On October 28, 2016, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management bade a fond farewell to 161 graduates at a graduation ceremony in Frankfurt’s Paulskirche. The President of Frankfurt School, Professor Dr Udo Steffens, welcomed the guests and warmly thanked the City of Frankfurt for once again allowing Frankfurt School to use such a historically significant building for this year’s graduation ceremonies. He then underscored the impressive commitment shown by many students in activities unrelated to their studies. As examples, he mentioned the success of various student initiatives at the Business Games, which are held across Europe, as well as the FS Model United Nations initiative, very successfully organised once again by Frankfurt School in New York. Professor Steffens went on to congratulate the graduates, as well as their parents and families, pointing out that the presence of the latter reflected the ongoing growth of the Frankfurt School family.
City councillor Elke Sautner then addressed the audience on behalf of the City of Frankfurt, emphasising the importance of Frankfurt’s institutions of higher education to the city and its international image. On behalf of Lord Mayor Peter Feldman, she also gave cordial congratulations to all the graduates, wishing them every success in their future careers.
Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, CEO of Bottega Veneta and a member of the Advisory Board of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, gave the laudatory speech, reviewing Frankfurt School’s journey to date. “At an early stage, Frankfurt School recognised the opportunities and challenges that now confront universities and business schools, took a conscious decision to compete with other private and public-sector universities, and prevailed,” said Claus-Dietrich Lahrs. He encouraged the graduates to approach their own career paths with a similarly ambitious mindset. “You have all already taken the most important decision,” he added, “the decision to invest in your own abilities and in your own education.”
Frank Behrends, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Interessengemeinschaft Frankfurter Kreditinstitute GmbH (IFK) and member of the Board of Managing Directors of BHF-BANK AG, presented the IFK sponsorship awards to the year’s top-scoring students. In his speech, he urged the award winners as well as all the other graduates to take responsibility. “As highly educated, highly motivated young people, you can be sure that doors will open to you everywhere in the business world,” he said. The awards went to Master of Finance graduates Henrik Johnsdorf and Julian Debes, and to Master in Management graduate Christopher Andrew Pike (MSc).
As Board member in charge of Supply Chain and Operations at the NORMA Group, John Stephenson presented the Manufacturing Management Award sponsored by the NORMA Group to Marc Sanabras Garrido, Carmen Berger and Liesa Stöbich, all of whom studied for a Master in Management (MSc) degree. The award is made to students who have written outstanding Master theses with a strong relevance to industry. He underscored the close collaboration between Frankfurt School and the NORMA Group, and said how delighted he was that so many students had already completed internships or started their careers at the NORMA Group. “To overcome global challenges, companies must invest in research,” emphasised John Stephenson.
This year, for the first time, the Risk Management Award was made to the three top-scoring graduates on the Master of Finance program who took the Risk Management concentration. Wolfgang Hartmann, Chair of the Frankfurt Institute of Risk Management and Regulation (FIRM), presented the awards to Carolin Sauer, Kathrin Stenner and Natalia Sidorova.
Together, Professor Dr Udo Steffens and Professor Dr Michael H. Grote, Vice President Academic Affairs, presented degree certificates to the 160 graduates who had successfully completed the following degree courses at Frankfurt School: Master of Finance, Master in Management and Master of International Business.
Professor Dr Adalbert Winkler, Professor of International and Development Finance at Frankfurt School, presented Wiebke Bartz with her doctoral certificate. He was Ms Bartz’s supervisor while she was writing her doctoral thesis. He praised the collegial, professional relationship they had developed in the course of the project, stating that he regarded it as a privilege and warmly congratulating Dr Bartz on her achievement.
On behalf of the students, Thomas Nicols – newly graduated from the Master of Finance course – reviewed the time they had spent together studying at Frankfurt School. He thanked the academic staff in particular for their support and made it clear that they had inspired him throughout his time as a student.
Finally, in his capacity as President of Frankfurt School, Professor Steffens thanked all the speakers, as well as all the Frankfurt School employees who had contributed to the success of the graduation ceremony. He then invited all the guests to a reception in the rotunda of the Paulskirche.