A ‘foundation under public law’ as the perfect opportunity for successful positioning in the competition among universities – Ceremonial handover of office in the St. Petri Church
Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Hendrik Lehnert is the new President of the University of Lübeck. Torsten Albig, Premier of the State of Schleswig-Holstein, attended the ceremonial handover held on 3 November 2014 in the University Church St. Petri. Prof. Lehnert accepted the chain of office from his predecessor, Prof. Dr. Peter Dominiak, during a celebration of the university’s golden jubilee.
On the occasion of the office handover, Prof. Lehnert referred to transformation of the university into a ‘foundation under public law’ as one of the biggest and most decisive future challenges faced by both the president’s office and all employees. He remarked, “In establishing this university as a foundation under public law, I see an excellent opportunity to guarantee even more freedom than before for research and teaching, while ensuring co-determination and excellence of the higher education system. The University of Lübeck will boost its chances of positioning itself successfully in the now highly competitive national and international arena of universities.”
On 9 April, the University’s Academic Senate elected Prof. Lehnert as the new president. Born in 1954 in Karlstad, Sweden, Prof. Lehnert joined the University of Lübeck in 2007 as the Professor for Internal Medicine and Director of Medical Clinic I. In 2012/13, he was the Medical Director of the University Medical Center of Schleswig-Holstein on the Lübeck Campus.
Premier Torsten Albig congratulated the university and the new president on behalf of the state, while Mayor Bernd Saxe did so on behalf of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck. The Chair of the State Conference of Vice-Chancellors, Prof. Dr. Werner Reinhart of Flensburg, expressed congratulations on behalf of Schleswig-Holstein universities. Björn Engholm, former premier and long-term chair of the advisory board and honorary citizen of the university, reminisced about the university’s development over the past half-century. Both Prof. Dr. Peter Dominiak, who held the president’s office until 31 July, and the newly sworn-in president, Prof. Dr. Lehnert, also spoke on this festive occasion.
Pastor Dr. Bernd Schwarze and the chair of the student council (AStA), Eva Clausen, emceed the programme for this very special occasion. The 400 invitees partook in a stand-up reception concluding the festivities.
The ceremony kicked-off the anniversary week of celebrations marking the university’s 50-year existence. Other highlights included musical performances, lectures, an awards ceremony, a theatrical performance, the State Conference of University Vice-Chancellors, an alumni meet and a big gala held on 8 November in Lübeck’s Music and Congress Hall.