On Friday, October 27, 2023, the Haniel Foundation and the Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society presented the Friedrich Gennheimer Award to two master's students from the Neustadt Wine Campus. The award-winning master's theses examine the transformation of the economy toward greater sustainability. The Friedrich Gennheimer Prize for Marketing, endowed with 3000 euros, went to Pauline Baumberger-Brand. The Friedrich Gennheimer Prize for Viticulture, Oenology and Wine Marketing, endowed with 3000 euros, went to Martin Ladach.
In memory of Friedrich Gennheimer, the Friedrich Gennheimer Prize was established in 2023 together with the Haniel Foundation as the awarding institution. The Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society and the Haniel Foundation can already look back on 25 years of cooperation.
Prof. Dr. Gunther Piller, President of the University of Business and Society, opened the ceremony for the awarding of the Friedrich Gennheimer Prize in the auditorium of DLR Rheinpfalz "The Neustadt Wine Campus is a success story based on close cooperation between the three sponsoring universities TH Bingen, Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences, Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society and DLR Rheinpfalz. The Friedrich Gennheimer Prize adds another strong facet to this success story." State Secretary (ret.) Dr. Siegfried Englert's speech was about Friedrich Gennheimer's moving life. Englert is not only executor of Gennheimer's estate, but is also one of the co-founders of the Neustadt wine campus.
Kurt Beck, former Minister President, gave the evening's keynote address: "We have come together today to honor the extraordinary achievements of young people. In today's times, this is more important than ever. Even if the scientific knowledge developed at universities may not always be the measure of all things, we should always take it into account. Universities are places where solutions are developed. Which vines are fit for the future? I think it's important, and I want to emphasize this, that scientific results are presented in an understandable way." In his speech, Beck addressed the holistic view of sustainability:"You have to implement sustainability not only in a social context, but also in a private context. To be able to look at things together, you also have to be ready for it."
Pauline Baumberger-Brand, a graduate of the MBA program Wine, Sustainability & Sales, addressed a workshop format for sustainability development for the German wine industry in her master's thesis. The format is intended to serve the change process, which is initiated through interaction. Her emotional acceptance speech made clear how important the sustainability development of wineries is to her and how much the studies at Weincampus Neustadt have meant to her. Prof. Dr. Marc Dreßler, head of the MBA Wine, Sustainability & Sales program, expressed his pride in his laudation. "Ms. Baumberger-Brand is not only a scientifically sound and intrinsically driven person, but also a very open-minded person. She sees the need for action in the field of sustainability and is aware of the complexity that comes with this word, which is often used in an inflationary manner. Ms. Baumberger-Brand is an entrepreneur herself and her master's thesis is convincing with many practically applicable aspects," said Prof. Dreßler in his laudatory speech.
Martin Ladach, a graduate of the German-French master's program in viticulture & Oenology, examined fungus-resistant grape varieties in his master's thesis to determine their suitability for the production of white wines using the mash fermentation process. Four development variants were tested for each grape variety. Especially for the grape varieties Sauvignac, Muscaris and Cabernet blanc, mash fermentation proved to be a suitable method. All investigated grape varieties have a high potential for defensive oenology, in addition to the possibility of environmentally friendly and sustainable viticulture. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Fischer, Director of the Institute of Viticulture and Oenology, gave the laudatory speech: "Martin Ladach is a pioneer and a border crosser who has a great passion for wine. At the Neustadt wine campus, resilient, scientific data is created. Martin Ladach's master's thesis is the basis for sustainable viticulture and actually makes wineries more sustainable. PIWIs are fascinating and can help winemakers save time and money."
Friedrich Wilhelm Gennheimer was born in 1930 in Neustadt an der Weinstraße. The Gennheimer family is known in Neustadt under the company name Gebrüder Gennheimer Sektkellerei. His professional career began with business studies, which he completed with a degree in business administration. This was followed by a teaching assignment in general business administration at the vocational schools in Speyer and a transfer to the Staatliche Höhere Wirtschaftsfachschule in Ludwigshafen, where he also taught business administration. Just one year later, he was appointed professor at the Ludwigshafen department of the University of Applied Sciences of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate. Gennheimer taught there in the fields of marketing as well as human resources and training. From 1979 to 1987, he served as dean of the Ludwigshafen department and was responsible for the founding of the Worms department and the East Asia Institute in Ludwigshafen during this period. In 1996, Gennheimer retired, although he continued to teach as a lecturer in the Department of Business Administration in the years that followed.
In 2022, Friedrich Gennheimer passed away, leaving a portion of his estate to support outstanding graduates of the Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society in the fields of viticulture and marketing. Prof. Dr. Laura Ehm, Professor of Marketing at the Neustadt Wine Campus, is in charge of the cooperation with the Haniel Foundation and the Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society: "I am very pleased that we can honor excellent final theses with such a highly endowed prize and that funds are available for this purpose for the next ten years."
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