COUNT KLEBELSBERG KUNO
(Pecica, Arad county, 13th November 1875. – Budapest, 12th October 1932)
The name giver of our Economy College is Count Klebelsberg Kuno, the prominent cultural leader, religion and education minister and school reformer. His extensive work, his rich life performance can serve as a proper example to follow in the present and the future of the third millennium.
He was born on the 13th of November in 1875 in Pecica from Arad County. His mother was from a middle class noble family and his father was a hussar captain from a Tyrolean descent who lost his life when Kuno was still very young.
From there they settled in Székesfehérvár and he finished his high school in a school of the Cistercian order. His religious upbringing and his belief defined his entire life. He studied law in Budapest, Vienna, Berlin and Munchen and continued with political sciences in Paris and Sorbonne. After finishing his studies, he continued perfecting himself and learning all his life. His dazzling versatility and encyclopedic knowledge made him similar to renaissance people. He was also a great writer and speaker.
After acquiring his diploma in political sciences in 1898 he was an assistant draftsman and an minister councilor (1906), an administrative judge and a university lecturer at the Economy University and in 1917, a secretary of state for Tisza István, the Prime Minister at the time.
In 1919, together with Bethlen István, they formed the National Union Party. During the Bethlen presidency he was a Minister for the Interior for half a year and from 1922 until 1931 he was the Religion and Education Minister. His literacy and professionalism paired with great work intensity made him develop one of the most extensive (spanning from nursery school to university) and successful education reforms in the history of Hungary.
Between 1926 and 1927 he implemented a country wide elementary school program for the masses, then he modernized the teacher’s training system in civilian schools, he promoted the implementation of a practicality centered curricula and the teaching of foreign languages. In 1924, he introduced a new type of secondary school, the real high school, then, in 1926 he regulated the system of girls secondary schools and developed the girls high school.
To enumerate his achievements, one can mention the building of the Country Archives, the enlargement of the National Museum, the building of the Astronomical Observatory from Svábhegy, the Biology Center from Tihany, the Geophisics Institute from Lágymányos, 21 Clinics, the Physical Education College and the Collegium Hungaricum, international network which offered the chance for talented students to study in Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Rome and Zurich. He also started the National Scholarships Committee and developed the sciences scholarships system.
In 1928 he was knighted among the Maltese Knights, he became honorary dean in many universities, traveled across Europe, lectured in Vienna, Stockholm and Warsaw, was elected a member of the Hungarian Scientific Academy and became the president of the Hungarian Historical Association and of many other scientific and social associations. Besides this he wrote books: in 1928 he published Neonacionalism and in 1931 In Global Crisis. His works were meant to raise the cultural status of the country. In 1931, with the Resignation of the Bethlen Government, his Minister-ship has ended.
In 1932, he died unexpectedly, in his prime, from cardiac arrest A great number of mourners attended his funeral in Szeged.
His life achievements, his plans for the future and conceptions all have their concrete results but the full extent of these was never implemented because of the decades of social-political turmoil’s which followed his death.