Over one single century, Man was capable of committing the worst atrocities and achieving the most important scientific and technological breakthroughs in history.
The sole Portuguese Laureate having been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine gained his Doctorate degree from the University of Coimbra. It was also at this University that the first elected President of the Portuguese Republic served as rector.
While the democratization of teaching was taking place throughout Europe and in Portugal, the University of Coimbra reasserted its position as an institution whose unique past and constant updating have won it recognition and prestige in a rapidly changing world.
At present, the University is a true Portuguese icon, not only in Europe and in Portuguese-speaking countries and territories but also in the world.
Rector Manuel José de Arriaga Brum da Silveira • 1910-1911
1898-1906 – Manuel Pereira Dias. During his term in office, on July 14, 1901, António Caetano de Abreu Egas Moniz, who would later be a Nobel Prize Laureate in Medicine, gained his Doctorate degree.
1906-07 – António dos Santos Viegas
1907 – D. João de Alarcão Velasques Sarmento Osório
1907 – António das Neves Nunes Oliveira e Sousa
1908-10 – Alexandre Ferreira Cabral Pais do Amaral
1910-11 – Manuel de Arriaga Brum da Silveira. He resigned the post of rector on February 3, 1911, and became the first elected President of the Republic. In 1915 he stepped down in favour of Teófilo Braga.
1911 – Daniel Ferreira de Matos Júnior. Under this rector, on October 21, 1911, the first meeting of the university Senate was held and presided over by Dr. Filomeno da Câmara de Melo Cabral, in his capacity as interim rector. The representative did not attend the meeting, because he had not been elected yet. In the meantime, on March 22, 1911, a decree had established the Universities of Lisbon and Oporto, which alongside the University of Coimbra, were to be allocated a special fund for scholarships.
1911-13 – Joaquim Mendes dos Remédios. On November 4, 1911, an administrative rule regulated the constitution of the Senate and the Administrative Board. The Senate consisted of the Rector, the Vice-Rector, the Directors, Secretaries and Delegates of the Faculties and the School of Pharmacy, the City Mayor, and the Civil Governor.
1913-15 – Guilherme Alves Moreira
1916-18 – Arnaldo Mendes Norton de Matos
1918-19 – Joaquim Mendes dos Remédios
1919 – Joaquim José Coelho de Carvalho
1919-21 – Filomeno da Câmara de Melo Cabral
1921-23 – António Luís Gomes
1924-25 – Francisco Pinto da Cunha Leal
1925-26 – Henrique Jardim de Vilhena
1926-27 – Fernando Duarte Silva de Almeida Ribeiro
1927-30 – Domingos Fezas Vital
1931-39 – João Duarte de Oliveira. During the session of April 7, 1938, the University Senate approved a proposal requesting that the Government reorganize the Committee for the University Campus (formed in 1934), and that the foundation stone be placed on the day commemorating the double centenary of the Foundation of Portugal and of the Restoration of the Independence, in 1940.
1939-41 – António Luís de Morais Sarmento. The construction of the University Campus began, and a number of buildings in the higher area of Coimbra, known as the Alta, had to be demolished.
1943-60 – Maximino José de Morais Correia
1961-62 – Guilherme Braga da Cruz
1963-70 – António Jorge Andrade de Gouveia
1970-71 – José de Gouveia Monteiro
1971-74 – João Manuel de Cotelo Neiva. This rector’s term in office was characterized by the creation of the degree in Engineering (the Faculty of Sciences was converted into the Faculty of Sciences and Technology) and the degree in Economics (the Faculty of Economics was founded).
1974-76 – José Joaquim de Teixeira Ribeiro
1978-82 – António de Arruda Ferrer Correia. He was the first chairman of the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities, created on May 2, 1979. He took the initiative to confer the “Honoris Causa” Doctorate degree by all Faculties on Pope John Paul II, which he was awarded on May 15, 1982. In August of the same year, after retiring, he was conferred the title of honorary Rector of the University of Coimbra by the Minister of Education.
1982-1998 – Rui Nogueira Lobo de Alarcão e Silva
1998-2002 – Fernando Manuel da Silva Rebelo
2002-…. – Fernando Jorge Rama Seabra Santos.