Indiana University (IU) in the United States has recognized Freie Universität Berlin for its global commitment. The Bicentennial Medal was presented on Wednesday. The medal is being awarded to institutions and individuals who have expanded the reach and influence of Indiana University through their personal, professional, artistic, or philanthropic commitment. IU is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.
"IU is very fortunate to have such a strong and long-term partnership with Freie Universität Berlin as it is one of the leading research universities in Germany," it says in the justification. Collaborations such as those with Freie Universität support IU’s long-term dedication to global commitment through first-class scholarship and research as well as to providing more study abroad opportunities for IU students. In addition, cooperation promotes global exchange and better understanding.
As IU continued, "We would like to celebrate our long-standing relationship with Freie Universität, as it has given us so many opportunities over the years to support students and scholars through cultural, academic, and research exchange. Many of the exchange students at Freie Universität still carry their experiences from their time at IU with them. They live with these experiences and let them influence their actions in numerous ways. The same applies to the IU students, for whom the stay in Berlin was enriching in many ways."
Since Europe Gateways, IU’s European base, was founded in Berlin in 2015, joint public events have given IU researchers an opportunity to present their research in Berlin. In addition, joint research workshops and research stays have led to new academic connections. There are also new collaborative projects in virtual space.
The eleventh rector of IU, Herman B. Wells (1902-2000), worked in Berlin in 1947 and 1948 as an expert on rebuilding the German university system after World War II. During this time, he supported the founding and development of Freie Universität, which was founded on December 4, 1948.
The Bicentennial Medal honors outstanding services in support of the university’s missions. Institutions and individuals who are awarded the medal are intended to serve as role models for future students, faculty, alumni, and organizations.
The Bicentennial Medal is based on a design by Jeeyea Kim, a lecturer at the School of Art, Architecture + Design at Indiana University. The design was selected as part of an open competition organized by IU’s Office of the Bicentennial, which was held in 2018. The Indiana Metal Craft foundry in Bloomington, Indiana, USA, was commissioned to produce the molds and the medals. The medals were made from the material of an old bell from a student building at IU. The building caught fire during renovations on December 17, 1990, and the bell was later salvaged.
from left: Vice President of Freie Universität Verena Blechinger-Talcott, President of Freie Universität Günter M. Ziegler, Director of the IU Europe Gateway Andrea Adam Moores at the award ceremony.
Image Credit: Annabell Türk
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