carl Orff performed by the RSU choir Rīga, the RSU folk dance group Ačkups and various musicians. Raitis Ašmanis’ orchestra, IGO and the band The Hobos played after the ceremony. Various student activities were organised in the White Hall where party-goers were entertained by The Hobos and the entertaining Stendera ielas zēni.
- Researcher of the Year – Vladimirs Kasjanovs
- Administrative Employee of the Year – Dainuvīte Vītola
- Lecturer of the Year – Vita Nagliņa
- Doctoral Student of the Year – Dace Zavadska
- Resident of the Year – Inga Melbārde-Gorkuša
- Master’s Student of the Year – Mārtiņš Daugulis
- Student of the Year – Kristīne Zivtiņa
- Annual Student Council Award – Jānis Bernāts
The programme was hosted by Inese Tauriņa and Andris Tauriņš
A concert of Mārtiņš Brauns’ songs was held at the 2018 Academic Ball. The songs were performed by the choir Rīga and the band Keksi. The choir performed a song by Mārtiņš Brauns and Uldis Bērziņš devoted to RSU 'Vecā, labā Alma Mater' (Good Old Alma Mater) which was intended as the anthem of the Rīga Stradiņš University.
The Annual Awards were presented at the Ball:
- Student of the Year – Andrejs Ivanovs
- Master’s Student of the Year – Una Aleksandra Bērziņa
- Resident of the Year – Jana Pavāre
- Doctoral Student of the Year – Ainārs Stepens
- Annual Student Council Award – Ligita Lūka
- The Dean’s Acknowledgement for excellent academic performance, active research and community work – Jasantha Kodithuwakku
Eric Irgen, a representative of the Norwegian Reserve Officers’ Association, gave a speech to all attendees.
Performers at the ball: Ingus Pētersons, Ieva Kerēvica and the band Keksi , Mārtiņš Brauns and Niks Matvējevs, Štrausa string quartet, the medieval dance group Ballare, Red Bee band, and DJ Carlo.
The ball was hosted Mārtiņš Brūveris.
This year's Ball marked the official end of two important events at RSU – the annual scientific conference and the inauguration ceremony of RSU Honorary Doctoral Students: Jānis Stradiņš, Jānis Dūmiņš and Valdis Birkavs.
The musical event of the Ball included a performance by the symphonic orchestra, the RSU choir Rīga and soloists performing the spiritual oratorio 'Cantus in aeternum' by Rihards Dubra which was conducted by esteemed conductor Andris Veismanis. The oratorio was composed the previous year specifically for the choir Rīga and the Festival of European Medical Students’ Choirs in Riga.
- Student of the Year – Līga Dermaka
- Resident of the Year – Dace Zavadska
- Doctoral Student of the Year – Jānis Jušinskis
- Commemorative Awards – Kitija Kursa, Aleksandrs Zlatopoļskis, Dace Dimza, Andrejs Ivanovs, Madara Kreile, Ilze Maldupa, Juta Martinova, Olga Deičmane, Ingrīda Birzniece, Madara Kapeniece, Katrīne Morkāne, Sanita Karāle, Jānis Brūzītis
The awards ceremony was hosted by Jānis Tomels.
A dance orchestra led by Aivars Gudrais played after the ceremony. During the evening performances were delivered by solo singers Olga Rajecka, Uģis Roze, Modris Laizāns, as well as magicians, mime artists, professional dancers and other guest artists. DJ Karlo was in charge of the atmosphere in the Golden Hall and various social activities were organised for students.
The award Cantus in aeternum was given to composer Rihards Dubra and the first mayor of Rīga, physician Jānis Birks.
This year’s Academic Ball was held as part of the University's 55th anniversary celebrations. 1950/51 was the first independent academic year at our higher education institution (at the time – Riga Institute of Medicine). It was during these years that the oldest RSU associations were established: the folk dance group Ačkups, the mixed choir Rīga and the Scientific Student Society. The anniversaries were celebrated at an official ceremony with a small concert at the beginning of the ball.
- Student of the Year – Valdis Pirsko
- Resident of the Year – Anda Kadiša
- Doctoral Student of the Year – Signe Tomsone
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Ausmai Matusēvičai
The evening's programme was hosted by RSU student Kaspars Zlidnis.
After the ceremony Raitis Ašmanis’ Big Band, solo singers Ieva Kerēvica, Laimis Rācenājs, Normunds Rutulis and other musicians performed for the guests.
The popular bands H2O, Ēnas and Gain Fast played for the students in the Golden Hall - notable fact: some members of these bands are RSU alumni!
