Here are the most famous alumni of Ivan Franko Lviv National University, founded in 1661

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At different times, people who later became famous Ukrainian and foreign poets, directors, inventors, journalists, and politicians studied at the Ivan Franko Lviv National University.


20 January 1661, Lviv National University named after Ivan Franko was founded. The university was functioning in the times when the city of Lviv belonged to different states, namely Polish Commonwealth, Austrian (later – Austro-Hungarian) Empire, Polish Republic, Ukrainian SSR and since 1991 – Independent Ukraine. 

During those times, its name also changed: starting as Jesuit Collegium (1608-1661) and the Jesuit Academy (1661-1773), it was later renamed as the Josephine University (1784-1805), the Lviv Lyceum (1805-1817), the Franz I University (1817-1918), the Jan-Kazimir University of Lviv (1919- 1939), and Lviv State University named after I. Franko (1939-1999). Since 1999, it received the title of «national» university, instead of the «state» one.

As university representatives told Tvoe Misto media-hub, in different years, the students of these institutions were people who later became prominent poets, directors, inventors, journalists and politicians. We offer you to remind the graduates of Franko University in Lviv.

The genius of Ukrainian nation Ivan Franko

Ivan Franko (1856-1916) was a poet, writer and translator, who wrote in Ukrainian and German languages. Also, he initiated the socialist and nationalist movements in western Ukraine and was among the founders of the first-ever Ukrainian political party in 1890 – the Ukrainian Radical Party.

Spiritual educator of Galicia Markiyan Shashkevych

Markiyan Shashkevych (1811 – 1843) was a priest of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, a poet who dared to write in Ukrainian when the Polish language was totally predominating among the intellectuals of Western Ukraine. A translator and the leader of the literary revival in Right Bank Ukraine. 

The author of the music for the National Anthem of Ukraine Fr. Mykhailo Verbytskyi

Mykhailo Verbytskyi (1815 – 1870) was a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest and composer. He is considered to be one of the first professional Ukrainian composers of Halychyna.

Theatre director Les Kurbas

Oleksandr Kurbas (1887-1937) was a Ukrainian movie and theatre director, considered by many to be the most important Ukrainian theatre director of the XX century. One of the most prominent representatives of Ukrainian avant-garde art in 1920s-1930s, he is considered to be one of the lead figures of the Executed Renaissance (generation of progressive writers and artists in the Soviet Ukraine, repressed or executed by Stalin regime).

Lawyer and writer Andrii Tchaikovskyi

Andrii Tchaikovskyi (1857 – 1935) – Ukrainian writer, public figure, doctor of law, a lawyer in Galicia. An activist of one of the first Ukrainian political forces – the National Democratic Party, one of the organizers of the Ukrainian Sich Rifflemen, the district commissioner of the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic in Sambir, Lviv region.

The inventor of the typhus vaccine Rudolf Weigl

Rudolf Stefan Jan Weigl (1883 – 1957) was a Polish biologist, physician and inventor, known for creating the first effective vaccine against epidemic typhus. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine each year between 1930 and 1934, and from 1936 to 1939.

Ukrainian geographer, cartographer and ethnographer Stepan Rudnytskyi

Stepan Rudnytskyi (1877 – 1937) – Ukrainian geographer, cartographer and ethnographer, academician of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Founder of Ukrainian physical, political and military geography.

Hugo Steinhaus, one of the founders of Lviv Mathematical School 

Władysław Hugo Dionizy Steinhaus (1887 – 1972) was a Polish mathematician and educator. Steinhaus obtained his PhD under David Hilbert at Göttingen University in 1911 and later became a professor at the Jan Kazimierz University in Lviv (now, Ivan Franko National University), where he helped establish what later became known as the Lviv School of Mathematics.

One of the most prominent politicians of Galicia in the late XIX century-first half of XX century. Kost Levytsky

Kost Levytsky was a Ukrainian politician. He was a founder of the Ukrainian National Democratic movement and the leader of the State Representative Body of the Ukrainian government declared on June 30, 1941.

Ukrainian politician, soldier and writer, captain of the Legion of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen Dmytro Vitovsky

Dmytro Vitovsky (1887 – 1919) was a Ukrainian politician and military leader, ideologist of the Ukrainian military-political thought. In 1918, he was the organiser of the November uprising in Lviv, which led to the creation of the Western-Ukrainian People’s Republic.

Read also: ​​How the arc-shaped street, named after the leader of a western Ukrainian revolution, changed over time

Member of the Rifle Movement Olena Stepaniv

Olena Stepaniv (1892 – 1963) – Ukrainian historian, teacher of geography, public and military figure; the world’s first woman officially enlisted in the army as an officer.

