Graduation celebration 2018
Graduation celebration 2018© Andreas Schmitter
The weather provided the appropriate setting for the special occasion: Around 5,000 guests celebrated a lavish party on Saturday in bright sunshine in the dressage stadium of the Aachen-Laurenberger Rennverein. For the fifth time, the Aachen University of Applied Sciences said goodbye to 1200 graduates of the summer semester 2017 and the winter semester 2017/18 with a cross-faculty graduate party powered by Amazon. 300 graduates were honored for special achievements with the Borchers plaque and the Springorum memorial coin - recognizable by the orange tassels of their hats in contrast to the predominant RWTH blue. Already in the morning, the doctoral jubilarians were honored who graduated from RWTH Aachen 25 or 50 years ago and wore silver and gold hats and sashes.
Inside the stadium, numerous guests of honor and sponsors took their seats to pay tribute to the young men and women, including Lord Mayor Marcel Philipp and Armin Cossmann, Regional Director Operations Amazon. RWTH Rector Professor Ulrich Rüdiger and Professor Malte Brettel, Vice Rector for Business and Industry, led the program and congratulated the graduates. "The graduates have done a great job and worked hard towards this day," said Rüdiger, who remembers his own graduation in physics from RWTH 25 years ago. "Now a new phase of your life begins, for which I wish you all the best!" Professor Aloys Krieg, Prorector for Teaching, and the new AStA chair Jannis Koesling, as well as student senator Anita Otert-Enning, also congratulated the graduates.
Ceremonial entry of the nine faculties
To the moving orchestral sounds of the Bläserphilharmonie Aachen, including many RWTH members, conducted by Tobias Haußig, the nine faculties marched into the stadium one after the other to music of their own choosing, to great cheers from family and friends. The winner of the 2018 Aachen Engineering Award, Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier, addressed the young men and women in an inspiring speech. The microbiologist, who developed the genetic tool "CRISPR-Cas9," considered one of the most groundbreaking scientific discoveries in recent memory, paid respect to the graduates and recalled her own university career: "The years at university have made me a better person." Charpentier provided insight into her research and career. She advocated thinking outside the box and being open to new ideas. "Black-and-white thinking will get us nowhere," said the founding director of the independent Max Planck Research Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin. The grand finale was the traditional hat toss: After the joint countdown, the graduates and jubilarians, including Rector Ulrich Rüdiger, let their headgear fly skyward and celebrated with the hit song "Ein Hoch auf uns."