On 7 November 2023, the renewal of the agreement between the University, the Order of Preachers and the Swiss Episcopal Conference, on the collaboration of the Order in the Faculty of Theology, of which the Master of the Order is Grand Chancellor, took place in the Council Hall of the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. The presence of the Dominicans in Fribourg dates back to the beginnings of the University (1889), and is currently renewed every ten years. The agreement was signed by the Rector of the University, Professor Astrid Epinay, the Master of the Order, Br. Gerard Francisco Timoner III, OP and the Bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg, Br. Charles Morerod, OP, on behalf of the Swiss Episcopal Conference. Present at the ceremony were a good number of professors from the Faculty of Theology, as well as Dominican friars from the two communities of Fribourg: Albertinum and Saint Hyacinthe. The Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Dr. Joachim Negel, as well as the Rector and the Master of the Order emphasized the value of this collaboration.
The University of Fribourg belongs to the State and is bilingual (French and German). The last General Chapter of the Order mandated the Master of the Order to renew this agreement in 2022. This year an Institute of Dominican Studies was created within the Faculty, which aims to put in dialogue with the various disciplines of the University aspects of the Dominican intellectual and spiritual tradition, through various academic activities, open to the participation of members of the Order from different parts of the world: Université de Fribourg (unifr.ch). We hope that, as expressed by the Rector, the Master of the Order and the Dean, the renewal of the agreement and the activities of the new institute may contribute to continue making the collaboration of the Order in the University fruitful.