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Reunions at the New Year's reception

Al­most 300 guests ac­cept­ed the invi­tation of the Max We­ber Pro­gram Ba­varia (MWP) to the New Year's Re­cep­tion in Mu­nich on 20 Janu­ary 2024. They were wel­comed by Dr. Rolf-Dieter Jungk, Di­rec­tor-General at the Ba­varian State Min­istry of Sci­ence and the Arts, and the Presi­dent of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Mi­chael Hoch. Prof. Dr. Heike Paul, Uni­versi­ty of Er­langen-Nu­rem­berg, kicked off the new MWP annu­al theme "Re­nun­cia­tion" with her lec­ture "Sce­narios of Re­nun­cia­tion".

Exchange and encounter in a relaxed atmosphere

In bright winter sun­shine, the guests gath­ered for a champagne recep­tion in the corri­dors out­side LMU's Great Hall to toast the new year to­geth­er. In a re­laxed at­mosphere, cur­rent and for­mer schol­arship hold­ers got into con­versa­tion with men­tors, repre­senta­tives of the Ba­varian State Min­istry of Sci­ence and the Arts and mem­bers of the Max We­ber team. At the same time, there was an op­por­tunity to view the photo exhi­bition "Na­ture in the Greater Mu­nich Area" by MWP schol­arship holder Se­bas­tian Riedl. For the rest of the pro­gram, the guests gath­ered in the main audi­tori­um, where alum­nus Ar­thur Kosmala opened the fes­tive event with a virtu­oso per­for­mance of Bee­tho­ven's music on the grand piano.

Photo of

Greetings from the Ministry and the President of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation

Dr. Anke Dö­rner, Head of the Max We­ber Pro­gram, wel­comed all those pre­sent and ex­pressed her de­light with warm words of wel­come.

In his wel­com­ing ad­dress, Dr. Rolf-Dieter Jungk, Di­rec­tor-General of the Ba­varian State Min­istry of Sci­ence and the Arts, em­phasized the im­portance of sup­port­ing gifted stu­dents and the posi­tion of the MWP within the Elite Net­work of Ba­varia. With regard to the cur­rent com­plex social chal­lenges and the MWP's an­nual theme, he gave ex­am­ples of where re­nun­cia­tion can be im­portant - and what we should not re­nounce: free­dom, secu­rity and peace. He thanked the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, the Max We­ber team and espe­cially the Presi­dent for their many years of dedi­cated co-op­era­tion.

Pro­fessor Dr. Dr. h.c. Mi­chael Hoch, Presi­dent of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, took the floor. He ad­dressed the schol­arship hold­ers with very per­sonal words and intro­duced him­self to them with in­sights into his biog­raphy as a "first gen­era­tion aca­dem­ic". He traced his path, which led him via Hei­del­berg and Tü­bing­en to Mu­nich and LMU, where he re­ceived his doc­torate, before he was ap­point­ed to the Uni­versi­ty of Bonn via sta­tions in Göt­tingen and Braunschweig, where he has been Rec­tor since 2015. Re­call­ing his own time as a stu­dent and grantee of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, he also point­ed out the op­por­tuni­ties for gifted stu­dents: "In my group of schol­arship hold­ers, I got to know com­mit­ted and en­thusi­astic stu­dents, also from other sub­jects. New con­versa­tions were possi­ble here. I gained a lot of inspi­ration and was able to look be­yond the boundaries of my sub­ject in dis­cussions with them and with the liai­son lec­turer re­spon­sible for us. This is what the German Academic Scholarship Foundation and the Max We­ber Pro­gram can offer you: We open up op­por­tuni­ties to meet across disci­plines and gen­era­tions for ex­change, net­work­ing and con­tacts that can enrich and sup­port you. I would like to en­cour­age you to make use of these spac­es and to play an active role in shap­ing them. With this in mind, I look for­ward to the dis­cussions and ex­changes with you."

Minister Blume: Developing outstanding talents without constraints

At the New Year's Re­cep­tion, Sci­ence Min­ister Markus Blume em­phasized with regard to the Max We­ber Pro­gram's an­nual theme "Re­nun­cia­tion": "One thing is clear: we in Ba­varia do not want to do with­out you, we can­not do with­out you, we will not do with­out you! With your skills, your com­mit­ment and your cour­age to take re­spon­sibil­ity, you be­long to the elite of our unique tal­ent pool, which, in com­bi­nation with the in­com­para­ble quali­ty of life in Ba­varia, at­tracts the world's larg­est com­panies to the free state. So that you, as a par­tici­pant in the Max We­ber Pro­gram, can de­velop your out­stand­ing tal­ents unim­ped­ed, we have been pro­mot­ing tal­ented young peo­ple at the high­est level with the Elite Net­work of Ba­varia for twen­ty years. Make some­thing of it, get in­volved - Ba­varia is count­ing on you!"

A fine tradition: scholarship holders help celebrate New Year's Reception

The extent to which the schol­arship hold­ers are in­volved in the New Year's Re­cep­tion be­came clear in the varied pro­gram. Moritz Quarg on the flute and Niko­las Kirschstein on the guitar rounded off the words of wel­come with the piece "Lib­ertan­go", and Ale­xan­dros Man­tzaridis had the laughs on his side with his witty stand-up com­edy. Things be­came more seri­ous with the com­men­tary on the photo exhi­bition by Se­bas­tian Riedl, who ex­plained the rele­vance of nature and spe­cies con­serva­tion and ap­pealed to those pre­sent not to forget this issue in the face of other social crises. Ga­briel Dengler on the grand piano later con­clud­ed the offi­cial pro­gram in the main audi­tori­um with a movement from Jo­hann Se­bas­tian Bach's "Ital­ian Con­cer­to".

Keynote lecture "Scenarios of renunciation"

Pro­fessor Dr. Heike Paul, Direc­tor of the Bay­er­ische Amerika-Akademie, mem­ber of the Ba­varian Acad­emy of Sci­ences and Hu­mani­ties and Pro­fessor of American Stud­ies at FAU Er­langen-Nu­rem­berg, kicked off the 2024 theme with her lec­ture "Sce­narios of Re­nun­cia­tion". Using ex­am­ples from litera­ture, she ex­plained the vari­ous se­man­tics and inter­preta­tions of the term and vivid­ly illus­trated how diffi­cult it is to come up with a con­clu­sive defi­ni­tion. For ex­am­ple, there is no " prop­er" trans­lation in the Eng­lish lan­guage - "do­ing with­out" is cur­rently the work­ing term used in the scien­tific com­muni­ty. Fol­low­ing the lec­ture, the nu­mer­ous que­ries from the audi­ence showed how well her re­flec­tions on re­nun­cia­tion sce­narios in US litera­ture and films were re­ceived by the audi­ence.

Af­ter­wards, the guests gath­ered in the small audi­tori­um, the Sen­ate Hall and the Spear Carri­er Area for a recep­tion with drinks and deli­ca­cies. There they were able to re­view the pro­gram and round off the after­noon.

We would like to take this op­por­tunity to thank eve­ryone in­volved in the New Year's Re­cep­tion, whose con­tribu­tions made the day a fes­tive event!

Text: Dr. Margaretha Schweiger-Wilhelm, Max Weber Program Bavaria