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An Emotional Ceremony, Donned in Caps and Gowns

About 350 Chemnitz University of Technology students received their diplomas in the St. Petrikirche – around 900 invited guests took part in the celebration

Smiling faces, tears of happiness, many voices and a Chemnitz theatre square filled with people wearing caps and gowns or other festive clothing. On 22 June 2019, Chemnitz University of Technology personally welcomed some 350 graduates, 16 doctoral candidates and two habilitation candidates into a new phase of their lives. They have successfully completed their studies, their doctorate, or their habilitation at Chemnitz University of Technology.

In total, more than 1200 students completed their studies in Chemnitz in either Wintersemester 2018/2019 or the current Sommersemester 2019. In addition to this are 86 doctoral students and two habilitation candidates. More than 24% of the graduates come from abroad.

In the presence of friends, partners and families of the graduates, President Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier handed each graduate their graduation certificates. In total, around 1200 guests attended. Due to the popularity and demand for the event, the celebration is held twice a year.

Personal greetings from the President and the Mayor

Making a reference to the seldom-heard Meat Loaf song “Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are”, President Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier said that things in the rear view mirror often seem closer and bigger than they actually are. In this mirror of your studies, objects could include your first day at the university, the biggest hurdle you have overcome, or a final exam, after which the stress and tension finally goes away. “One thing, however, will be all the bigger – that is your degree – it is fantastic!” said the president. In his speech, Strohmeier also illustrated how important it is for a university to define what it stands for and what it does not stand for. Every major event at the university – including the graduation ceremony – is a demonstration of democracy, diversity and tolerance, as well as a demonstration against racism, xenophobia and violence.

The president also gave some personal tips to the graduates. Namely, to not only stop and look back, but to celebrate and enjoy their personal success at the evening’s TUCsommernacht event. As well, to doggedly pursue their future goals as persistently as their previous goals. “I hope,” concluded the president, “that you continue to be associated with Chemnitz University of Technology and its international alumni network.”

Afterwards, Ralph Burghart, Mayor of the City of Chemnitz for Education, Social Affairs, Youth, Culture and Sport, also addressed the graduates. He congratulated them on the successful completion of their studies. Burghart made it clear how important the international nature of the university is to the city of Chemnitz, and invited graduates to help shape the future of Chemnitz: “The city is waiting for your young people to put their stamp on it,” said the mayor. He called on the graduates to “keep in touch with our university, keep in touch with our city!”

“There is achievement without success, but there is no success without achievement”

Chemnitz University of Technology prepared a diverse programme for the graduation celebration. This included several music interludes, provided by the Collegium Musicum of the university, and a humorous speech by poetry slammer Erik Leichter, who discussed the surprising commonalities between television series and one’s studies. As he has now finished his studies at the university, he titled his speech, in melancholic fashion, “End.”

The speech by Dr. Wolfgang Hansel, Managing Director of the Austrian firm Hirtenberger Engineered Surfaces GmbH, who completed his habilitation at the university, provided some emotion. Full of gratitude, he looked back at his time at the university and gave praise to Professors Lampke, Wielage and Steinhäuser. “There is achievement without success, but there is no success without achievement,” Hansal remarked, and he also tipped his hat to their achievements of the graduates. He has great respect for the achievements made at the Institute of Materials Science and Technology at Chemnitz University of Technology, where he completed his habilitation: “Great things have been accomplished here in recent years within the balancing act between primary research and industry-related topics.” He will continue to stay in close contact with the university, especially with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.

At the end of the graduation ceremony, two dissertation prizes were awarded by the Chemnitz branch of Commerzbank AG. The musical accompaniment then once again took centre stage, and the Collegium Musicum was showered with applause.

Welcome, “Chemnitz University of Technology Alumni”

Graduates, doctoral and post-doctoral students can continue to be a part of the university community – whether through another degree programme, through continuing education programmes offered by TUCed, or through membership in the Society of Friends of Chemnitz University of Technology or the Alumni Portal of the university. Several thousand people have already registered in the portal and use this network as a source of information about the university. Many have also joined the Xing Group “Alumni TU Chemnitz” or follow the university and alumni groups on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Incidentally, the word ‘alumni’ comes from Latin and is the plural of ‘alumnus’ or ‘alumna’, which translates to ‘pupil’. “Alumni TU Chemnitz” includes all members of the university community who were active as students or staff. This lifelong alumni network gives its members the opportunity to stay updated on current news from the university, maintain contacts, and cultivate new ones. The alumni meeting is a particular highlight – the next one will take place in 2021.

Multimedia: more information can be found via the Chemnitz University of Technology social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). An Instastory is available on the web if you have an Instagram account:

(Article: Mario Steinebach / Translation: Jeffrey Karnitz)

Mario Steinebach

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