Obituary of Peter Meusburger
Heidelberg University and the Institute of Geography mourn the death of its first Distinguished Senior Professor, the economic and social geographer Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter Meusburger, who passed away on Monday, 18 December 2017, at the age of 75. For more than three decades, Peter was not only an excellent researcher and university teacher, but also served the academic community in many other roles, for example as vice rector of the university and dean of his faculty, as ombudsperson for doctoral students, as Rectorate Officer and Senator, and as the Spokesman of the Senate. He has authored countless publications, especially in the field of the geography of knowledge, was part of a global network of intellectual relations and has received many international awards. In recognition of his continued dedication to Eötvös Loránd University, the University of Budapest awarded him an honorary doctorate and an honorary professorship. In 2007, he was the first to receive the honorary title of Distinguished Senior Professor for his enduring commitment to and outstanding achievements for Heidelberg University and for his tireless efforts in working for the interests of students and young researchers.
Through his academic work, Peter has greatly contributed to the geography of knowledge as a new field of research. In addition, as founding president of the Heidelberg Geographical Society, as president of the German Society for Geography and as a key figure in many other initiatives, he has shaped the development of this field far beyond the borders of Heidelberg. Together with the Klaus Tschira Foundation, he initiated the “Hettner-Lectures” in 1997 and the international symposia on "Knowledge & Space" in 2006, which have been promoting vivid exchange with leading academics around the world for more than 20 years. His wisdom, cheerfulness and inspiring personality will be greatly missed.
Obituary of Klaus Tschira
On March 31, 2015, the world lost a splendid human being. We mourn the passing of Dr. h.c. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Klaus Tschira, one of the greatest supporters that German-speaking geography has ever known. For over two decades Klaus Tschira and his foundation have sponsored students and young academic professionals at the Institute of Geography in the most generous and uncomplicated way. Among the outstanding initiatives his foundation supported were the Hettner Lectures (1997-2006) and the Knowledge and Space symposia (2006-2015), both of which have enabled a whole generation of students and young researchers to engage intellectually with internationally renowned scientists. These events have contributed significantly to the international reputation of Heidelberg University’s Institute of Geography, as well as to the creation of a global network of research cooperation.
The Klaus Tschira Foundation has also given many doctoral candidates, graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in international cutting-edge research in Geoinformatics. Large-scale interdisciplinary projects such as Deep Map have been especially valuable in this regard. Klaus Tschira thereby created development opportunities for our students that no other university in the world has been able to offer. Without his foundation’s support, the department of Geoinformaticswould not have developed as rapidly and productively as it has been able to do in recent years.
Deeply saddened by Klaus Tschira’s sudden and unexpected death, we would like to express our heartfelt sympathy to his family. In the name of the community of scholars Klaus Tschira touched through his far-sighted generosity, we also express our deepest gratitude. The fruits of his gifts will flourish for decades to come in the works of the young academics who benefited from his support.