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19 October 2002

New Honorary Senators at the University of Heidelberg: Dr. Freudenberg, Dr. Hachmann and Prof. Osheroff

On Saturday 19 October the University of Heidelberg conferred the status of Honorary Senator on Dr. Reinhart Freudenberg, Dr. Hans G. Hachmann and Prof. Dr. Douglas D. Osheroff

Rector and Honorary Senators
Dr. Freudenberg, Dr. Hachmann, Rector Prof. Hommelhoff and Prof. Osheroff (from left). Photo : Rothe

At a ceremony during the annual celebrations of the University of Heidelberg today, the University conferred the status of Honorary Senator on Dr. Reinhart Freudenberg, Dr. Hans G. Hachmann and Prof. Dr. Douglas D. Osheroff. In the words of Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter Hommelhoff: "The outstanding distinction implicit in the title of Senator can be awarded for very different reasons. But there is one thing all our Honorary Senators have in common: their close links with the University." He went on to say that in the persons of Dr. Freudenberg, Dr. Hachmann and Prof. Osheroff the University had succeeded in co-opting outstanding personalities as Honorary Senators.

The Senate as the supreme body of the University, Prof. Hommelhoff continued, represents the full range of subjects taught and all the different groupings in which university members are united. Such representation is especially notable at a full-scale University like Heidelberg and the structure of its Senate. "And precisely the same applies to the community of Honorary Senators and their close and meaningful links with the University. This distinction has been conferred on them for all kinds of reasons: paving the way for the University in distant areas of the world, building bridges across the oceans to link the University with partners overseas, concern for the integration of the University nearer home and understanding for its specific complexion, generous support for University projects, programmes or even buildings."

For Rector Hommelhoff it was "a source of major satisfaction and sincere personal gratification" that the Senate of the University of Heidelberg should have resolved last semester "to co-opt four excellent men, long associated with the University, as Honorary Senators." Today, three of them received from the Rector the insignia of this distinction: Dr. Reinhart Freudenberg from Heidelberg, Dr. Hans G. Hachmann from New York and Prof. Dr. Douglas Osheroff from Stanford, California.

CAO Gräfin vom Hagen: "Dr. Reinhart Freudenberg has displayed especial commitment to the cultivation of cooperation with the University."

Dr. Reinhart Freudenberg is one of the partners in the Freudenberg (Weinheim) group of companies, a leading manufacturer of industrial textiles and related products worldwide. "For many years he was leading member of this Group and its spokesman. As such he was one of those primarily responsible for its outstanding success and remarkable development," said Chief Administrative Officer of the University of Heidelberg, Romana Gräfin vom Hagen. After leaving the leadership of the Group, Dr. Freudenberg is now chairman of the company's partner committee. The CAO went on to say that Dr. Freudenberg's activity as Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Freudenberg Foundation was especially notable. The Foundation employs its revenue to promote science, scholarship and education in the service of peaceful coexistence within society. "In his work for this foundation Dr. Freudenberg combines his entrepreneurial commitment with a no less intensive commitment to social and societal concerns," said vom Hagen.

"Dr. Reinhart Freudenberg has displayed especial commitment to the cultivation of cooperation with the University," she went on. From 1980 to 1988 he was Chairman of the Heidelberg University Society, "contributing lastingly in this capacity to ensuring that the University Society was able to help fill the numerous gaps in the financial resources available to departmental libraries in the humanities." Dr. Freudenberg's term in office as Chairman was remarkable for the financial support given by the University Society to "Digikat", a extremely costly system allowing PC access to the older holdings of the University Library.

According to the CAO, another achievement largely due to Dr. Freudenberg's involvement and advice was the accumulation of the resources required by the University Society to make a major contribution to the building of the University's new guest-house on the Neuenheimer Feld campus, something the Society would hardly have been able to achieve without Dr. Freudenberg's entrepreneurial experience and acumen. "Dr. Freudenberg's commitment to this project is a clear confirmation of the degree to which he has made the welfare of the University one of his personal concerns." It is the best possible indication, the CAO concluded, that he will continue to stand by the University with counsel and practical aid in future.

