It was an exceptional year in many regards. That became obvious once again to the Bachelor and Master students of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management at this year’s graduation ceremony on September 25, 2020. For the first time in the business school’s history, the celebrations had to take place exclusively online. To support the fight against the spread of COVID19 infections, the school’s management had decided that the graduation ceremony of 216 Bachelor and 174 Master students could only take place virtually. However, this decision did not come easy. Until the very end, the management had tried to offer the celebrations at least in a hybrid format.
"In my experience, the fact that the community spirit has always been alive in this difficult situation was very positive. I personally believe that this sense of community at WHU has never been stronger than it was after the temporary lockdown on March 8," says Professor Dr. Markus Rudolf, Dean of WHU, in his laudation. He also emphasized that, despite the existing restrictions, the graduation of the students without any delay was only possible thanks to a tremendous joint effort.
Birgit Bohle, board member of Deutsche Telekom and alumna of WHU, also addressed the successful students via video. "My advice to you is to take the freedom of saying “no” from time to time. Do not jump on every opportunity that presents itself. Instead, follow your passion and your intuition," Bohle told the graduates in her message. Professor Dr. Dr. Katharina Boele-Woelki, President of Bucerius Law School, a partner university of WHU, and Professor Dr. Carsten Jungmann, Program Director of the Bucerius Certificate in Business Law, also expressed their congratulations at the online celebrations.
The excellent theses of two students were awarded the In Praxi Outstanding Thesis Awards 2020 by WHU alumna and team captain of the In Praxi Awards, Rebecca Stallbaumer. This year's award for the best bachelor’s thesis was awarded to Charlotte Both for her work on "Sustainability's Unintended Consequences". The outstanding results were produced under the difficult conditions of the Corona crisis. The thesis was supervised by Professor Dr. Lutz Kaufmann, Chair of International Business and Supply Chain Management I. Philipp Burmeister received the award for the best master’s thesis on "Objectivity and Income Inequality: Research Institutes at the Intersection of Science and Politics" which he wrote at the Chair of Sales Management and Business-to-Business Marketing under the supervision of Marcel Hering. This year’s D'Ester Prize of the WHU Foundation was awarded to Jonathan Bruns for his exceptional commitment by Dr. Peter Kreutter, Director of the WHU Foundation. Bruns received the prize for supporting constantly the organization of various conferences for the WHU community.
WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management wishes this year's graduates all the best for their future despite some corona-related challenges in the past!