The University of Heidelberg will soon be opening its own shop. T-shirts, mugs, ball-point pens and many other articles give visitors, tourists, students and university staff the opportunity to display their identification with the University. The precise opening date is 10 May 2003, the location of the shop is in the entry area to the students' prison (Augustinergasse 2). In administrative charge of the shop is vice-rector Prof. Dr. Silke Leopold.
Over the last few months, a project team made up of economics students and headed by Prof. Dr. Dietfried Liesegang, professor of business management studies at the University's Alfred Weber Institute, has been busy working out a design for the University shop. The aim of the project was to consolidate corporate identity at the University by establishing a shop on the premises. Students from elsewhere should also be given a further opportunity of expressing their identification with Heidelberg. A large number of leading universities all over the world have successfully established shops of this kind.
The student team profited from an abundance of suggestions from within the University. They were quick to realise that it would be a good idea to address not only students, former students and staff, but also to angle the products available in the shop at the local population and the many tourists coming to Heidelberg. Their job involved not only the selection of suitable products but the solution of a wide range of organisational problems. Chief among them was finding a location where products could be sold in an appropriate setting. The entrance and ticket sales area of the students' prison is generally felt to be an ideal solution, combining physical proximity to the University with a first-hand experience of its history and thus representing a living instance of the University motto first coined during the 600th anniversary celebrations: "A Tradition for the Future".
To underline the historical character of Germany's oldest seat of higher learning and ensure high standards of quality, the team was strict in the demands it made on the product range available in the shop. Future customers can be sure of finding a wide choice of good-quality articles at reasonable prices. The range of products on sale is to be extended in the future; for the moment it comprises various textile items alongside typical souvenirs such as key-rings or other products for daily use like coffee-mugs.
The shop will be opening its doors for the first time on 10 May 2003 in the course of the imminent celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the restructuring of the University. Project leader Anja Seele from Professor Liesegang's department comments: ""Everyone involved in the project was very much taken by the idea of a University shop. We hope that this enthusiasm will communicate itself to others and that the shop will be a success and quickly become a firmly established fixture in Heidelberg's Old Town."
For the students involved in the project, there was an additional gratifying side-effect to the satisfaction of seeing their plans turn into reality. The work on the project enabled them to experience team-work at a very hands-on level and thus turn to practical account a variety of things they had learned in a more theoretical framework. "We had a lot of fun on the job," said Thorsten Boddeutsch on behalf of the team. "In the course of the project, the liberal spirit of Alfred Weber, with his emphasis on personal responsibility, was very tangible throughout the institute that bears his name."
Please address any inquiries to
Dipl.-Kauffrau Anja Seele
Alfred Weber Institute
University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542943, fax: 543592
Journalists' inquiries invited to
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317