On January 27th, the Willy Brandt School’s students, professors and staff came together for the welcome reception of the class of 2016 – 2018. Even though the winter semester already draws to an end, the event at Haus Dacheröden in the city of Erfurt gave a warm welcome to the incoming students from 38 different countries, which comprise the batch of 2018.
After a musical opening, Prof. Dr. Solveig Richter, Junior Professor for International Conflict Management, started the reception with opening remarks.
It was with great pleasure that Prof. Dr. Florian Hoffmann, Professor of International Law at the Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro and former Franz Haniel Professor for Public Policy at the Willy Brandt School, held the keynote speech. Even though he admitted that this batch was the first in which he did not have any contact (as in previous class he at least participated in the application process), he showed great empathy with the students’ situation in the middle of the exam period, while many of them have been away from their home country for a while. Many were relieved when he promised that during the summer, Erfurt would be more beautiful than it has been the last few months. Especially at a point in the curriculum where many things are taken for granted, Prof. Hoffmann reminded the whole Brandt School community of its uniqueness and peculiarity and encouraged everyone to cherish and represent especially that what makes it special. Some of the peculiarities, he elaborated on, were:
Willy Brandt - The “West” – Erfurt – Interculturality – Interdisciplinary – Orange - Public Policy – School.
After the keynote speech, the Vice President of the Student Government, Harry Birak, gave colorful insights into the recent work of the student government, among which were the very well received international thanksgiving potluck and the newly established “Polytalks” by Brandt School students. Words of welcome were also issued by the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Social Sciences and Economics, Prof. Dr. Guido Mehlkop, and by the Director of the Brandt School, Prof. Dr. Heike Grimm.
After the speeches, the attendants had the opportunity to mingle and take photos. The welcome reception ended with a party at the Museumskeller Erfurt, organized by the Willy Brandt School student government.
Here you can find some event pictures taken by Daniel Hering Media.