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Press release No. 11/2014, 2014-01-16 | zur deutschen Fassung | print version | Search

350 days to go to the 350th year of existence

Kiel University starts countdown to the big anniversary

In 1665, Duke Christian Albrecht of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf founded Kiel University and distributed an annual donation of 6.000 Taler, derived from the budget of the destrict of Bordesholm. Since then, the State University of Schleswig-Holstein, which has developed into an internationally regarded institution over the past three and a half centuries, had often feared for its survival. Wars, political entanglements or permanent financial distress were the reasons why none of the big anniversaries of the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU) could be celebrated in a worthy way. So, there is much to catch up, when Kiel University celebrates its 350th anniversary starting January 1st, 2015. Today, (Thursday, January 16th, 2014), exactly 350 days before the start of the anniversary year, Kiel University officially unveiled its plans for the festival year.

The Celebration of Celebrations

For the president of the university, Professor Gerhard Fouquet, the anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate, which development the Schleswig-Holstein State University has made over the past three and a half centuries, what it is achieving today and what it wants to represent in the future. Fouquet: "In the long history of our university, there have been many critical events. And there have always been people, who opened up doors to the future with fresh ideas, great courage and a lot of creativity. Today, the CAU is a breeding ground for talent, a driver of innovation and an international figurehead for Schleswig-Holstein. With this jubilee, we would like to say thank you to the city of Kiel and to the country and people of Schleswig-Holstein for enabling us to develop so well despite difficult conditions.”

The close connection between the state and the university has produced marvelous scientific breakthroughs and many outstanding personal stories over the past 350 years, the historian continues: "These are the stories we want to tell during the anniversary year. I would like to invite all of you, who feel connected to Kiel University, to join us not only in celebrating the birthday of our wonderful, manifold institution in 2015, but also in shaping and supporting this jubilee," says the president.

All people who feel connected with Kiel University are invited to submit their personal experiences regarding Kiel University within the “350+ marks” campaign. Via Internet or by letter, everyone is welcome to submit stories, pictures and videos. The stories should tell about special events, striking experiences, impulses given or received, favorite locations, times or persons. The most moving stories will be published in the anniversary year – for example on the jubilee’s website.

Projects and Plans

The claim of the jubilee is "Right up there for 350 years". “This motto is deliberately ambiguous,” explains the project manager and spokesman of the university, Dr. Boris Pawlowski. "On the one hand, we want to ensure that Germany and especially our former students, will look to the north more often and realise the impressive development their university has taken in the past." On the other hand, the jubilee should generate a positive mood in Schleswig-Holstein in order to set the path into a furtile future. Pawlowski: "We therefore concentrate the jubilee’s activities on a triad of historical retrospective, public events and scientific exhibitions." Additionally, it is important to reflect intensively on a framework of excellent science and university teaching in the 21st century. "Thus, the anniversary won’t be just a celebration, but also a festival that critically examines the role of the university and its present situation," continues the project manager.

Preparations are already in full swing. "From the beginning, we wanted to inspire as many members at the university and its affiliated institutions as possible to participate," project manager Anne Waller describes. It has already become apparent that the year 2015 will be all about the 350-year anniversary of Kiel University. Waller adds: "In particular, we would like to bring our students on board and encourage them to create the anniversary with us and to develop own projects."

In January 2015, an opening week will mark the beginning of the jubilee. All projects regarding the anniversary will be presented at a fair. The following year is fully packed with conferences and symposia, national faculty days, lecture series, summer festivals and many open house days. There will also be concerts, exhibitions and sports events. Alumni and alumnae as well as citizens can look forward to a Summer Fest at the campus in May 2015. During the Kiel Week 2015, the International Cities Forum will address the topic of “The regional economic impact of universities". From September 22nd to 26th , the chancellors of all German universities will be guests at Kiel University for their annual conference. The official jubilee ceremony will be held on October 5th, 2015. State guests are invited for the jubilee service at the Nikolaikirche and the reception afterwards at City Hall. Simultaneously, a “Festschrift” (commemorative publication) will be published. An accompanying lecture series will trace the history of the university in different places at Kiel. The Federal Ministry of Finance and the German Post will issue a special stamp to the 350th anniversary of the CAU. The General Assembly of the German Rectors' Conference finally takes place from November 9th to 10th, held at the Kiel Fjord.

“The list of projects and ideas for events, especially those in cooperation with non-university partners, is growing continuously. Our task now is to check these as quickly as possible on feasibility and affordability. Nevertheless, we can promise that the jubilee will be an informative, colorful and festive anniversary year," Waller summarizes the current state of planning.

Patronage and Support

Despite tight budgets, the Presidium of Kiel University has provided a total amount of 350,000 Euros for the shaping of its anniversaries celebrations. Combined with staff and operating costs within the university, at the end of 2015 there are estimated total costs of 1 million euros – a relatively small amount compared to the importance and scale of the project. To realise as many jubilee projects as possible and to keep the actual burden for the university as low as possible, support, funding and donations are of the essence.

"The scale and significance of the anniversary largely depend on how many people, institutions, companies or foundations show their solidarity with Kiel University and actively support the State University in its plans," says Professor Hans Heinrich Driftmann, entrepreneur and chairman of the universities board of trustees, Kuratorium pro Universitate."The anniversary offers Schleswig-Holstein the unique opportunity to advertise our business and science locations far beyond its own borders. Therefore, I can only encourage all alumni and all fellow citizens of our state to support Kiel University with this terrific project," the former GCIC president explicates.

The ways to support the jubilee are as manifold as Kiel University itself, the referent for private funding at CAU, Sabine Große-Aust, adds: "If you want to support us with donations, to promote a particular anniversary project or just collaborate – don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re looking forward to hear from you!"

Further information:

Download the jubilee logo:

Photos/material is available for download:
Please pay attention to our ► Hinweise zur Verwendung

Click to enlarge

Encourage young talents. Kiel University is a breeding ground for talent in the North. Here, the curiosity of young scientists is awakened. Dedicated and responsible scientists prepare them for the future. In the picture: The pupils Tim-Ole (left) and Tim-Carlo (right) explore, together with student Anna-Sophie Kaden (sociology and education) and Professor Ulrich Lüning (Organic Chemistry), the world of science.
Credit: Uwe Reicherter, Copyright: Kiel University

Image to download:

Click to enlarge

Starting the countdown to the 350th jubilee of Kiel University: Dr. Boris Pawlowski (Projekt manager Jubilee and Spokesman), Professor Gerhard Fouquet (President of Kiel University), Anne Waller (Project manager) and Professor Hans Heinrich Driftmann (e.g. Chairman Kuratorium pro universitate).
Credit: Jürgen Haacks, Copyright: Kiel University

Image to download:

University Foundation:
IBAN: DE22 2105 0170 1400 0483 91
Förde Sparkasse
Codeword: University jubilee

Anne Waller and Dr. Boris Pawlowski
Project management University Jubilee
phone: +49 431 880-5214

Sabine Große-Aust
Manager Fundraising Office
phone: +49 431 880-1490

Kiel University
Press, Communication and Marketing, Dr. Boris Pawlowski
Address: D-24098 Kiel, phone: +49 (0431) 880-2104, fax: +49 (0431) 880-1355
E-Mail: ►
Text / Redaktion: ► Dr. Boris Pawlowski