ABF Theater Now Has a Name of Carl Djerassi
ABF Theater Hall has changed when last weekend the University gave it another name. Now it is Dr. Carl Djerassi Theater Hall.
The naming ceremony took place on Saturday, Oct. 17 in front of the theater, honoring the figure of Dr. Carl Djerassi and his substantial monetary contributions to AUBG. It gathered several officials, professors, students, and a part of Djerassi’s family.
Dr. Djerassi donated over a million dollars to the University and encouraged the staff and students to reach out for the best. During his time in Bulgaria, he visited the campus several times and expressed his excitement every time he noticed that something changed. Dr. Djerassi passionately supported arts and democratic values, which is why he was awarded the AUBG’s Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the Commencement of May 2013.
Dr. Djerassi was a renowned scientist, author and intellectual provocateur. Having earned a doctorate in chemistry at the age of 22, he went on to pioneer advances in chemistry and pharmaceuticals, subjects which he taught at Stanford University. He dedicated the last three decades of his life to writing novels, plays, and memoirs, and traveled around the world lecturing on a variety of topics.
President Kevin Aspegren opened the ceremony by introducing the achievements of Dr. Djerassi and inviting his son, Dale Djerassi, to join the podium. Dale Djerassi shared some memories of him hearing about Bulgaria from his father. His speech was followed by the greetings of Mr. Philip Dimitrov, Bulgaria’s former prime minister, and Dr. Ivan Manev, the Chair of the AUBG Board of Trustees. A few moments later, they unveiled the name hid behind the red curtain, followed by a major applause.
“It was very emotional,” said a fourth-year student Margita Kolcheva. “I had the chance to meet his nephew Alexander Djerassi during the summer and he was so proud of his grandfather.”
The audience had the chance to watch a screening of an interview with Dr. Djerassi and a performance of one of the scenes from his play “An Immaculate Misconception” directed by professor Nedyalko Delchev and performed by students Alexandr Soloviov, Ivaylo Gatev and Tamar Rukhadze. “It is a symbolic connection watching one of his plays in the theater that now owns his name,” said a second-year student Lisa Glybchenko.