This is not really a time for goodbyes — Markku Kivinen only moved a few doors down the corridor from his old room and is still very much present at the every day work of the Aleksanteri Institute. The colleagues of Markku Kivinen, however, felt that some sort of festivities were called for to appreciate the enormous work that Kivinen has done as the director of the institute. Thus, a surprise party was organised on April 18th at the Language Centre's festive hall.
— We wanted to hold a nice and warm thank you party for our colleague, explains Ira Jänis-Isokangas, one of the main organisers of the party. Without Markku there would not be an Aleksanteri Institute!
The guest list included all past and present staff members, some of whom arrived from a great distance on a very short notice. Faculty of arts was represented by vice dean Paavo Pylkkänen. The impact of Markku Kivinen's visionary work for the development of Finnish research and teaching of Russian and Eastern European studies was emphasized in several speeches. Even greater emphasis, however, was laid on Markku Kivinen's role as a leader: his enthusiasm, open and curious attitude to new challenges and the will to encourage younger colleagues on their career. "Ei tämä meitä kaada!" — This is not something that would destroy us! — was an often cited quote.
The photo gallery below fails to completely convey the collegial athmosphere of the party. That's why the need for a bigger event, open to all Markku Kivinen's academic colleagues over years, remains. The official fare well party will have to wait for some time, though. — There are still many issues in the field of Russian and Eastern European studies that recuire Markku's contribution.