Wolfhart F. Bürgi

* 1901 in Bern, † 1989 in Bern
President of HSG from 1951 to 1957, Full Professor of Private and Commercial Law, Honorary Professor of HSG (1967)

Wolfhart F. Bürgi was born on 29 August 1901 in Bern. He was the son of the well-known pharmacologist Emil Bürgi. Bürgi spent his youth in Bern where he also attended the grammar school.



After completing his school education in 1920, Bürgi studied law at the University of Berne and legal history in Paris. In 1927, Bürgi published his doctoral thesis entitled "'Lehre von adäquater Verursachung' als Grundsatz der Haftung im Privatrecht " ('Adequate causation theory' as basic principle of private law). In 1939, he habilitated on "Ursprung und Bedeutung der Begriffe ‘Treu und Glauben’ und ‘Billigkeit’ im schweizerischen Zivilrecht" (The origine and meaning of the terms ‘good faith’ and ‘equity’ in the Swiss private law).
In 1939, Bürgi started his lectureship as Privatdozent in the field of civil law and the law of obligations at the University of Bern, at the same time working in a law firm.



In 1945, Bürgi was appointed Full Professor of Private and Commercial Law at HSG. He considered it very important that his teaching had practical relevance. Six years later Wolfhart F. Bürgi became President of HSG. During his time in service, he participated in the preparations and realisation of the dual sponsorship of the school by the city and canton of St.Gallen. His distinguishing features were his diplomatic skills and determination. Bürgi also published a call for tenders for the Rosenberg campus building project.

Bürgi promoted the lecture cycle "Die neue Weltschau" (The New View of the World), which was supervised by Professor Eduard Naegeli and became a great success. The lectures were broadcast by several radio stations and published as a printed version. In 1956, Bürgi gave a moving speech at the silent march organised by the HSG students as part of the Hungarian Aid movement.


Further activities

On his retirement in 1967, Bürgi was appointed Honorary Professor. Bürgi's central work was his commentary on company law in the Swiss Civil Code (ZGB). He was also interested in the humanities and was a connoisseur of the fine arts. He was also active as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Swiss National Science Foundation.
He died in Bern on 1 August 1989.


Founded scientific institutions

1951: Seminar for Agricultural Policy and Agricultural Law, which merged in 1999 into the Research Institute for Empirical Economic Research (FEW-HSG), now the Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research (SEW-HSG) 
1952: Institute of Economics
1954: Institute of Management & Strategy (IoMS-HSG)

Historic events

Predecessor and successor