8,000 Guests Present at the Start of Festival Week Celebrating the 625th Anniversary of Heidelberg University
27. Juni 2011
Reopening of the New University, UniMeile and Summer Party
On Saturday, 25 June 2011, some 8,000 guests celebrated the start of Festival Week marking the high-spot of Heidelberg University’s 625th anniversary celebrations. The programme of events included the reopening of the New University, the inauguration of the UniMeile and a summer party in the evening. The first item on the agenda was the festive reopening of the New University in the Great Hall of the completely renovated building. The festive address to the approximately 1,000 guests was delivered by Theresia Bauer, Baden-Württemberg’s minister of science, research and the arts. Former federal chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl, patron of the “Dem lebendigen Geist” campaign for the renovation of the New University, opened the proceedings with a brief speech. A further item in the ceremony was the induction of Andreas Epple, deputy chairman of the Friends of Heidelberg University society, and entrepreneur Dr. Rainer Dulger into the ranks of the University’s honorary senators.
The UniMeile took place throughout the day on and around University Square between the English Department, the University Library and the Marstall. It was an opportunity for the departments, faculties and institutions of the university to present themselves to the public in the university buildings, in courtyards, squares and 60 marquees. Several thousand visitors took an interest in the research and teaching achievements presented for their inspection. The UniMeile was accompanied by an entertainment programme for all age groups. Subsequently, many visitors, members and friends of the University accepted the Rector’s invitation to bring the day to a pleasurable close with music and dancing at the summer party in the historical inner courtyard of the Marstall building.
Among the guests at these festive events were 300 alumni from all over the world who had arrived in Heidelberg on Friday for the Alumni Anniversary Celebrations. At the alumni assembly in the New University on Sunday, 26 June, they took the opportunity to meet up with old friends and make new contacts.
Festival Week is the high-point of the celebrations commemorating the origins of Heidelberg University 625 years ago. A wide range of further events will be presenting Germany’s oldest university to its members, alumni and friends from all over the world until 2 July 2011.