At the beginning of the nineteenth century, some elements of geography could be found in the works of the members of the Warsaw Society of Friends of Learning (e.g. a geography textbook) and in lectures offered in similar disciplines at Warsaw’s first higher education institutions. Wawrzyniec Surowiecki (1769-1827) gave lectures in statistics with elements of economic geography at the Main School for Law and Administrative Sciences(1808). In 1816–1831, lectures in cartography were held at the Royal University of Warsaw. At the Imperial University of Warsaw (where Russian was the language of instruction), an attempt was made to start the Chair of Geography and Ethnography in 1883-1885, but was abandoned due to insufficient funds. Some physical geography issues were taught as part of geophysics courses. The University of Warsaw was launched as a Polish educational institution in 1915 with the approval of the German occupation authorities. The Department of Geography was created by Professor Stanisław Lencewicz (1889-1944), who received his doctorate at Neuchâtel and postdoctoral degree (habilitation) at Lviv. The Department of Geography was established as part of the Faculty of Philosophy on 1 April 1918. In 1920, Professor Lencewicz was appointed the Deputy Head of the Department, and in 1922 its Head, following his promotion to full professor. Lencewicz’s scientific interests included mainly geomorphology, limnology and regional geography. In 1938, the Department of Anthropogeography was established as part of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities on the initiative of Professor Bogdan Zaborski (1901-1985). A pupil of Lencewicz, Professor Zaborski had a declared interest in human geography, although he also studied physical geography. These two divisions were re-launched after World War II to form the Institute of Geography in 1952, located in the Uruski-Czetwertyński Palace, which was rebuilt after the War. This new geographical unit at the University of Warsaw was created by Professor Stanisław Leszczycki (1907-1996), who moved here from the Jagiellonian University. Professor Leszczycki was an economic geographer, President of the International Geographical Union in the years 1968-1972. In 1969-1977, the Institute of Geography operated as an independent academic establishment headed by Professor Jerzy Kondracki (physical geographer). The Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies was founded following the merger of the Institute of Geography and the Institute of African Studies in 1977 to become the first Faculty of Geography in Poland, with Professor Zdzisław Mikulski (physical geographer) as its first Dean. Honorary University of Warsaw degrees (honoris causa degrees) presented by its geographical division in 1962-2004 were awarded to: Professor Sir Dudley Stamp, Professor Konstantin A. Salishchev, Professor Raul Preibisch, Professor Stanisław Leszczycki and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In 1999, to commemorate Professor Jerzy Kondracki, a medal was established in his name for his contribution and services to the Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies of the University of Warsaw. The Medal is awarded to those who have made a significant contribution to the development of the Faculty and to Polish geography.