Ludwig Trippen (1927-2016)


Dr. jur. Dr. h. c. Ludwig Trippen is the Inaugural Dean, former Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Senator, Honorary Chairman and Honorary Senator of HHL.

His initial contact with HHL was quite remarkable. When the founding board of the private business school addressed the then Minister for Economic Affairs and Labor of the Free State of Saxony, Dr. Kajo Schommer, about finding a suitable dean for the newly founded university in the summer of 1992, the name Dr. Ludwig Trippen came up very early on. As a long-standing member of the Executive Board of WestLB and Chairman of the Association of Friends of Münster University and a lawyer specialized in banking, Dr. Trippen met all the expectations of the founding board. However, his commitment towards the then Prime Minister Biedenkopf to come to Saxony as a one-dollar man after his retirement to serve as a consultant at Schommer’s side seemed to get in the way at first. Various talks were necessary to make Dr. Trippen available for HHL. The Minister for Economic Affairs waived all claims in support of HHL, Dr. Trippen agreed to accept the position of the Inaugural Dean and came to Leipzig in January 1993, staying for several years. A man had been found who, partly due to his influence in the German economy, could not have been suited any better for the job. Thanks to the then Saxon State Minister for Science and Arts, Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Meyer, the Inaugural Dean of HHL was provided with a task force and means for the first phase of work.

Dr. Trippen had to tackle four important tasks. A private university costs money so he had to collect as much as he possible could in a very short time. A building for the future school needed to be found and qualified professors to be recruited to assume the chairs to be established. Moreover, the qualification of the university concept had to be advanced. Dr. Trippen dedicated himself personally to the first two tasks with all his energy. The two others were mainly looked after by Prof. Heribert Meffert, who presided over the newly founded appointments commission working on an honorary basis and who served as an academic advisor to the Inaugural Dean.

Dr. Trippen visited with many executives of German companies showing great persistence and focus and experienced a hardly to be expected solidarity as well as remarkable interest in the founding venture. It was also Dr. Trippen himself who brought the first chair to the re-established university. When leaving WestLB, he had asked for the funding of this chair as a farewell present for his long and successful work.

In addition to building up equity, Dr. Trippen also managed to create securities for HHL such as sufficient financial backing by the Free State of Saxony as well as the building in Jahnallee. At the same time, he successfully advocated for the business school to be officially recognized by the Saxon State Ministry for Science and Arts. As a final step in the founding process of HHL, the Chairman of the Shareholders’ Meeting and President of the Leipzig Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Dr. Sommerlatt, appointed Dr. Trippen the first President of HHL in 1995, withdrawing him from the position of the Inaugural Dean. In 1997, Dr. Trippen succeeded Prof. Dr. Helmut Sihler as Chairman of the Supervisory Board (until 2001) and therefore resigned from the Executive Management of HHL.

At the graduation ceremony for the K7 diploma class at the Banquet Hall of the New City Hall in Leipzig on January 20, 2001, Prime Minister Biedenkopf awarded the Great Merit Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany to Dr. Trippen. On the occasion of his 80th birthday on November 20, 2007, the Leipzig business school inaugurated the “Senate Room Dr. Ludwig Trippen”. With this gesture, HHL would like to honor Dr. Trippen’s accomplishments for this school on a permanent basis.

Photo: HHL