As tradition has it, Munich Business School (MBS) welcomes its new as well as international exchange students with the MBS Official Semester Opening. This year, however, the event was not just about welcoming the more than 200 new and international students; MBS also celebrated its 25th anniversary. Guests from politics, the economy and the entire “MBS cosmos” had gathered to celebrate with the new Bachelor, Master, MBA and DBA students and to enjoy the festive program.
Numerous guests gathered in wonderfully sunny weather and a festive atmosphere in the Freiheiz Hall, located right in the Munich city center and venue for the MBS Semester Opening for the first time. All participants were welcomed with live music played by the jazz combo FUP (Frederik Rosenstand, Ulrich Wangenheim and Peter Prestele) that set the mood with various short gigs between the individual program parts.
The World is at Home at MBS
Following that, Prof. Dr. Stefan Baldi, dean of MBS, welcomed the anniversary guests. In his speech, he once more emphasized the special diversity among MBS students: In 2016 again, more than one third of the new students comes to Munich from abroad to study at MBS – from altogether 34 different nations. “The world is at home at MBS,” proclaimed the dean, obviously with pleasure.
Then, in a journey through time, Prof. Dr. Baldi outlined the most important milestones in the 25-year history of MBS from its foundation in 1991 under the name “Europäische Betriebswirtschafts-Akademie” to its accreditation as the first private university in Bavaria in 1999 until the present. He did not miss the chance on venturing a look into the future of MBS: “It is our vision to become the preferred business school in Germany for globally minded, responsible and entrepreneurial personalities in their lifelong pursuit of knowledge and personal development.”
Personality Development and Lifelong Learning
This program highlight was followed by the festive speech of Silvia Semidei, managing director of both MBS and ESO Education Group, on the 25th anniversary of the university. She emphasized the unique experience of studying at MBS, featuring for example personal development which – in addition to the professional training – plays an important role in the curricula of the university’s study programs.
In her speech, Silvia Semidei addressed the current social changes – and their impact on educational institutions like MBS: “We are living in times where the demographic change and the accompanying shortages of qualified specialists and leaders confront us with major challenges. They demand from us to be innovate and to build bridges between the professional and the academic education, from the time spent for working to the time spent for learning, to promote lifelong learning.”
She closed her speech thanking the students (“Without the trust we receive from you students and your parents every day, we would not be here today”), the MBS employees, the partners from business and politics – and also a very special personality from recent MBS history: “Dr. Rudolf Gröger, who deplorably is no longer with us, served as president of MBS for six years and advanced the university with much dynamic commitment. He was a role model. He gave important impulses, and passionately shared his valuable experiences with our students, colleagues and also with me. I shall always be grateful for his great commitment.”
Appeal of an MBS Alumnus
For the keynote speech, MBS came up with a special idea. “Who would be better suited than an alumnus to encourage our new students at the beginning of their passage through MBS?” With these words, Prof. Dr. Baldi announced the speaker, Tim Scherer, Bachelor International Business graduate. In spring 2016, he had held a much acclaimed and moving speech at the Graduation Gala of his class, speaking about the “privilege of assuming responsibility for ourselves and our society”.
In his new keynote speech, he appealed to the new students to make the best possible use of their time at MBS, and to get involved and actively participate in university life. He also encouraged the freshmen to make use of the extensive MBS network and to live the “MBS Spirit”: “Munich Business School can give you much. But it cannot give you everything,” Tim Scherer concluded his speech, not failing to impress his audience once more on this day.
MBS Awards 2016
Ceremonially closing the official part of the event, Prof. Dr. Baldi asked the winners of the MBS Awards to the stage. These awards are given to students who excelled in their studies: For example by getting involved in one of the student associations, as an “ambassador” of MBS or by special academic achievements. As this year’s first, the Rudolf Gröger Award was given in memory of the former president of Munich Business School, who passed away last year. One of his two sons, Michael Gröger, presented the award to Lado Chikhladze, MBA General Management alumnus.
The Beginning of a New Chapter
And then the time had come for popping the corks! Until late that evening, the university and its guests celebrated the start of the new semester and the 25. anniversary with sparkling wine, delightful canapés and an impressive five-storied birthday cake, musically accompanied by the MBS band. A great evening came to its end, and a new chapter begins: For our new students, and for Munich Business School itself as well.