Festive Farewell at the University Celebration

Dr. Thomas Eder (rechts), Patentanwalt und Partner der Kanzlei Eder, Schieschke Partner, bekam die zehnte Honorarprofessur der Hochschule Offenburg verliehen. //Bild: Martina Wagner

"What I want to give you today, as your rector, is not knowledge. It is a wish: and for this I may use the central formula of the Enlightenment - attributed to the philosopher Immanuel Kant: Sapere aude! Have courage to strive with your own mind." With these words, university rector Winfried Lieber introduced his speech to the 425 graduates of the 2018/19 winter semester. A total of around 900 guests attended the traditional university celebration in Offenburg's Oberrheinhalle on Friday evening. The graduates had received their diplomas in the course of the festive ceremony.

Sharpening the mind

Today, knowledge is available at all times through the Internet and electronic media. In the end it depends on the ability to deal with the learned knowledge, says Rector Lieber. "Knowledge without reason is only an up-to-date water level report of our knowledge, a snapshot". In view of fake news and conspiracy theories, "critical reflections on truth and knowledge are more helpful than the mind of Alexa.

Guest speaker of the evening was Prof. Dr. Holger Burckhart, Rector of the University of Siegen and Vice President of the German Rectors' Conference between 2012 and 2018, who gave a rousing description of the tasks of today's graduates: "They bring innovation into society, advance solutions to pressing problems and thus shape the future. To this end, it is necessary to develop personalities and competencies that go beyond the professional level. "Change the world in your sense and don't google or amazon", was the appeal of the renowned university expert. He concluded by pleading for the use of synergies - both in cooperation with regional partners and in the acquisition of knowledge: "In these fast-moving times, it is less a matter of concrete individual knowledge than of the system and structure of learning.

Honorary professorship for Dr. Thomas Eder

A special award went to Dr. Thomas Eder, who was awarded the tenth honorary professorship at the university ceremony. Dr. Eder is a patent attorney and partner of the law firm Eder, Schieschke Partner in Munich and sits on the board of the Federal Association of German Patent Attorneys. In his laudatory speech, Rector Lieber emphasized that the university's statutes require not only that the prerequisites for a professorship be met, but also that other building blocks be taken into account - including particularly good teaching and above-average commitment to its further development and quality assurance. Dr. Thomas Eder fulfilled these requirements to a very special degree. "Against this background, it was certainly a stroke of luck for our university to recruit Dr. Eder in 2005 as a lecturer for the English-language lecture "Intellectual Properties" in the Master's programme Communication and Media Engineering. In the meantime, a further teaching position for the seminar "Fundamentals of Patent Law" has been added. In addition, Dr. Eder advises the university on questions of intellectual property and patent issues, from basic patentability to patent application.

Greeting from the Association of Friends

On behalf of the Verein der Freunde und Förderer der Hochschule Offenburg, chairman Helmut Schareck congratulated the graduates: "This university degree and this graduation ceremony are a milestone in your life". He then appealed for the commitment of the new alumni: "With us you can continue to keep in touch with the university. We promote, we network and we support the students and the university financially," he explained. 200 individual members and 100 companies and associations are already part of this network.

On behalf of the graduates, the cousins Sabrina Mader and Melinda Mader gave a speech. The two graduates studied media and information science and immediately started their careers as software developers and IT project managers.


The four faculties and the Graduate School adopted 425 students this year, of whom 136 are female. 240 students come from Ortenau. With 155 graduates, the courses from the Faculty of Business Administration and Industrial Engineering are the strongest, followed by the Faculties of Mechanical Engineering and Process Engineering (86), Media and Information Technology (67) and Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (65). 52 students completed the Graduate School's international Master's programmes. Currently, 4,145 young people study at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, 1,215 of whom are women.

Pictures of the university celebration can be requested from Martina Wagner: foto@wagner-martina.de .

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