Retirement of Professor Lobo Antunes | June 3 | Aula Magna FMUL
Professor Lobo Antunes retired this month, on June 3, a day before celebrating his 70th birthday. In his final lecture, held in the Grand Auditorium of the FMUL, the winner of the 1996 Pessoa Prize spoke about his past in a session he referred to as “a life under examination”, in which he reminisced on his career and the support of his family, friends and colleagues.
Professor Fernandes e Fernandes, Director of the FMUL, opened the session by stating “João Lobo Antunes is one of the most distinguished figures in the University and Faculty of Medicine. His work has marked a number of medical fields (...) he is the example of an academic, a man of culture, of whom it may be justly said that “to nothing was he indifferent”, in Medicine and Science, in Art and Civic Intervention”. Gratitude was expressed for his “remarkable contribution” and wishes extended for “a long, happy and healthy life”. He closed the opening session by awarding Professor Lobo Antunes the Faculty Medalhão Jubilar [Retirement Medallion], along with the Dean of the University of Lisbon. (speech)
Professor Cruz Serra then gave his speech, in which he claimed “to be very sorry to see him retire”. He referred to João Lobo Antunes as “one of the most influential Professors ” .
The audience was full, including the current President of the Portuguese Republic, the former Presidents of the Portuguese Republic Jorge Sampaio and General Ramalho Eanes; António Lobo Antunes, writer and brother of the neurosurgeon; the Patriarch of Lisbon, D. Manuel Clemente; entrepreneur Francisco Pinto Balsemão; Professor Crato, Minister of Education and Science as well as the Minister for Health Paulo Macedo; former Minister of Science, Professor Maria da Graça Carvalho; President of the Champalimaud Institute, Professor Leonor Beleza; Professor Marçal Grilo, Administrator of the Gulbenkian Foundation; physicians, a lot of people in white coats, researchers and students.
In his final lecture, Professor Lobo Antunes reminisced on his life, recalling his ancestries, the history of his academic and professional background and his 'incursion' into the world of politics as commissioner of the presidential candidacies of Jorge Sampaio and Professor Cavaco Silva.
“It was an extraordinary experience, from every perspective, but particularly in order to understand how these two men perceived their duty, their dedication to a public cause, because the position and everything it involves is one thing, but the actual profession is another; it is a harsh profession, harsh campaigns, but also an unforgettable experience from a human perspective”, he recalled. He ended his speech with a promise: “while my hands obey me and my brain is able to give orders I will continue”.
After the applause, the President of the Portuguese Republic awarded the Professor with the Ordem Militar de Santiago da Espada, which distinguishes literary, scientific and artistic merit.
Retirement - According to Portuguese Law, in the academic career the maximum age of retirement is 70 years.