Earning the title of “honorary senator” is one of the highest accolades at the University of Konstanz. The title is conferred on individuals who have shown extraordinary dedication in working for the institution of higher education.

Honorary Senators A-D

Herbert Beeck, businessman and CEO of the LBS (Badische Landesbausparkasse, a state home loans and savings bank) established the “Umwelt und Wohnen an der Universität Konstanz” foundation (environment and living at the University of Konstanz) in 1985. The foundation promotes research on the topic of conservation, with a special focus on the environmental issues of human habitation.

Dietrich H Boesken is a German industry manager and managing partner of the Boesken GmbH in Singen. He was president of the Hochrhein-Bodensee Chamber of Industry and Commerce for twenty years and has been its honorary president since November 2001. Dietrich Boesken has been an exceptional advocate for the University of Konstanz and has demonstrated extraordinary commitment as both former president and current honorary president of the University of Konstanz Society (Universitätsgesellschaft Konstanz - UGK). Among other things, he lent the Dietrich-H-Boesken Prize its name.

Dr Kurt Büttner was chair of the management board at the German pharmaceuticals company Byk Gulden Lomberg.

Franz Josef Dazert was chair of the management and supervisory boards at Salamander and has been honorary chair since 2001. He has taken on a wide variety of volunteer positions and is co-founder of the “Förderkreis für die Zusammenarbeit zwischen den Universitäten Konstanz und Tel Aviv” (a foundation promoting exchange between the Universities of Konstanz and Tel Aviv).

Theopont Diez † was a CDU politician and a main advocate for establishing the University of Konstanz in the first place. In times of crisis, he could be relied upon to take over the university management on short notice. As president of the “Freunde der Universität Konstanz” (friends of the University of Konstanz), renamed University of Konstanz Society (Universitätsgesellschaft Konstanz - UGK) in 1996, he brought the university and the surrounding region into closer contact with each other. 

Honorary Senators E-H

Dr Horst Eickmeyer is a German administrative lawyer and politician. After serving as mayor of Meersburg for eleven years, Eickmeyer was mayor of Konstanz between 1979 and 1996. Eickmeyer lectures on politics and public administration at the University of Konstanz.

Joachim Fürst zu Fürstenberg † was a German entrepreneur and earned multiple honorary citizenship awards and accolades including the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the state of Baden-Württemberg’s Verdienstmedaille (medal of merit) and a knightship in the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Dr h.c. Hans-Werner Hector is a mathematician, entrepreneur and co-founder of the SAP AG software company. He and his wife Josephine established the Hector Foundation I. The Hector Foundation II supports social institutions, promotes highly gifted individuals as well as institutions at elite universities. Hector’s foundation provided the University of Konstanz with a total of three million euros, which were used to establish the “Hector Personalfonds der Universität Konstanz” (Hector personnel funds for the University of Konstanz).

Dr Bruno Helmle †, Konstanz’s mayor from 1959 to 1980, lost his title as honorary senator in May 2012.

Otto P. W. Hüni † took over the Hüni & Co company from his grandfather Hans Heinrich. The business first produced leather products and then changed its focus on process-, plant- and mechanical engineering. Hüni was originally from Friedrichshafen and worked hard to promote the Lake Constance region (“Bodenseeraum”). For example, he started the Internationale Bodenseemesse (a consumer trade show for the region) as well as the Marketing Club Bodensee. The latter currently organises a variety of marketing activities which include presentations, discussions and events.

Honorary Senators I-R

Professor Dieter Jahn managed the global competence centre “Science Relations and Innovation Management” of the BASF group from 2000 to 2012. The chemist studied and completed his doctorate at the University of Stuttgart. He is a member of various committees, juries and innovation groups. He has been president of the German Chemical Society, is a member of the Investors Advisory Board of the High-Tech Gründerfonds, the Senate Commission of the Helmholtz Association and the Chemistry Advisory Board of the University of Cambridge.

In the past, Professor Jahn has worked for programmes of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Stifterverband, the German Council of Science and Humanities, and in advisory groups and expert committees on the national and international level. From 7 September 2009 until 31 August 2016, he served as chair of the University Council.

Dr Heribert Knorr worked for the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg (MWK) until his retirement in 2013 (barring a short interval from 1988-1991). He was responsible for the universities in Baden-Württemberg.

Dr Wilhelm Krull is secretary general of the VolkswagenStiftung (Volkswagen Foundation). In addition to his work in science policy and research promotion, Krull is active in a number of capacities in national and international organisations, including the OECD and the EU. Dr Krull was chair of the University Council from 10 February 2005 until 28 February 2009.

Kurt Lion † was a Swiss entrepreneur who played a decisive part in formalising the cooperation between the Tel Aviv University and the University of Konstanz. He established the “Lion Foundation” in order to promote and financially support the academic collaboration between the two institutions. In addition to this, Kurt Lion supported the development of the state of Israel.

Karl Lion follows in his father’s footsteps and has made the student exchange programme the new focus of collaboration between the two universities.

Dr Robert Maus is a CDU politician who spent 24 years as Landrat (County Commissioner) in Konstanz County and played a decisive role in the region’s politics before being elected to the Baden-Württemberg Landtag (state parliament). He was also vice president of the “Gesellschaft der Freunde und Förderer der Universität Konstanz” (subsequently called the University of Konstanz Society (UGK)) during the nineties.

Honorary Senators S-Z

Dr Dagmar Schmieder is CEO of the Kliniken Schmieder (neurological rehabilitation clinics) and chair of the non-profit Stiftung Schmieder für Wissenschaft und Forschung (Schmieder foundation for science and research). The foundation works closely with the University of Konstanz to promote research, especially junior researchers .

Professor Nikolaus Schweickart is a law graduate, a manager in the chemical industry and an ambassador for the “Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft” (INSM, an initiative to promote the concept of a new social free-market economy). During his time as director of the Altana GmbH, Schweikart established the foundation “Universität und Gesellschaft” (university and society) for the University of Konstanz, which subsequently made many international exchange programmes and projects possible. He also created the Nycomed Young Talents Award.

Frank Steinkühler is a German financial and business consultant and was chair of the IG Metall trade union.

Manfred Ulmer † was a textiles manufacturer whose charitable donations helped to promote and support the sciences at the University of Konstanz.

Johannes Weyl † was a German publisher. After the Second World War, he founded the regional newspaper “Südkurier” as well as the “Universitätsverlag Konstanz” (the university publishing house), which printed the “Konstanzer Universitätszeitung” (University of Konstanz newspaper) and the “Hochschulnachrichten” (university news).

Dr Brigitte Weyl continues in the tradition of her father as head of the “Universitätsverlag Konstanz”, which connects the fields of research, academia and education .