There is no merit in growing old. But growing old and staying young at the same time is quite a different matter. In the year of its 350th anniversary, Kiel University wants to show that it has indeed achieved this feat. The programme for the year is something to be proud of. One highlight after another from January to December. "Celebrations ranging from the Jubilee Ball and Fair during the University Week in January, to campus concerts, many other events, and a large-scale campus festival in May, through to the main jubilee ceremony in the autumn leave nothing to be desired" promised Lutz Kipp, the President of Kiel University. "We want to use 2015 to continue our chosen path of opening the university to the city and the State. Nowhere else has more motivated young people than here. They want to use their ideas to make the world a better place. How better to spread this message than with an entire year of Jubilee celebrations?"
The President, a professor of physics, continued that in light of limited budgets, collaboration with companies and organisations in the local economy are particularly important. "However you look at it, our university with its 25,000 students and over 3,000 employees is a small city in itself. And two things are needed to keep it on the move: Firstly, motivated staff. Secondly, adequate funding and an infrastructure that works. In this respect we are no different from ordinary businesses." But as the President explained, is it precisely this last point which is particularly difficult for the notoriously under-funded university. "This is why we looked for strong partners early on in the preparatory stages of the Jubilee - partners who want to support us."
It was not necessary to look far. After all, the university has extensive business links and trains the next generation of employees for many companies in the State. "The request to join us in shaping the Jubilee Year certainly did not fall on deaf ears. And we are very grateful for this" said the President. For example, on the occasion of the "White Night" in Kiel's Holtenauer Strasse this year, the attention that was attracted by a single purple table in what was otherwise a street decorated entirely in white was very clear. Thanks to the association Die Holtenauer e.V., the 2015 event will become a "Purple Night" in recognition of the university's colours of purple and white. "It is with the aid of partnerships and collaborations like this, plus a lively programme from the university itself that in the Jubilee year we aim to reach precisely those people who have little contact with the university in their day to day lives" stressed Professor Kipp. "We want to show them: we are a part of you". This is why further projects are planned with the Theater Kiel, and plans have also been made for a Kiel University team in the Kiel.Lauf and dragon boat races.
Finally, it is important to demonstrate that, in spite of its turbulent past and unsavoury history during the Nazi era, the university is now a lively place of international learning and exchange. Kipp: "Today, Kiel University is an important and outstanding location for teaching and research both within the State and beyond. It is a vital and likeable part of Kiel and Schleswig-Holstein. Our university is a strong community which its members and the population of Schleswig-Holstein can be very proud of.
Kiel University will celebrate its 350th anniversary over an entire year. Anyone who feels connected to the university can submit their personal story. The best way is to send it online to www.uni-kiel.de/mitmachen. The best stories will be published as from 1 January 2015. More at www.uni-kiel.de/cau350.
Donations for the university's Jubilee would be most welcome. More at: www.uni-kiel.de/cau350/en (> Support).