Campus - 25.05.2024 - 16:00 

"Dies academicus 2024": Images from the ceremony

Under the motto "Off to new horizons", Prof. Dr. Manuel Ammann, HSG's new President since February 2024, invited guests to Dies academicus. During the ceremony, various honours and awards were presented.

Under the motto "Off to new horizons", Prof. Dr. Manuel Ammann, HSG's new President since February 2024, invited guests to Dies academicus. 

Autonomy and shared responsibility 

The ceremony was opened by former President Bernhard Ehrenzeller, who looked back on his time as President, which was characterised by collegiality and a high level of commitment from both the University and the St.Gallen community. He noted that, “the University differs from other autonomous institutions in the canton, "It is an organisation that is largely not designed for hierarchical decision-making processeses." The new University Act has significantly strengthened the participation rights of students, non-professorial teaching staff and the administration in particular. This unique interplay between different interest groups, it is important to listen to each other. Bernhard Ehrenzeller emphasised: "Despite all the fruitful debate, we should always see ourselves as a comprehensive university community." He wished the new President Manuel Ammann that 'little bit of luck' that is sometimes needed for success. 

Humility and open dialogue 

Stefan Kölliker, Director of Education of the Canton of St.Gallen and President of the University Council, has also been an important supporter of the University of St.Gallen since 2008. He joined the St.Gallen government as a lateral entrant. What did he have to bring with him? – "The courage to meet the academic world at eye level," he said. He consciously practised humility, even in times of 'issues'. Mistakes are there for learning and self-reflection. Stefan Kölliker would also like to see universities move in this direction. "For me, an educational institution fulfils its social integration mission when it inspires young people to be open – to be open towards themselves and others."

Promote talent, drive innovation

The ability to reflect independently and critically was also emphasised by President Prof. Dr. Manuel Ammann in his speech. It's about promoting talent, because they are the crucial resource for securing prosperity in Switzerland. "We want to support our students in developing an inner compass that will guide them on their future career and in their life." Developing and practising such future-oriented skills is a process of interaction, further explained President Manuel Ammann. Students and researchers are therefore in constant dialogue with partners from the field in order to develop and implement entrepreneurial initiatives. "Innovation creates impact, added value and therefore prosperity – regionally, nationally and internationally." The President emphasised that the St.Gallen Collegium, which brings together outstanding academics at HSG, would also be opened on Saturday afternoon. After all, the university landscape is characterised by a dynamic of differentiation. According to Manuel Ammann, HSG would also like to belong to the "Champions League", a small group of leading universities in economics. In order to realise this, a new vision has been formulated: 

"We are the leading business university in Europe thanks to impact-orientated research, holistic education and training and an active network.
We are the first choice for committed students and develop them into responsible, entrepreneurial specialists and leaders.
Together, we create innovative and sustainable future solutions for the major challenges facing the economy and society."

Together over passports

Student Body President and law student Ann Julie Sevray emphasised three points in her speech: Democracy, student engagement, "Tour de France". Like many of her fellow students, her education at HSG awakened her interest in processes in the cantonal council, city parliament and in university committees. She was particularly impressed by the student initiative "Law Clinic", an association that campaigns for free legal advice in St.Gallen. Joint endeavours, team spirit and variety were also part of everyday life in the student body. The past two years have been a veritable "Tour de France". "There are straight stretches that can be completed quickly as stages with reasonable effort. But the mountain stages are really tough."

Mentor Prize from SHSG President Ann Julie Sevray to Mathieu S. Jaus

Teaching Prize to Stefan Legge

The university choir accompanied the event

Gulnaz Partschefeld hosted the ceremony

Awards for mentoring and inspired teaching 

Afterwards, the "Mentor Prize" and the “Teaching Award” for outstanding teaching and interaction with students were presented. The Student Union (SHSG) honoured Mathieu S. Jaus, President of HSG Alumni, as the best mentor. He was always good-humoured, genuinely interested and had a sense of humour. Dr. Stefan Legge, lecturer in foreign trade, was named best lecturer by the SHSG with the "Teaching Award" and received a star in the "Hall of Teaching Fame". Students were particularly enthusiastic about Stefan Legge's way of communicating complex economic models in an understandable way. 

Franziska Tschudi Sauber appointed Honorary Senator

At Dies academicus, personalities who have rendered outstanding services to HSG are also appointed as Honorary Senators. This year, Franziska Tschudi Sauber, a successful lawyer and entrepreneur, was honoured. At the University of St.Gallen, she is involved in various HSG Alumni Clubs, on the HSG Advisory Board and on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation at the Institute of Technology Management. Franziska Tschudi Sauber has an international network and contributes to the mutual exchange between business and practice in education. The new Honorary Senator is convinced that HSG is doing many things right and really well, as she describes in her acceptance speech: "A bit Swiss, reserved and cautious, but innovative and successful!" 

HSG President Manuel Ammann, Honorary senator Franziska Tschudi Sauber, honorary doctors Carlo Ranzoni, Helmut Krcmar and Ralph Koijen, Stefan Kölliker and Former HSG President Bernhard Ehrenzeller

Honorary Doctorates for experts in finance, business informatics and law 

Outstanding professionals from the fields of economics, law and social sciences have been recognised with honorary doctorates:

Prof. Dr. Ralph Koijen is one of the most important scientists in the fields of finance, insurance and macroeconomics. He has headed various working groups at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a US nonprofit research organisation, and is co-editor of leading journals in the field of finance. True to the University of St.Gallen's motto "From Insight to Impact", he now acts as a mentor to young researchers who are striving to follow a similar path. 

Prof. Dr. Helmut Krcmar conducts research in the fields of digital transformation, information and knowledge management and platform-based ecosystems. In 2019, the German magazine WirtschaftsWoche ranked him as the number one business administration professor with the most research in German-speaking countries. He has been associated with HSG for many years, both in research and continuing education. Helmut Krcmar was awarded an honorary doctorate by the HSG Senate for his outstanding achievements in the field of business informatics.

Carlo Ranzoni, iur. h.c., has held various judicial positions in the Canton of St.Gallen and the Principality of Liechtenstein, most recently at the European level at the European Court of Human Rights. He is regarded as a bridge-builder who has campaigned for the visibility of small and microstates in court. Carlo Ranzoni has also campaigned for better protection of children and young people. By awarding him an honorary doctorate, HSG is honouring an alumnus who, like the University itself, combines regional roots with international appeal.

Three research projects honoured with “HSG Impact Awards 2024" 

With the HSG Impact Award, the University honours HSG researchers who make a particularly valuable contribution to society with their projects. This year, the topics of the three award-winning projects range from artificial intelligence and new, hybrid forms of work to the connection between green investments and inequality.

The HSG Impact Awards 2024 went to:

Latsis Prize winner Miriam Caroline Buiten

Representatives of the student associations

Miriam Caroline Buiten honoured with the "Latsis Prize"

Every year, the Fondation Latsis Internationale honours young researchers at selected universities in Switzerland. This year, the "Latsis Prize" was awarded to Prof. Dr. Miriam Caroline Buiten, assistant professor of Law in combination with Economics. In her research, she focuses in particular on the regulation of online platforms and new technologies. Recently, she also focussed on the legal framework for the use of artificial intelligence (video).

The university orchestra and the university choir framed the ceremony: "Gaudeamus igitur" was sung at the end

You can find more information about the celebration at:

Images: University of St.Gallen (HSG) / Tomek Gola