The History of PSU
Perm State University was founded on October 14, 1916. It originated on the dividing line of two epochs of Russian history. That decade was marked by the so called "silver age" of Russian culture, ingenious scientific achievements, rapid economic growth and by the crisis of political system and also by a catastrophic war, which brought Russia to the brink of social and political revolution. All these factors shaped the history of the University.
It is worth mentioning that the University was initially set up as a branch of the St. Petersburg University - one of the leading European centers of higher education. Young and ambitious professors and tutors from the capital of Russia formed the backbone of the new university staff. It was a galaxy of brilliant academics overwhelmed with new ideas and zeal: B.D. Grekov, S.P. Obnorsky, N.P. Ottokar, A.A. Zavarzin, A.S. Yaschenko, K.K. Buga, Yu.N. Verkhovsky, A.G. Genkel, A.A.Fridman, N.P. Gerasimov, A.A. Rikhter, A.I. Bukirev, O.N. Bader, I.M.Vinogradov and some others. Very quickly the University began to develop into the center of intellectual and spiritual life of the Perm region, producing a special atmosphere of creative work, and introducing the town to the centers of European culture and education. An English traveler J. Greenwald managed to reflect objectively this process while describing Perm: "The center of the whole cultural life is the University. Its students give the air of academic campus to Perm, where the University is the hub of life. This circumstance shapes the town, which has become one of the regional academic centers, sort of "Ural Cambridge".
The University was born in the atmosphere of aspirations. For many "Founding Fathers" Perm was not supposed to be just a short episode in their academic careers. Alexander Genkel's life is the proof of it. He was not only an outstanding botanist, who laid the corner stone of the University Botanical Garden, but also a brilliant lecturer, polyglot and erudite, who embodied the characteristic feature of his time - universalism. Besides his professional articles on biology he offered his own versions of translation of "Utopia" by Thomas Moore and "Sun City" by Tomazo Campanella. He was in the mainstream of poetry and published critical essays in it.
At all stages of its development Perm State University remained the center of scientific research in the Urals. Many established academic schools, which have brought international recognition to the University, grew on the basis of research of natural, historical and cultural peculiarities of Perm region and the Urals.