00:33 GMT +307 December 2019
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    Saint Petersburg State University president, Ludmila Verbitskaya.

    Saint Petersburg University President Ludmila Verbitskaya Dies at 83

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    Ludmila Verbitska, an honorary doctor at a number of foreign universities and a decorated professor, had held the post of president of the prestigious Saint Petersburg State University after a period as a rector 1994-2008.

    According to the university statement, she died on Sunday at the age of 83.

    In 1958, Verbitskaya became a laboratory assistant at the university and later a post-graduate student in the Phonetics Department at the Faculty of Philology.

    Verbitskaya became the university's vice-rector in 1984, before being promoted to first vice-rector of the university and, in 1993, to rector.

    "Verbitskaya was awarded by the order for "National Service" IV degree, III degree and II degree, the order of Friendship, the order of honor of Saint Grand Duchess Olga of the Russian Orthodox Church III degree, the French 'Academic Palm' award with the title of 'Commander', the 'Knight's Cross for Service of the Republic of Poland', the order Vernadsky Star I degree, the title of Honorary Employee of Higher Education in Russia, the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education (Great Britain) and the golden medal Public Recognition (1999)", her university profile notes.

    Many in Russian media described her as the world's foremost expert in Russian philology.

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