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Professor Jan Strelau, the creator of the Regulative Theory of Temperament (RTT) and the leading psychologists in the area of Psychology of Individual Differences was awarded the title Doctor honoris causa of SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities. The official ceremony took place on April 21, 2016, at SWPS University in Warsaw.

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THE CEREMONY

The ceremony was attended by many distinguished guests, including Professor Strelau’s former students, today doctors and professors themselves, and by family and friends.

Laudatio for Professor Jan Strelau was delivered by Professor Andrzej Eliasz, Rector of SWPS University and a former student of Professor Strelau. Professor Eliasz highlighted Professor Strelau’s outstanding contributions to the body of knowledge in the field of Psychology. He talked about Professor Strelau’s exceptional work ethic, perseverance, the power of concentration, and the ability to gather around him talented scientists focused on achieving goals. “For many years, Professor Strelau would end his daily work routine at the time, when others were getting up. His daily, and I would like to emphasise DAILY research work schedule, was a self-imposed regime, which knew no exceptoins,” reminisced Professor Eliasz.

STRONG CHARACTER AND HARD WORK

Professor Eliasz also emphasized educational successes of Professor Strelau, who was pivotal in launching academic careers of 30 future doctors of philosophy, including 10 who went on to gain post-doctoral degrees (habilitacja), and another 8, who had been awarded the title of Professor. Professor Eliasz stressed that such extraordinary success was possible thanks to Professor Strelau’s values and strength of character, which allowed him to overcome life challenges without losing his optimism and his kindness towards others.

Next, Rector Eliasz talked about Professor Strelau’s contributions to SWPS University. Professor Strelau joined SWPS University, after retiring from the University of Warsaw. He became Dean of Psychology and Vice-Rector for Education. Currently, Professor Strelau is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of SWPS University. Since the inception of SWPS University, which initially was founded as the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Professor Strelau has been working tirelessly to set the highest standards of education at our institution. His support and guidance have been invaluable in working towards the goal of formally becoming a university, which we achieved in 2015.

Professor Strelau received many letters of congratulations from other distinguished figures, including Professor Marek Krawczyk, M.D., Professor Stanisław Filipowicz, a Political Scientist, and Professor Piotr Sztompke, a Sociologist. Professor Philip Zimbardo, a world renowned Psychologist, who was unable to attend the ceremony, sent his video address and congratulations for Professor Strelau. The video was screened during the ceremony. To further honor Professor Strelau and the distinguished guests, the SWPS University Choir sang Gaudeamus Igitur and other traditional songs appropriate for the occasion.

MASTER AND STUDENT

In his address, Professor Strelau thanked the authorities of SWPS University and the gathered guests for the honorary degree and the heartfelt laudatio. He emphasised that SWPS University has always been very important to him. He went on to say that everyone at the University, including academics and administrative staff had always been supportive and kind to him and his work. Professor added that his devotion to academic work and his success would not be possible without the support of his wife, daughters, grandchildren and other members of the family and friends.

Professor Strelau went on to stress the importance of the Master-Student relationship in teaching and research. He stressed that a Master should be not only an academic authority, but also a moral guide for his/her students. He called on the tradition of the Lwów-Warsaw School, founded by Kazimierz Twardowski in 1895, which was based on the principle of Master-Student relationship. Professor Strelau expressed regret that this type of academic education is on the decline in the current world of academia.

PROFESSOR STRELAU’S ACADEMIC CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

The title of Doctor honoris causa is awarded to individuals, who have made outstanding contributions to their academic discipline and to academic life. Professor Jan Strelau pioneered studies on temperament. He is an expert in psychology of personal differences and is the creator of the world renowned Regulative Theory of Temperament. He has authored, co-authored and edited close to 300 scientific publications, including 44 books.

“Professor Jan Strelau made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the development of science in the field of Psychology. His research helped to understand the role of individual differences in human behavior and the results of his work have been permanently included in the global body of knowledge in the field of Psychology,” said Professor Andrzej Eliasz.

OTHER AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Over the years, Professor Strelau has received many awards for his contributions to science, including: Teofrast Superstar, a lifetime achievement award from Charaktery, popular psychology magazine (2015), Life-Time Achievement Award from The European Association of Personality Psychology (2012), Prime Minister’s Award for the lifetime contribution to science (2009), the Foundation for Polish Science Award (FNP Award), also known as Polish Nobel Prize (2000), Humboldt Research Award for foreign academics in recognition of outstanding international achievements in personality research (1990), Max Planck Research Award for international outstanding research achievements (1992), New Europe Prize 1997 for Higher Education and Research, jointly administered by six Centers for Advanced Studies, including Stanford, Princeton, North Carolina, NIAS, Uppsala and Berlin (1997).

RECEIPIENTS OF DOCTOR HONORIS CAUSA OF SWPS UNIVERSITY

 

Professor Jan Strelau is the fifth recipient of the title Doctor honoris cause granted by SWPS University.

In the past, the SWPS University Senate awarded this honorary title to:

  • Helmut Skowronek
  • Philip Zimbardo
  • Robert Cialdini
  • Shevah Weiss

 

Professor Jan Strelau made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the development of science in the field of Psychology. His research helped to understand the role of individual differences in human behavior and the results of his work have been permanently included in the global body of knowledge in the field of Psychology.

Rector Andrzej Eliasz

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