Individuals who have taken exceptional strides to improve a community’s reputation or the quality of life for its citizens are awarded an honorary citizenship. It is the greatest honour that a city, community or even a university can bestow on a person. Four distinguished individuals have been named honorary citizens of the University of Konstanz so far.

Honorary Citizens of the University of Konstanz

Professor Gerhard Hess (1907-1983) was a German scholar of romance languages and philology as well as a science policy-maker. Following his rectorship at Heidelberg University and his presidency at the German Research Fellowship (DFG), Hess moved on to the University of Konstanz. He was chair of the university’s foundation committee and Konstanz’s rector during the first six years, starting in 1966.

Dr. h.c. Kurt-Georg Kiesinger (1904-1988) was a German politician. After being a member of the NSDAP (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), Kiesinger left the organisation and became a member of the CDU (a mainstream German conservative party) in 1945. He was Baden-Württemberg’s Minister-President from 1958 to 1966 and subsequently the Federal Republic of Germany’s third Chancellor for a period of three years.

Professor Dr Dr h.c. Horst Sund (1926) is a German chemist and biochemist. Sund was the University of Konstanz’s rector from 1976 to 1991 and played a decisive role in moulding the young institution. He was responsible for integrating the university into the region. He also assured equal opportunity for the development and promotion of all three university faculties.

Professor Dr Dr h.c. Gerhart v. Graevenitz (1944-2016) was a scholar of German literature. He was co-editor of the “Deutschen Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte” (German quarterly on literature studies and the history of humanities). From 1988 until 2016, Graevenitz wasa professor of contemporary German literature and general literature studies. Graevenitz was rector at the University of Konstanz from 2000 until 2009, upon which point he handed the position to Ulrich Rüdiger.