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“A Dynamic University with a Unique History”

Freie Universität Berlin Commemorates Its Founding 65 Years Ago

№ 377/2013 from Dec 04, 2013

Freie Universität held a ceremony to commemorate the ceremonial act of its founding 65 years ago. At the ceremony in the Henry Ford Building, held on the anniversary of its founding, also known as Ernst Reuter Day, university president Professor Dr. Peter-André Alt described the university as a “dynamic university with a unique history.” Professor Alt went on to state that 65 is “young for a university, so we are looking forward, not back, to the future which Freie Universität intends to shape with confidence on the basis on excellent research and teaching.”

Freie Universität Berlin was founded on December 4, 1948, by students and professors, supported by the American allies and Berlin politicians. Various factors led to the founding of the new university, including the persecution of students who were critical of the system at the then Universität Unter den Linden in the Soviet sector of the divided city. The students and professors wanted to study and carry out research without being subject to political influence. The founding ceremony took place in the Titania Palast in the Steglitz district of Berlin.

During the ceremony on Wednesday, the winners of this year’s Ernst Reuter Award from Freie Universität Berlin were officially recognized. The awards are given for outstanding dissertations, and they are granted every year by the Ernst Reuter Association of Friends, Supporters, and Alumni of Freie Universität Berlin (ERG). Those honored this year are the veterinarian Dr. Imke Lüders, the political and social scientist Paula Protsch, the Japanese studies scholar Dr. Till Weingärtner, and the chemist Dr. Thomas Grohmann. The amount of the award is 5,000 euros. An award was also presented to a faculty member, the DRS Award for Excellent Supervision. This year it was given to Dr. Sabine Schülting, a professor of English studies, and Dr. Jürgen Zentek, a professor of veterinary medicine. In addition, the sponsors of the Deutschland-Stipendium scholarship at Freie Universität Berlin as well as the new Deutschland-Stipendium scholarship holders were recognized.

The four award winners and their dissertation topics:

  • Dr. Imke Lüders, Department of Veterinary Medicine: Ultrasonographical and Endocrinological Characterization of the unique Ovarian Activity during the Estrus cycle and the Pregnancy in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus)
  • Paula Protsch, Department of Political and Social Science: Segmentierte Ausbildungsmärkte. Berufliche Chancen von Hauptschülerinnen und Hauptschülern im Wandel
  • Dr. Till Weingärtner,  Department of History and Cultural Studies: Der o-warai-Boom im ersten Jahrzehnt des 21. Jahrhunderts. Zum Verständnis der Funktionsweise von Rahmen im modernen Fernseh-Manzai und weiteren japanischen Comedy-Gattungen
  • Dr. Thomas Grohmann,  Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Pharmacy: Theoretische Untersuchungen zur Quantendynamik der Kernspinisomere nicht-linearer Moleküle

Further Information

Simone Graetsch-Schröder, Office, Ernst Reuter Association, Tel.: +49 30 838 73641, Email: