- Presentation of certificates and awards before 700 guests
- 185 Master’s degrees, four doctorates, one DAAD Prize
- Appointment of the Schmalenbach Scholar
After a multilingual ecumenical church service at St. Thomas Church, which was organized by the students themselves, this year’s graduating classes of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management gathered with their family and friends at Kongresshalle Leipzig on Saturday, August 25, 2018, for the commencement ceremony. Dean Professor Stephan Stubner personally awarded 107 MBA and 78 M.Sc. degrees in front of 700 guests. Additionally, four candidates from different HHL chairs received their doctorates on this special day.
Dressed in academic regalia, the new graduates moved the tassels of their caps from right to left as they do every year as a sign of their graduation. These international university traditions, including the flying caps, go with HHL’s high diversity. This year’s 189 graduates come from thirty different countries.
Several awards were presented during the ceremony:
- Nataliya Demyanenko from the Russian Federation received one of the national DAAD Prizes for Best Foreign Student — a recognition of academic performance and commitment alike, which was honored by the presence of the Russian Consul General for Saxonia and Thuringia, Andrey Dronov.
- Irene Rentrop was named the 2018 Schmalenbach Scholar by HHL. This honorary title is awarded to students for outstanding academic and personal performance. Irene Rentrop made a name of herself way beyond the full-time M.Sc. by serving as representative of the class and co-organizing Accelerate@HHL Conference.
- The 2018 Marketing Prize of the Akademische Marketinggesellschaft (Academic Marketing Association), which consists of current and former doctoral candidates from HHL’s SVI-Endowed Chair of Marketing, was awarded to this year’s MBA graduate Christopher Alexander Riccetto for his outstanding performance and contributions to this special field.
Commencement address by founding guru Jörg Rheinboldt
The ceremonial address for the 2018 HHL graduation was given by the successful startup entrepreneur Jörg Rheinboldt, currently CEO of the early-stage investor and accelerator APX by Axel Springer and Porsche in Berlin and member of the Governing Board of the Bahlsen Group. As early as 1994, when he was still a business student in Cologne, he established his first company together with friends, an internet agency, after they had organized a student conference with Bill Gates. Only five years later, Jörg Rheinboldt was able to sell another startup (Alando) to Ebay and became CEO of Ebay Germany. Since 2004 he has served as investor and co-founder of companies, such as the Betterplace donations platform. Following his opening lines, “Giving advice is not very good, sharing experiences is important”, Jörg Rheinboldt captivated his audiences by openly talking about his learning curves and the stumbling blocks of his “multidimensional existence” for which he continues to search for the right “work-life-blend” for a happy life: “Dissatisfactions are a source of energy.”