Lomonosov Moscow State Universitys is a coeducational and public research university located in Moscow, Russia. It was founded on January 25, 1755 by Mikhail Lomonosov. MSU was renamed after Lomonosov in 1940 and was then known as Lomonosov University. It also houses the tallest educational building in the world. It is rated among the universities with the best reputation in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy.
Ivan Shuvalov and Mikhail Lomonosov promoted the idea of a university in Moscow, and Russian Empress Elizabeth decreed its establishment on January 25 [O.S. January 12] 1755. The first lectures were given on April 26th. Russians still celebrate January 25th as Students’ Day.
Saint Petersburg State University and Moscow State University engage in friendly rivalry over the title of Russia’s oldest university. Though Moscow State University was founded in 1755, its competitor in St. Petersburg has had a continuous existence as a “university” since 1819 and sees itself as the successor of an academy established on January 24, 1724, by a decree of Peter the Great.
The present Moscow State University originally occupied the Principal Medicine Store on Red Square from 1755 to 1787. Catherine the Great transferred the University to a Neoclassical building on the other side of Mokhovaya Street; that main building was constructed between 1782 and 1793 in the Neo-Palladian style, to a design by Matvei Kazakov, and rebuilt by Domenico Giliardi after the fire consumed much of Moscow in 1812.
Facilities available inside the building include a concert hall, a theater, a museum, administrative services, a library, a swimming pool, a police station, a post office, a laundry, a hairdresser’s salon, several canteens, bank offices and ATMs, shops, cafeterias, a bomb shelter, etc. Along with the university administration, the Museum of Earth Sciences and four of the main faculties – Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, the Faculty of Geology, the Faculty of Geography, and the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts – now reside in the Main building. The star on the top of the tower is large enough to include a small room and a viewing platform; it weighs 12 tons. The building’s facades are ornamented with giant clocks, barometers, thermometers, statues, carved wheat sheaves, and Soviet crests. It stands before a terrace featuring statues of male and female students gazing optimistically and confidently into the future.
The university offers classes on its main campus not only in Moscow, but also on campuses in Armenia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. These include the Puschino MSU campus, Podmoskovny MSU campus, Chernomorsky MSU campus and Kazakhstan MSU campus. The Ulyanovsk branch of MSU was reorganized into Ulyanovsk State University in 1996.
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