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University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 184/2021, 14 December 2021

University of Bayreuth appoints Henry Schramm Honorary Senator and awards Dr. Markus Zanner University Medal

As a sign of solidarity and gratitude, the University of Bayreuth honours deserving personalities. District President Henry Schramm is inducted into the circle of honorary senators, and the Provost of Nuremberg University of Technology, Dr. Markus Zanner, receives the University Medal.

With the award of honorary senatorship, exceptional commitment to the University of Bayreuth is honoured and publicly recognised. Kulmbach's former head mayor and current District President of Upper Franconia, Henry Schramm, has now been appointed honorary senator for his services to Faculty 7. The 61-year-old has always supported the University of Bayreuth in his political offices. Schramm, who has chaired the Upper Franconia District Council since 2018, has promoted networking in Upper Franconia for many years in order to strengthen the region, especially in its wider-ranging profile. "He astutely recognised the key position of the University of Bayreuth and its charisma for the city of Kulmbach and the surrounding area," says Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible, President of the University of Bayreuth.

Schramm entered Bavarian State Parliament in 2003 as a direct candidate for the Kulmbach district. Three years later he was elected Head Mayor of the city of Kulmbach. Especially during his time as Head Mayor, he did everything in his power to make Kulmbach a university location, and thus to attract innovation and young people to a town that has been strongly affected by demographic change. He sought active exchange with the University of Bayreuth and found open ears in President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible and then Provost Dr. Markus Zanner. "Without Henry Schramm, Faculty 7 in Kulmbach would not exist," says Leible. As President of the Upper Franconian District Council and meanwhile also a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Bayreuth, Henry Schramm still manages to contribute as an ambassador and promoter of the science and business in the region.

The award of the University Medal recognises the enduring and binding commitment of honourees to the University of Bayreuth. Dr. Markus Zanner, former Provost of the University of Bayreuth, is now recipient of this award. The 54-year-old came to the University of Bayreuth as Provost in January 2011. His start at the University of Bayreuth began spectacularly, as the plagiarism affair surrounding Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg developed into a scandal only two weeks after he took up his post. But Dr. Markus Zanner negotiated this exceptional situation with aplomb and always had the University's best interests in mind.

During this time, together with President Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Bormann, he succeeded in averting damage to the University of Bayreuth," Leible emphasises in the citation for the honour. Two years later, there was another emergency: University President Bormann had suffered a fatal accident. Markus Zanner took over the helm without hesitation during this difficult time and led the University of Bayreuth out of the crisis as both acting President and Provost. "However, not only was his leadership performance remarkable, but also his visionary creative will," adds Leible, Zanner's period as Provost being characterised by the implementation of strategically important building projects. The development of the campus in Kulmbach, another milestone of his tenure, also benefited from his support in questions of administration and infrastructure.

In addition to these merits, the approval of the African Studies Cluster of Excellence should also be mentioned. Since 2019, the University of Bayreuth is currently the only university in Bavaria with its own Cluster of Excellence. 

The Senate and the University Governing Board therefore agreed that Dr. Markus Zanner has had a lasting impact on the University of Bayreuth, as well as raising its profile, and that these achievements should be honoured.

Originally, the awarding of honorary senatorship and the University Medal was planned as part of dies academicus. However, as this had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, the honours will initially be presented without an audience. A public tribute is planned for 2022.

Angela Danner

Head of Office – Corporate Identity

Phone: +49(0) 921 / 55-5323

Office:  Room No. 3.07, Central University Administration (ZUV),
Universitätsstraße 30, 95447 Bayreuth