On Friday, July 14, 2023, this year's graduates, their families, friends, faculty and staff of the Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society (HWG LU) gathered in the festive ambience of Ludwigshafen's Pfalzbau to celebrate together their successful graduation as the highlight of the academic year 2022/2023.
After the champagne reception, University President Professor Dr. Gunther Piller welcomed the auditorium and congratulated the graduates on their very special achievements under truly exceptional circumstances: "You have demonstrated willpower, perseverance and performance during your studies and successfully completed your studies despite the adverse circumstances of the Corona pandemic. You and your loved ones can be proud of what you have achieved!" The graduation certificate is also the entrance ticket to a new phase of life, and the joint efforts and experiences are important factors for future action and the shaping of one's own path in life.
Afterwards, Tatjana Kamrad, chairwoman of the Association of Friends and Sponsors of the University, charmingly promoted staying in touch with the university beyond the successful graduation: "For the equivalent of a "coffee to go" a month, you not only support the university and subsequent students, but also benefit yourself from a sustainable network," Kamrad said.
Karoline Rossmann and Paul Konrath from the Bachelor of Social Work program then took a look back at their studies under pandemic and normal conditions in their graduation speech: after a somewhat bumpy start with online lectures, digital game nights and chat groups instead of hallway conversations, student parties and communal cafeteria meals, the university and students had found innovative and viable concepts for coping well with everyday study life even under pandemic conditions. The return from digital to analog connections is nevertheless particularly valuable, he said, as it shows once again to a whole different extent how rich a university is through the diversity of people and opinions that come together here. "We have a great responsibility, both to ourselves and to the world," said Rossmann and Konrath, and gave their former fellow students the following advice: "You are pioneers of change. Be courageous, creative and active! Get involved!"
Andreas Gietl, alumnus of the university and Senior Vice President Digitalization of Business at BASF SE, also echoed this thought in his keynote speech. "Many of you will take on leadership responsibilities in the coming years. You have energy, technical and methodological knowledge, but leadership experience is something you are neither born with nor can you acquire from books. Leadership is about what you do and how you take people along with you. It's about being open and sometimes vulnerable. Being able to admit mistakes. Being authentic. It's about leading the team, other people, to success and taking responsibility for their actions as well as your own," said Gietl to the current cohort. In doing so, he said, you have to leave your comfort zone and actively make the decision for yourself that you want to take on this leadership responsibility. "Don't wait to be selected! Make your choice yourself!"
Following the central ceremony - charmingly moderated by Christine Heinzel, lecturer at the Department of Services & Consulting, and beautifully accompanied musically by singer and guitarist Florian Gallant - the graduates received their certificates from the hands of University President Prof. Dr. Gunther Piller and the deans of the four departments. After the ceremonial awarding of certificates, a buffet and cool drinks awaited the guests before DJ Oliver Koob from the DJ Community Mannheim opened the party part of the evening.
As a special highlight this year, the graduating class of 1973 also celebrated their 50th alumni anniversary with current graduates.
In the last academic year of 2022/2023, around 950 graduates - Bachelors, Masters and MBAs - successfully graduated from HWG LU.