Bohdan-Ihor Antonych – Ukrainian poet, novelist, translator, literary critic


Bohdan-Ihor Antonych (1909 – 1937) was a 20th-century Ukrainian poet. In 1934, Antonych received third prize honours from the Ivan Franko Society of Writers and Journalists for his work Three Signet Rings.

Head of the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic Yevhen Petrushevych

Yevhen Petrushevych (1863 – 1940) was a Ukrainian lawyer, politician, and president of the Western Ukrainian National Republic formed after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918.

Founder of the Ukrainian Military Organization, organizer and first leader of the OUN Yevhen Konovalets

Yevhen Konovalets (1891 – 1938) was a military commander of the Ukrainian National Republic army, a veteran of the Ukrainian-Soviet War and political leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement. He is best known as the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists between 1929 and 1938.

Josyf Slipyi, Patriarch of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church 

Josyf Slipyi was a Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He spend twenty years under arrest and in Soviet camps until he was released by General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev in 1963. After that, he emigrated to Rome, where he took part in the Second Vatican Council and led the life of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, which was functioning underground in the USSR.

The founder of the genocide study Rafal Lemkin

Raphael Lemkin (1900 – 1959) was a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent who is best known for coining genocide and initiating the Genocide Convention, an interest spurred on after learning about the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman leaders.

Gersh Lauterpacht, one of the authors of the concept of human rights 

Sir Hersch Lauterpacht (1897 – 1960) was a prominent British international lawyer and judge at the International Court of Justice.

World-famous science fiction writer Stanislav Lem

Stanisław Lem (1921 – 2006) was a Polish writer of science fiction and essays on various subjects, including philosophy, futurology, and literary criticism. Lem’s books have been translated into over 50 languages and have sold over 45 million copies.

Read also: The author of «Solaris» was a Lviv native. Now, the city regains memory about him

Philosopher Roman Ingarden

Roman Ingarden (1893 – 1970) was a Polish philosopher who worked in aesthetics, ontology, and phenomenology. 

Historian Ivan Krypyakevych

Ivan Krypiakevych (1886 – 1967) was a Ukrainian historian, academician, professor of Lviv University and director of the Institute of Social Sciences of Ukraine. He was a specialist on Ukrainian history of the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, writing extensively on the social history of western Ukraine and the political history of the Ukrainian Cossacks, especially during the time of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky.

Poet Dmtyro Pavlychko

Dmytro Pavlychko (born 1929) is a Ukrainian poet, translator, scriptwriter, culturologist, political and public figure. He was Ambassador of Ukraine to Slovakia and Poland in 1995-2002.

Writer Roman Ivanychuk

Roman Ivanychuk (1929 – 2016) was a Ukrainian writer and politician. He was the 1985 laureate of the Shevchenko National Prize. Between 1990 and 1994, Ivanychuk was a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada. In 2009, he received a title of Hero of Ukraine.

Dissidents Ihor and Iryna Kalynets

Ihor Kalynets (born 1939) is a Ukrainian poet and Soviet dissident. Iryna Kalynets (1940 – 2012), Ihor’s wife, was a Ukrainian poet, writer, activist and Soviet dissident during the 1970s.

Read also: 50 years ago, KGB arrested Ukrainian intellectuals for carrying Christmas scene

Ukrainian theoretical physicist Ihor Yukhnovskyi 

Ihor Yukhnovskyi (born 1925) is a Ukrainian physicist and politician, a member of the Presidium of Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Hero of Ukraine.

Read also: We only made the last jerk. Ihor Yukhnovskyi on proclaiming the independence

Journalist Georgy Gongadze

Georgiy Gongadze (1969 – 2000) was a Ukrainian journalist and film director who founded the internet newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda along with Olena Prytula in 2000, and was one of the initiators of Ukrainian independent journalism. Gongadze was kidnapped and murdered in 2000 near Kyiv, and the case is still under investigation.

Reformer of Ukrainian education, Professor Ivan Vakarchuk

Ivan Vakarchuk (1947- 2020) was a Ukrainian and Soviet physicist, politician and social activist. From 1990 to 2007 and again between 2010 and 2013 he was Rector of the Lviv National University. In 2007–2010, Vakarchuk was Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine. Hero of Ukraine (awarded on 5 March 2007), he was father of Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, the leader of the rock band Okean Elzy.

You can listen to Okean Elzy on Spotify

Translated by Vitalii Holich

Photos from open sources

You can read a Ukrainian language version of this story here.

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Lviv Now is an English-language website for Lviv, Ukraine’s «tech-friendly cultural hub.» It is produced by Tvoe Misto («Your City») media-hub, which also hosts regular problem-solving public forums to benefit the city and its people.


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