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The Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft der Freunde, Förderer und Ehemaligen der Freien Universität Berlin, the central association for the promotion of research and scholarship at Freie Universität Berlin, has provided intellectual and material aid to help Freie Universität maintain and expand its position as a place of innovative ideas ever since it was founded, in 1954.

Ernst Reuter, the Founder

The first governing mayor of West Berlin, Ernst Reuter, played a crucial role in the founding of Freie Universität. Reuter signed the initial call for the university’s establishment and served as the first chairman of the board of trustees. He repeatedly emphasized the need for an association for the promotion of research and scholarship at the university. The Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft was founded in the year following his death (1954).

Aims of the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft

The promotion of research, teaching, and junior scholars and scientists plays a crucial role in the activities of the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft. One especially important event is the granting of the Ernst Reuter Prize for outstanding dissertations. The four prizes are awarded annually, in early December, to mark the foundation of Freie Universität on December 4. Each prize carries a cash award of 5,000 euros.

The Association establishes ties between supporters and friends of the university and current members of the university community and maintains contact with former university members in Germany and abroad. Within the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft, specific departments have started their own initiatives in the form of association chapters and divisions, with the goal of supporting their specific subjects through advice, activities, and funding. Departments and their representatives interested in this option are encouraged to organize their own chapters (existing chapters).

International Activities

Another equally important part of the Association’s activities is its support for international contacts, for instance through the Ernst Reuter scholarship program, which provides funding for research and study at partner universities.

The Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft currently has over 5,000 members, with a steady flow of new friends, supporters, and alumni joining the organization. The Association is a recognized nonprofit organization.


Account Data

Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft e.V.

Account number: 1010010111
Bank Code 10050000 Berliner Sparkasse

IBAN: DE98100500001010010111