Rector Hommelhoff: "May the status of Honorary Senator for Dr. Hachmann also contribute to heightening awareness in the United States of the increasingly international nature of this University"

The status of Honorary Senator has been conferred on the President of the Max Kade Foundation, Dr. Hans G. Hachmann, "for his long years of work in the service of the cultivation and improvement of German-American inter-university relations and the Foundation's lasting commitment to the University of Heidelberg." Dr. Hachmann was born in Berlin, emigrated to the United States with his parents at the age of 4 and studied at Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For many years, he acted in an advisory capacity to a major international oil company. At present he works as an attorney in New York. The new Honorary Senator is also a board member of various other organisations devoted to the promotion of German-American relations, notably the German Round Table (GART) dedicated to the deepening of economic relations between the United States and Germany and the Advisory Council of the German House of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of New York.

In connection with the long history of amicable relations between the Max Kade Foundation and the University of Heidelberg, Dr. Hachmann visited Heidelberg in early 2000. Rector Prof. Hommelhoff: "We were able to arouse his interest in plans for the establishment of an international hall of residence and encounter venue in Heidelberg. To this end he assured us of a donation from the Max Kade Foundation to the tune of $ 400,000 to 500,000."

The initiator of the eponymous Foundation, Max Kade, was born in Schwäbisch Hall in 1882. He emigrated first to Canada and later to New York, where he made a fortune with the invention of Pertussin cough mixture. In 1944 he established the Max Kade Foundation to support exchanges and relations between American and German scholars, scientists and students. Libraries, student halls of residence and encounter venues at various American and German universities have been set up with the aid of donations from the Foundation. In addition, it awards grants to encourage the exchange of students and young scholars and scientists between the United States and Germany. Max Kade was an Honorary Senator of the University of Heidelberg.

In the mid 1960s the first Max Kade House in Heidelberg (Hall of Residence IV in the student accommodation section of Klausenpfad) was erected with the aid of a donation from the Foundation. Said Rector Hommelhoff: "The renewed involvement of the Max Kade Foundation will help to realise a new project, a hall of residence and encounter centre on the banks of the Neckar abutting on the latest student hall of residence to be built there. This means that an institution envisaged for a long time by the University and the Studentenwerk (Student Services) can at long last be realised with resources donated by the Foundation in conjunction with those provided by the Studentenwerk. It is designed to promote the integration of international students. "May the status of Honorary Senator for Dr. Hachmann also contribute to heightening awareness in the United States of the increasingly international nature of this University."

Vice-Rector Prof. Meier: Nomination designed to deepen Prof. Osheroff's close links with the University and demonstrate them to the outside world

Describing Professor Douglas D. Osheroff's scientific career, Vice-Rector Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Meier highlighted the fact that he had "invariably committed himself to the idea of the research university combining excellent teaching with first-class research. We hope that his already close links with the University of Heidelberg will be deepened and demonstrated to the outside world by his nomination as Honorary Senator." Prof. Meier went on to say that the advice and support of a front-line research scientist of Osheroff's rank can be expected to supply important impulses for future developments at the University of Heidelberg.

Douglas D. Osheroff is professor of physics and applied physics at the University of Stanford (California). He specialises in ultra-low-temperature physics. For the discovery and study of superfluid helium-3 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1996, together with David M. Lee and Robert C. Richardson.

D.D. Osheroff studied physics at the California Institute of Technology at Cornell University. He received his doctorate there in 1973 with a thesis on the first of the three superfluid transition phases of 3He at a temperature of 2 mK. These studies formed the basis for the Nobel Prize award in 1996. From 1972 he worked at the AT&T Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, moving on from there to Stanford University in 1987 as professor of physics.

At Stanford, Osheroff is working in the field of quantum fluids and the physics of glasses and solids at ultra-low temperatures. His work on two-level systems in amorphous solids (glasses) is closely related to similar activities by the Hunklinger study group at the Kirchhoff Institute of Physics in Heidelberg, said Prof. Meier. Prof. Osheroff maintains close scientific links with the Hunklinger group.

Alongside the Nobel Prize, Osheroff has received a number of other high-ranking scientific awards. He is Fellow of the American Physics Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has expressly demonstrated his marked interest in first-class research and teaching at university level with his long term of personal commitment as head of the Physics Department in Stanford. In 1991 he received the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching in recognition of the outstanding quality of his lectures.

Please address any inquiries to:
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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Updated: 31.10.2002


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