Drs. V. and S. Čepukėnas Scholarships Awarded for the First Time
This year, for the first time, Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) awarded Dr. Vaclovas and Dr. Stefanija Čepukėnas scholarships to students for their outstanding contribution to the promotion and dissemination of the French language and Francophone culture in society.
The scholarships were awarded to Irma Jokštytė-Stanevičienė, a bachelor’s student of German Language and Communication, Karina Korsakova, a bachelor’s student of History, and Brigita Misevičiūtė, a student of vocational Pedagogy studies.
The award ceremony was attended not only by representatives of the University but also by Neila Baumilienė, a VMU graduate and Executive Director of the New York Office of the Kazickas Family Foundation, whose initiative and the foundation’s support led to the establishment of the scholarship in honour of the work and memory of Drs. V. and S. Čepukėnas. The ceremony was also attended by Milda Krivickienė, daughter of Drs. V. and S. Čepukėnas, and Jonas and Marcie Kazickas, members of the Kazickas family, who were on a short visit to Lithuania.
Krivickienė expressed her joy that her and her sister Rasa’s parents’ contribution to the academic life and philanthropic activities of VMU has been recognised. She also extended her gratitude to Neila Baumilienė, whose initiative to establish the scholarship has garnered wide interest, to the Kazickas Foundation, which has supported this noble cause, and to the VMU administration and the staff of the Institute of Foreign Languages, who have joined this noble mission. Congratulating the scholarship winners, Krivickienė wished them success in their future works, encouraging them to ascend the career ladder and become exemplary figures for cultivating a passion for the French language.
Karina Korsakova, the recipient of the scholarship, was delighted with the award and expressed her gratitude to her French language teacher, Daina Kazlauskaitė. She also emphasized the significance of her studies at Academia cum laude and their pivotal role in forging a deep connection with the French language and culture.
Another scholarship recipient, Irma Jokštytė-Stanevičienė, noted that each language serves as a gateway to broader opportunities and experiences. She stated, “The French language is a remarkable discovery in my study programme. After completing my studies, I’ll be able to use three foreign languages, and I’m delighted that French is one of them because it’s truly broad, both in terms of community and culture, which is of great importance for the whole of Europe.”
Finally, the third winner of the scholarship, Brigita Misevičiūtė, expressed her gratitude for giving even greater meaning to the French language and rejoiced that it now occupies a substantial part of her life – she nurtures it by working as a French language teacher.
All three students were happy to be part of this academic community and were grateful for the support and opportunity provided to young individuals to be better and stronger in their academic endeavours.
Jonas and Marcie Kazickas, members of the Kazickas family, also congratulated the winners on receiving the award. They expressed their delight in sharing this symbolic moment and meeting the scholarship recipients, stating, “Many teachers say that their greatest reward is witnessing their students achieve outstanding results, so we are truly grateful that we could play a small part in your lives.”
About Dr. Vaclovas and Dr. Stefanija Čepukėnas
Dr. Vaclovas and Dr. Stefanija Čepukėnas were teachers at Vytautas Magnus University and devoted Lithuanian patriots. Throughout their professional careers, they actively engaged in Lithuania’s civic life and embarked on philanthropic endeavours, allocating a significant amount of time and funds to individuals who lacked the financial resources for a proper education.
Dr. Vaclovas Čepukėnas was an active participant in the Lithuanian Armed Resistance and a fighter–volunteer of the Homeland Security Group during World War II. He held a doctorate in Psychology and was awarded the Medal of the Founding Volunteers of the Lithuanian Army for his active engagement in social activities. He also taught French at school and university.
Dr. Stefanija Čepukėnienė held a doctorate in humanities and worked as a teacher and professor of French at VMU.
For a more detailed biography of Dr. Vaclovas and Dr. Stefanija Čepukėnas in the memoirs of their daughters, Milda and Rasa Čepukėnas, click here.