At its meeting of 16 November 1999, the Senate of the University of Heidelberg resolved to confer the title of Honorary Senator on Hartmut Mehdorn, former Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG and newly appointed head of German Rail. "Despite all the very taxing managerial duties he has to cope with, Herr Mehdorn has been a very active chairman of the University of Heidelberg Foundation," said Rector Prof. Dr. Jürgen Siebke on the grounds for the decision, going on to emphasise that "Herr Mehdorn has supported the University both in his own right and through his company."
From 1995 to October of this year, Hartmut Mehdorn was Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg Printing Machines). Under his direction the company has advanced to the front line of international firms working in this field and is up among the world's leading systems providers and technology innovators in this sector. Prior to that post Hartmut Mehdorn spent a number of years in the aerospace industry, including stints in the top management and on the Executive Board of Airbus Industrie S.A. (Toulouse). He was also general manager of Deutsche Airbus GmbH (Hamburg) and a member of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace AG (Munich).
In the course of the restructuring and expansion of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG under the aegis of Hartmut Mehdorn, 1,500 new jobs were created in the Heidelberg region alone. Only a few weeks ago, the world's largest logistics centre for the graphics industry was inaugurated in Wiesloch, near Heidelberg, guaranteeing delivery of spare parts to 170 countries within 48 hours. A visible token of the success of the company is the Print Media Academy, an international communications and instruction centre providing staff and clients with a thorough grounding in the print media marketed by Heidelberger Druckmaschinen.
In October Hartmut Mehdorn was declared "eco-manager" of the year by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the magazine "Capital", a distinction awarded in recognition of the exemplary awareness of ecological concerns displayed in his entrepreneurial activities.
"From the beginning of his period with Heidelberg Printing Machines, Herr Mehdorn felt a close affinity with the University," said Rector Siebke before the Senate. Mehdorn took over as chairman of the "University of Heidelberg Foundation", a body providing financial support for the symposia organised by the University's International Science Forum. The new honorary senator has also assisted the University in a variety of other ways. His company prints the University's calendar posters free of charge. Hartmut Mehdorn was also quick to make a generous donation last year towards covering the costs of bringing out the University's new information brochure in such a large number of copies.
"Herr Mehdorn is a personal sponsor of the University, providing support for project-related ventures," said Siebke. "This is something we can also look forward to in the future when he moves to Berlin to take up his post as Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of German Rail in January 2000," he continued, trusting that in spirit and in deed Hartmut Mehdorn will maintain his close association with the University of Heidelberg alongside the purely geographical links bound up with his ongoing commitments as a member of the supervisory boards of regional giants Heidelberger Druckmaschinen and SAP.
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Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 542317