Today, Universität Hamburg hosts its grandest celebration yet: Its opening, exactly 100 years ago today, on 10 May 1919. The ceremony includes Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, president of the German Bundestag and Universität Hamburg alumnus. At the same time, a large celebration was taking place across the campus.
Note: Current press photos from the ceremony and campus festival are available from 3 pm in our Press Portal at uhh.de/festakt-fotosCelebrations began with the ceremony in the Audimax, with 1,400 attending Universität Hamburg’s centennial celebration. Students, staff, teachers and graduates were all present, alongside members of our partner universities and other academic institutions from across all of Germany. They were joined by representatives from politics, business, the church and culture, as well as society at large at the ceremony in the Audimax.
The key note presentation was given by Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, in honor of his Alma Mater. The president of the German Bundestag studied law and economics at Universität Hamburg in the 1960s, and was active in Hamburg university politics at the time.
Mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher said in his greeting: "With 43,000 students and 12,800 staff, Universität Hamburg is today the largest hub of teaching and research in the north of Germany. It is the flagship for Hamburg as a home for academia, and unites the facilities of our broad and diverse research landscape. The University thus contributes to making the most of technical and social advances finding solutions for the pressing questions of our time."
In his speech, Dr. h.c. Dieter Lenzen, President of Universität Hamburg said "Look at this University, at what its citizens have achieved. Thanks to them, this University has become a place of uncompromising enlightenment. But it is not content to rest on its laurels. This is why we strive to maintain the freedom to research, to teach, to educate and form, so that our work may also help to defend freedom itself in the future."
The University was not the only one receiving accolades, with the ISS Commander and Universität Hamburg alumnus also receiving his due. In response to being granted the title of Honorable Senator, he said: "I am delighted to be able to celebrate here in my "old" university on this special day. I may have been part of Universität Hamburg for a little less than its 100 years; But I earned my doctorate in its department of geosciences 10 years ago, and as an honorary senator, I stand here today aligned with it still. The University did not just encourage me to go where the road led me, But supported me in going where no roads had been made, to blaze new trails. The flag accompanied me into space and back-and here today I would like to officially return it, as my gift to the University. I wish Universität Hamburg many more heavenly moments in the 100 years to come!"
He was followed by two other alumni on the stage: Professor Michael Otto, also an honorary senator, who, during his discussion with moderator (NDR journalist and alumnus) Julia Sen, recalled his time at the University and spoke of the significance it had for him as the head of a family-owned company. Artist and comedian Otto Waalkes also presented University president Lenzen with the picture of a "Uni-phant"--an adaptation of his "Ottifanten" image, specially designed for the centennial celebration.
The ceremony, accompanied by the Skyliner Big Band from University Music was screened live onto screens on the Von-Melle-Park Campus, thus opening the second part of the celebrations: the Campus Festival for all members of the University. A rich and colorful program continued into the night, featuring poetry slams, improv theater, robot football, street art workshops and activities for children. From 3 pm, Norwegian punk-pop band Sløtface played on the AStA stage, followed by the Low-German language rapper Blowm & Maddin un de Maudefaades, and German pop band Dein Fadinzt.