The following acknowledgement awards were handed out at the ball:
Mixed choir Rīga Annual Award – Ieva Vītiņa
Folk dance group Ačkups Annual Award – Gatis Klaucāns
Scientific Student Society Annual Award – Andrejs Ivanovs
Commemorative awards were handed out to: Sarmīte Plaude, Elita Treilone, Zane Zilberte, Evita Taranda, Linda Piekuse, and professor Jānis Dūmiņš.
Students of the RSU Faculty of European Studies invited Sandra Kalniete and students of military medicine from the Faculty of Medicine invited Colonel Ulf Persson, the Defence Attaché of Sweden, to visit the ball as honorary guests.
The following Annual Awards were handed out at the balĻ:
- Students of the Year – Reinis Vilšķērsts (Faculty of Pharmacy), Zanda Raiskuma (Faculty of European Studies) and Gouthami Gangadharan (Faculty of Stomatology)
- Resident of the Year – Solvita Selderiņa
- Doctoral Student of the Year – Arvīds Irmejs
The most active members of various RSU student organisations were also awarded – among the nominees were representatives from the Sports Club, the Student Council, the Scientific Student Society, the choir Rīga and the folk dance group Ačkups.
The ball was hosted by Nauris Puntulis. The programme included dance and musical masterpieces from around the world, songs from popular shows, musicals and films. The New Chamber Orchestra of Riga conducted by Viesturs Gailis provided the music for the ball.
Solo singers – Jolanta Gulbe, Nauris Puntulis, Jānis Stībelis, Ivars Pētersons and the best Latvian instrumentalists – Madars Kalniņš, Deniss Paškēvičs, Raimonds Macats, Norberts Skraucis, Ainis Zavackis, Ingus Feldmanis, Eduards Glotovs.
The four best students of the final academic years were awarded for their excellent study performance and good results in their scientific research:
- Kaspars Stāmers (Faculty of Stomatology)
- Jūlija Jeganova (Faculty of European Studies)
- Inta Macāne (Faculty of Postgraduate Education)
- Gowry Kathirawetpillai (Faculty of Medicine)
The ball opened with a polonaise played by the Chamber Orchestra of the Latvian Philharmonic, and continued with orchestra music with Laimis Rācenājs followed by Pits Andersons’ band. The evening was hosted by actor Harijs Spanovskis.
Guests were entertained by demonstrations by sports dance club Evita.
Preparing for the ball, there was an opportunity to attend free dance classes using the entry ticket. The dances that could be learned under the guidance of professional dancer Evita Pavasarewere were the polonaise, Viennese Waltz, Slow Waltz and disco fox.
At the ball a cooperation agreement was signed with Apeirons represented by the organisation's president Ivars Balodis. Aperions is an organisation for people with disabilities and their friends and families. Following this several joint events have been organised – lectures for people with special needs, participation of students in a wheelchair dance camp, a campaign for students with the opportunity to sit in a wheelchair. This was the International Year of Disabled Persons. As future ergotherapists acquire education at RSU, this cooperation seemed a logical continuation of the interests of RSU students.
The honorary guest at the ball was Rear Admiral Gaidis Andrejs Zeibots.
Three students were awarded at the 2002 Academic Ball, each of whom had demonstrated excellent performance in their field:
- Andra Dērveniece (Faculty of Postgraduate Education)
- Aleksejs Kontijevskis (Faculty of Pharmacy)
- Oskars Cēris (Institute of European Integration)
As RSU had a close cooperation with Gauja National Park in 2002 an agreement was signed between the two parties on voluntary and charity activities of students and employees in the development of the Gauja National Park.
Ambassadors and representatives from the public were invited to participate at the ball. The honorary guest was the Director of the Institute of Latvia Ojārs Kalniņš with his spouse Irma Kalniņa, as well as lecturer of the University of Kalmar Jan Sjölin from Sweden, co-author and supporter of the idea to establish the Institute of European Integration.
The Richter Dance School provided the opportunity to learn the polonaise and classical dances at dance courses, and Dr. Iveta Ķestere gave a lecture on behaviour and appropriate dress at social events with the idea that an RSU graduate is not only a professional and a specialist, but also a public person for whom observing the code of conduct is an integral part of life.
The programme was hosted by Juris Žagars.
Music was played by the New Chamber Orchestra of Riga which consists of students of the Art Academy of Latvia and was conducted by Viesturs Gailis. There were also performances by artists from the Rīga Circus and others.