The Ars Humanica Hungarica Circle has recognized CEU's faculty for its fight for academic freedom, citing also the outstanding way the whole university community came together to defend the principles of open society and democracy. In his acceptance speech, CEU Pro-Rector for Hungarian Affairs Zsolt Enyedi emphasized that the Hungarian Civil Legion of Honor belongs to all CEU community members, staff, students and faculty alike.
In turn, Enyedi rededicated the prize to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. “Driving CEU out of the country was already a huge blow. If the backbone of the Hungarian academic life is broken, however, we will need to face a problem of a much grander scale,” Enyedi said.
The CEU faculty received the 8th Hungarian Civil Legion of Honor together with Antal Andras, deacon and head of the parish in Csepa. The award was created by the Ars Humanica Hungarica Circle in 2011 to celebrate acts which display noble fundamental human values.
The non-pecuniary prize, awarded annually, recognizes extraordinary civic activity that is acknowledged and appreciated all over the world - regardless of political or religious considerations. The Civil Legion of Honor is always awarded on the birthday of the martyred Count Louis Batthyany, prime minister of the first independent Hungarian government in 1848 and whose contributions, according to the members of the Circle consider this event, symbolize civic independence and individual self-sacrifice.