Events - 23.05.2014 - 00:00 

Dies academicus 2014

On 24 May 2014 the University of St.Gallen celebrated its dies academicus with University members and guests. Four new honorary doctorates were awarded.


24 May 2014. Numerous guests from academia, trade and industry and politics, among them the Canton of St.Gallen's Education Minister Stefan Kölliker and Interior Minister Martin Klöti, gathered to celebrate the University of St.Gallen's most important holiday - its dies academicus.

One new honorary senator, four new honorary doctors

The title of honorary senator was awarded to Dr. Wilfried Rutz. Honorary doctorates were awarded to Prof. Martha S. Feldman, Ph.D., Prof. John H. Cochrane, Ph.D., and Prof. Guido Imbens, Ph.D., (all of them economic scientists), as well as to Prof. Susan Neiman, Ph.D., (a social scientist).

Excellent achievements honoured

The 2014 Latsis Prize was won by Prof. Dr. Martin Huber. The Latin America Prize for Doctoral Theses at Swiss Universities was awarded to Dr. Carolin Schurr and to Dr. Christian Opitz.

The HSG's Student Union awarded two prizes: the prize for excellent teaching, the Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching, went to Prof. Dr. Bodo Hilgers. The Mentor Prize was won by Dr. Martin Huser, a member of the University's Board of Governors.

Global place of thought leadership thanks to personal exchanges
President Thomas Bieger described the essential steps that were made in the past year. The University moved into new teaching premises, and the Assessment Year underwent a fundamental reform. In this way, the promise was honoured that had been made to students at the dies academicus two years before in connection with the then increase in tuition fees.

Bieger reminded the guests that the HSG operated in an international, global market, at least with regard to faculty members but increasingly also in terms of fields of research and outstanding students. He also wondered, however, whether a knowledge organisation with a global presence still retained local roots and had to run an expensive campus in a high-wage country. With mass open online courses (MOOCs), a university was not tied to a campus in the physical sense of the term. "Against the background of the University of St.Gallen's Vision 2020, however, we envisage the future of university research and teaching in a different light," said Bieger. He enumerated various reasons for this and summed up: "When all is said and done, people simply remain people – social beings with a desire for personal social interaction." For this reason, it went without saying that the University of St.Gallen required a physical campus for the realisation of its teaching mission: a campus which invigorates people through encounters and international events, but also a campus which cultivates close ties with an attractive region.

Addresses by Roger de Weck and Stéphanie Hagmann

Furthermore, the Director General of the Swiss Radio and Television Corporation (SRG SSR) and HSG alumnus, Roger de Weck, gave an address on "Globalisation, digitalisation, interactivity – the media Revolution". Stéphanie Hagmann, President of the Student Union of the University of St.Gallen, spoke about whether being a woman was a hallmark of quality. The musical entertainment was provided by the UniChor of the University of St.Gallen.

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