More than 150 alumni and friends joined us last Saturday as we celebrated the WHU alumni homecoming event in Vallendar. This was the 10th year that In Praxi and WHU jointly hosted this celebratory anniversary event. This year the mood on the WHU campus was truly exceptional, as was everyone’s obvious enthusiasm at reuniting with classmates and friends. The strongest turnout came from the Class of BSc 2013, with more than 50 alumni in attendance.
The class of 2008 was the first with both Diploma and BSc graduates. The very first WHU class of 1988 celebrated its 30th WHU anniversary this year. During brunch on the Burgplatz, a campus tour with current WHU students, and the afternoon program with wine tasting, rum tasting, and an Art Night activity in Marienpark the participants lived the WHU Spirit to the fullest.
The WHU Spirit and a number of other topics were also discussed in the campus update in the Family Business Hall, to which our guest of honor Dr. Toni Calabretti welcomed the alumni. In his role as President of the Beisheim Foundation and President of the WHU Foundation, Dr. Calabretti used the occasion of the alumni homecoming to discuss the interesting history of the Beisheim Group, its investments and foundation work, and the role of WHU. He warmly thanked the alumni for sharing such a pleasant time on the WHU campus, and in closing he discussed the vision of the WHU Foundation: maintaining the WHU Spirit as a particular characteristic of the school.
WHU Dean Prof. Dr. Markus Rudolf, whose talk followed, had a great deal to report as well. During the campus update he discussed the ranking results for 2018 and discussed in detail the current Financial Times MiM Ranking. In this context he talked in some detail about diversity at WHU. Other topics covered in the campus update included digitalization, entrepreneurship, and the start of the first part-time MSc program at WHU in cooperation with partner companies like Zalando and Audibene. Professor Rudolf made himself available for a Q&A session after the talk.
Kristin Böhme (D 2008) introduced two current recipients of the Diversity Scholarship, Edgar Polanco from Guatemala und Ziwei Ye from China. Böhme had herself recently donated to the scholarship fund. Pedro Borges (MSc 2013), our first Diversity Scholarship recipient, shared his own personal WHU story; his lively and upbeat personality contributed to the success of this part of the program.
Positive energy and good mood were also on hand during the evening dinner and get-together in the vault. There was a great deal of laughing, talking, and catching up. In his opening evening talk, Jörg Borkowsky (D 1991) mentioned the importance of maintaining personal contacts among the 4,000 alumni members - for which the WHU alumni network provides the perfect platform, with many opportunities and events beyond the annual WHU Alumni Homecoming. In the name of the alumni he thanked Dr. Toni Calabretti for the financial support of the In Praxi Foundation. In closing, Jörg also discussed the WHU alumni’s responsibility towards the school. He explicitly mentioned the alumni-funded Diversity Scholarship, which helps to ensure that the quality and diversity of WHU students is not dependent on candidates’ financial resources, but rather on whether they have the brains, heart, and spirit for studying at WHU.