“You have to try the impossible to achieve the possible”
Hermann Hesse, German-Swiss writer
The traditional WIT graduation day end-November is the best time to look back. This is especially the case for the graduates who had to combine studies and professional life for two or more intense years. A big investment in the future involved many sacrifices – in terms of hobbies, spare time and family life. But those brave women and men who were wearing black graduate hats dared to go for the challenge that seemed to be almost impossible – and made it work. Their big journey culminated last Friday – and they were finally able to reward themselves. The end of the WIT journey is, however, a new beginning – with new and inspiring opportunities.
However, before the protagonists of the evening received their Master certificates, the graduation event included many other highlights. First of all, this year the graduation ceremony took place at the reading lounge of the library, thanks to the library staff and Dr. Frank Seeliger, its director. This also allowed us to invite a great musician in order to accompany the evening with some grand piano tunes. Pianist Dimitri Vavilov has impressed the participants with his skills and inspired them with his unique mix and interpretation of Chopin, Dvorak and Michael Jackson.
Just as the piano player, the keynote speaker of the evening was able to bring together things that don’t belong together at first glance. Prof. Dr. Michael Seadle, an acknowledged expert in the field of digital libraries, has brought three WIT Master programmes into the historical context of technological and societal development. He gave a great overview of what happened to libraries in recent decades and how it was a logical development with regard to the interaction between technology and societies in the state of flux.
Interaction was an important keyword for the speech of Mahadeva Channegowda who was speaking to the audience on behalf of the Aviation Management 2017 course. He pointed out the valuable networks in his life – his family but also his fellow students and the faculty. Mr. Channegowda emphasized the valuable experience of peer-learning in a multi-lingual team but also underlined both the chances and the responsibility that fresh graduates have in the dynamic world.
Merle Friedrich, the speaker on behalf of the Library Informatics course, pointed out how relevant the combination of her library and IT expertise is. This is what librarians in the twenty-first century do: they enable people to satisfy their informational needs, their curiosity and their thirst for knowledge. Therefore, a modern librarian helps people to discover the world.
However, we have said farewell not only to our graduates. Two inspiring personalities who were crucial for the founding and development of WIT have retired from their WIT duty in 2019. Professor Thomas Biermann has founded our institute in 2005 and has been board chairman, lecturer and good soul of WIT ever since. Hence Mr. Biermann is retiring from his professorship at the Technische Hochschule Wildau, he has also given up his position as board chairman, will however remain lecturer at WIT. Andreas G. Hotes, his successor, has thanked Professor Biermann on behalf of the entire team and students for his exceptional expertise, commitment and involvement. After the WIT team has already organized a farewell party for Mr. Biermann in October, the graduation ceremony was a good occasion to say goodbye to the founder and great mind of the institute.
Along with the institute founder, another important person for the development of our institute has retired in 2019. Bernd Nierobisch has been a lecturer at WIT for almost 15 years and was involved in the teaching of all Aviation Management runs as well as of the MBA programme. With all his experience, commitment and the critical look he was always a valuable member of the professorship and an inspiration for the students. For the last time in his function as WIT lecturer, he has addressed the participants of the ceremony with a spontaneous, yet emotional speech.
The highlight of the night was, however, the degree ceremony itself that was moderated by Thomas Lehne, Chancellor of Technical University Wildau. Before he handed out the certificates to the graduates, he looked back at his own study time and cherished the extraordinary accomplishment of students who have mastered their studies in a part-time mode. Afterwards, the fresh graduates received congratulations and small presents from WIT team and board. After the official part was completed, graduates, students, alumni and lecturers were invited to the informal dinner at Kavalierhäuser in Königs Wusterhausen.
On behalf of the team, lecturers and the board, we wish our graduates all the best, much success and hope that they will keep both their graduation and their entire studies in good memory. See you soon in Wildau!