Second President’s Night held at Villa Metzler in Frankfurt-Bonames
Frankfurt am Main.
Eighty graduates were invited to the second President’s Night on Thursday, November 5, 2015. The event took place in the historic Metzler House, now the head office of Germany’s oldest private bank, Metzler Bank, who kindly organised and hosted the evening.
“It would be great if you could all support your alma mater!”
Elena von Metzler, who was awarded her Bachelor degree by Frankfurt School in 2010, welcomed the guests and used her address to emphasise how much she appreciates and values Frankfurt School. “President’s Night is a marvellous opportunity for us all to network and make new contacts, share our memories of Frankfurt School, and at the same time support our former university.” She recalled how much she had benefited from her time at Frankfurt School – and especially from the mentoring programme. “I could always ask my graduate mentor for advice and input. During my first year in particular, this really helped me find my way around. Perhaps one or other of you here today would also enjoy helping new students benefit from your experience by becoming a mentor. It’s a great way to stay in touch with interesting young minds and, of course, with Frankfurt School itself.” She also appealed to the graduates to work on behalf of Frankfurt School and give something back: “Of course Frankfurt School always needs generous sponsors; do find out more about it, because it would be really great if you as alumni could all support your alma mater!”
“We have achieved so much in recent years!”
In his speech, Professor Dr Udo Steffens, President of Frankfurt School, outlined the business school’s history, successes and goals. But first of all he gave warm thanks to Elena von Metzler, her family and Metzler Bank: “It is a very special honour and a great privilege to be able to celebrate here in this gorgeous villa! Once again, dear Elena, you, your family and the Bank have generously expressed your appreciation of Frankfurt School. We are enormously grateful to you all. Thank you so much!” He recalled Frankfurt School’s early beginnings in Frankfurt’s Nordend district, reminded his listeners of some legendary parties and debates, and took great pleasure in reporting that the new campus construction project is currently running precisely on schedule. “We will hold our topping-out ceremony on June 17 – make sure you note down the date! And in two years’ time, we shall have completed our move,” asserted Professor Steffens with impressive confidence. He also asked the former students present to support Frankfurt School and assist in the quest for additional sponsors – both individuals and companies. Finally, he thanked all those who have already given Frankfurt School their backing: “We have achieved so much over the last few years – enhanced our teaching and research, raised our international profile, set up our MBAs, gained international accreditation! But we haven’t yet reached our goal – we still haven’t made it to the very top of the European league. To help us achieve our ambition, I ask you all for your generous commitment! So many people have supported us already, and I am so grateful to them all!”
Bonames, Bona Mansio
Following Professor Steffens’s address, Berenike Seib, Metzler Bank’s in-house historian, gave an entertaining and informative talk on the history of the private bank. Bonames was first mentioned in records back in 1030, but the name is actually of Roman origin. In Roman times, a road station (“bona mansio”) is thought to have stood on the site. Later, Swedish King Gustav Adolf stayed there with his retinue. For a long time, the house belonged to one of Frankfurt’s mercantile dynasties, the Tee-Schmidt family, before passing into the ownership of the von Metzler family in 1905, as a result of family ties. During the Second World War, more than 40 families took refuge in the Metzler House. Once they had all moved into permanent accommodation after the War, the building was painstakingly restored and a number of interesting discoveries made, including murals dating from the Biedermeier period.
All the guests appreciated and enjoyed the Metzler family’s lavish hospitality, sharing fond memories and arranging further get-togethers in the course of a relaxed, entertaining evening.