University of Economics – Varna

Academic Symbols, Celebrations and Ceremonies

Over the years each university establishes and projects its own image, symbols and ceremonies.  Its system of symbols and ceremonies is open and constantly updated.

The symbols of University of Economics – Varna are its buildings, logo, flag and motto. Over the years they have communicated the same message – the university introduces students to the community and to the world of knowledge.

The Buildings

Сграда на Икономически университет - ВарнаUniversity of Economics – Varna central building is a listed building and a Varna landmark. Its foundations were laid on 18 November 1911 and they were inscribed with:

“...Today, Sunday, 18 November 1911 AD, during the reign of His Majesty Ferdinand the First, King of the Bulgarians, were laid the foundations of the building of the School of Commerce at Varna Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The goal of this school is to train for business young people who are committed to boosting Bulgaria’s commerce and economy for the wellbeing and success of the Bulgarian Kingdom...”

The architectural design was the work of Nikola Lazarov and the construction was supervised by Dabko Dabkov, both well-established architects. Unfortunately wars delayed construction and it was no sooner than 1924 when it was finally completed. The architectural style embodied the spirit of French Renaissance with baroque elements.

Удостоверение за исторически паметник на културата

Designed by a local sculptor, Kiril Shivarov, the main entrance’s pediment is truly remarkable. It represents two antique figures of an Ancient Greek god and goddess: Hermes (the counterpart of Mercury, the Roman god of commerce), who holds the traders and merchants’ sceptre in his left hand, and Athena, the goddess of wisdom, with an open book on her knees. The planet Earth is behind the two figures and a laurel branch, a symbol of peace and glory, is placed between the two figures. The message focuses on the union of science, commerce, and the industry, and their projected global impact.

The image of a rowing boat symbolizes the concerted effort taken to accomplish a significant social goal and the tenacity and motivation that go with it. There is a lighthouse placed at the top, representing the ground-breaking impact of science.

The Motto

The motto of University of Economics – Varna is With Academic Traditions to the Future!. True to its legacy and paying homage to its traditions, the academic community at University of Economics – Varna complies with the best educational standards, abiding by the European policy of offering a competitive edge to students, so that they can pursue successful careers.

The logo of University of Economics – Varna embraces the symbolic sculpture on the central building’s pediment, the university motto, the university name and the year of its establishment.

ЗнамеThe Flag

The flag of University of Economics – Varna is burgundy (the colour of the university) with the university logo and motto embroidered on it.

Celebrations and Ceremonies

University of Economics – Varna marks 14 May, the date of its establishment, with a ceremonial gathering and a procession to the Alley of the Bulgarian National Revival heroes in the Sea Gardens. In May the university holds its University Days, hosting a range of events, such as international conferences, student academic conferences, student concerts and theatre performances, and sports tournaments. Traditionally students and lecturers also celebrate Students’ Day on 8 December.

Inauguration ceremonies, graduation ceremonies and university holiday events are held in the University Hall, the Aula, built and consecrated in 2011.

University Insignia

Университетска тогаThe university insignia in academics ceremonies are the Rector’s sceptre, the university gown, the academic medallion and the academic cap.

Worn at ceremonial events, the university gown is a symbol of identifying with the community of the enlightened. The colour of the Rector’s gown is burgundy and the Vice Chancellors and Deans’ gowns are black.  A long silk burgundy band is placed over the gowns.

МедальонThe medallion, the insignia of academic management, represents a metal circle with a relief image of the university’s building and the university name written on it. The chain of the Rector’s medallion is in burgundy and gold and the chains of the Vice chancellors’ and Deans’ medallions are respectively in gold and black and in silver and black. The medallion too is worn at ceremonial events.


The sceptre is a traditional symbol of the academic institutional power and reputation and its governing bodies. There are three main elements that characterise it: a sphere with the inscription Vita et veritas (Life and Truth), an owl, a symbol of wisdom, and a spiral snake, a symbol of the omnipresent spirit of knowledge. A specially appointed person carries the sceptre during ceremonies.

The academic cap is an element of the academic dress (a gown and a scarf) worn at graduation ceremonies.  It is another symbol of belonging to the university community.

The Badge of Honour

The university badge of honour is awarded for exceptional achievement in academic teaching and research and for contributing to the academic community.

The honorary title of doctor honoris causa is conferred to prominent individuals with outstanding academic, cultural, social or other contribution. At the formal ceremony the Rector reads out and awards the nominee with a degree written in Latin and the university badge of honour.  The person conferred with this title delivers an academic lecture to the academic community.

Doctors honoris causa of the university are Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Sacs (3 May 2000), His Excellency Sten Ask, Sweden’s Ambassador to Bulgaria (24 April 2001), Prof. Janos Kornai, PhD Econ. Science (14 May 2003), Dr Wolfgang Schüssel, former Chancellor of Austria (28 Sep 2015), Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, 2009 – 2017, (21 May 2016).

The university doctors honorary causa and other distinguished guests write their comments in the Book of Honour.