István Kótyuk naming ceremony and memorial conference at Rákóczi College

The Philology Campus of the Rákóczi College was named after István Kótyuk, a former lecturer at the Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College and the former head of the Philology Department. The naming ceremony took place on 26 January.

Ildikó Orosz, President of the Rákóczi College, welcomed the guests.

“Today the college thanks Uncle Pista for coming and founding the Philology Department. He brought a spirit, a quality, and he was consistent at all times. And it is our responsibility to preserve his spirit,”

he said.

István Csernicskó, Rector of our College, remembered István Kótyuk with personal experiences, highlighting all that he had learned from the former teacher over the years.

“Today is a double day. It is both official and personal. All of us who are here have had the opportunity to work with István Kótyuk at some point in our lives. Under his wing we were able to reach our full potential”,

said Anikó Beregszászi, Head of the Philology Department, adding that the Philology Department will be faithful to its namesake and will continue to carry on his spirit.

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Vera Kótyuk, the widow of István Kótyuk, expressed her gratitude for the fact that the College’s Campus is named after the former teacher.

“He was a man of deep humanity who was very pleased to be asked by the College’s management to contribute his knowledge to the successful work,”

she recalled.

After the toasts, the nameplate of the Philology Campus was unveiled by Vera Kótyuk, Ildikó Orosz and István Csernicskó.

Following the ceremonial unveiling of the nameplate, the István Kótyuk Legacy Library was inaugurated. In his speech, Vilmos Gazdag, Associate Professor of the Philology Department, pointed out that Uncle Pista was engaged in a wide range of activities. His legacy among others includes books on literature, linguistics, cultural history, physics and biology.

“This library is a valuable source of knowledge not only for the Philology Department but for the students of the whole College,”

he added. Vera Kótyuk in a ceremony presented the library’s deed of gift to Anikó Beregszászi and Ibolya Szamborovszkyné Nagy, Director of the Apáczai Csere János Library, as the books of the legacy library will be included in the catalogue of the Rákóczi College Library. Finally, István Kótyuk’s widow announced a grant to the College to establish a scholarship fund.

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The second half of the day was dedicated to the István Kótyuk memorial conference. The first lecture was given by András Zoltán on István Kótyuk’s etymology in the light of the New Hungarian Etymological Dictionary. Then, Erzsébet Bárány, Anikó Beregszászi and Vilmos Gazdag presented the significance of István Kótyuk’s work and his role in the scientific and mother tongue education of Transcarpathian Hungarians. Afterwards Katalin Dudics Lakatos and Péter Tóth gave a presentation on István Kótyuk and the Hungarian dialects. László Csordás presented his lecture entitled Vocation and Artistry (Reflections on the literary translator István Kótyuk). The conference closed with a talk by Margit Kész and Barnabás Kész on István Kótyuk and Hungarian ethnography.

Anita Kurmay