University of Bayreuth, Press Release No 072/2021 June 11th 2021
Universitätsverein Bayreuth e.V.: Sustainable support for the University - Spokesperson of the Kulmbach regional group elected
At yesterday's general meeting, Universitätsverein Bayreuth e.V. (Partners & Friends of the University) consolidated its roots in Kulmbach. Dr. Michael Pfitzner is the spokesperson for the Kulmbach regional group of the association. At the annual general meeting, it once again became clear how important the support of the association is for the University of Bayreuth. Beyond state funding and (third-party) funds it raises or earns itself, it is happy to receive any form of support, including from individuals. Time and again it receives generous donations. "But every single membership in Universitätsverein is precious, and the work done there on a voluntary basis is truly a blessing for the University," says University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible.
For the first time since the association was founded in 1970, its general meeting took place online. One of the items on the agenda was the election of a spokesperson for the Kulmbach regional group. This will be Dr. Michael Pfitzner, Member of the Kulmbach town council an former headmaster in Stadtsteinach.
The University of Bayreuth has developed an ever-growing network of friends, sponsors, and partners even since before it was officially founded. In the 1970s, it was this nascent group who, through their advocacy and active involvement, influenced the decision to found the then newestest state university at its current Bayreuth site. As a non-profit founded in 1970, Universitätsverein is committed to supporting studies, teaching, and research through goodwill and financial support, especially where state funds are lacking or are not available in sufficient amounts or quickly enough. In addition, Universitätsverein supports initiatives that allow the local population to participate in the work and life of the University, that inform them about the latest research findings in a generally understandable way, that take up questions from the population and invite them to exchange ideas with each other, and to work together on solutions to pressing problems.
The tasks of Universitätsverein Bayreuth e.V. in connection with university and student support, which were defined with great foresight, are still topical more than 50 years after the association was founded. It is all the more important that sufficient funds are made available through membership fees and donations to fulfil its statutory role. In this context, donations and legacies have a particularly gratifying effect. They can be used responsibly to support low-income students, for the presentation of outstanding research work, or to host events for knowledge transfer and civic dialogue, any of which can involve considerable sums or resources.
In 2020, Universitätsverein Bayreuth e.V. was pleased to be named in the context of a bequest, increasing the association's capital by € 145,000. This generous bequest was made available to Universitätsverein without any earmarking, i.e. for free disposal within the scope of the association's official purpose. The testator, of whom no explicit relationship to the University or Universitätsverein is known, did not wish to be named.
Dr. Paul und Edith Müllner Scholarship Foundation
In another case of extremely generous consideration of the work of the University and Universitätsverein in the form of a bequest, this even led to the establishment of a foundation administered in trust by Universitätsverein, which does not have independent legal capacity but is named after the testators, the Müllner couple. The " Dr. Paul und Edith Müllner-Stipendiumsstiftung " has basic assets of € 700,000 in the form of a stake in a closed real estate fund. The income derived is used for purposes stipulated in the statutes. In 2020, a mid-five-digit sum was used to fulfil the foundation's purpose. This consists of supporting students of the University of Bayreuth who are in need or worthy of support due to their readiness to over-achieve. Student aid is provided in particular through the awarding of scholarships, e.g. within the framework of the so-called Deutschlandstipendium programme.
Universitätsverein administers four foundations in trust
With the "Dr. Paul und Edith Müllner-Stipendiumsstiftung", Universitätsverein Bayreuth e.V. now administers four foundations in trust. The assets of these foundations are kept separate from the general assets of the association, and are disbursed upon application in accordance with the respective purpose of the foundation. They range from the promotion of the University of Bayreuth's international scientific relations with foreign universities in research and teaching, research institutes, and institutions (Stiftung Internationale Beziehungen) to the nurturing of education and training, especially of students of economics at the University of Bayreuth by awarding short-term scholarships (Josef-Schmidt-Stiftung), to the promotion of research and teaching in chemistry at the University of Bayreuth as well as the presentation of chemistry to the public (Otto-Warburg-Chemi-Stiftung). "The University owes a great debt of gratitude to its donors and bequeathers. We will always honour their memory and ensure that the funds are used responsibly and in the manner intended by the deceased. In this way, we ensure that this act of solidarity with the University, its members, and achievements will last far beyond the death of these personages," emphasises the University President.
With the sustained support of Universitätsverein, the University of Bayreuth has flourished over the last five decades, from a new university founded on the edge of the Iron Curtain to today's nationally and internationally recognised centre of scholarship with regional roots. "Universitätsverein Bayreuth as a bridge builder between the University, the economy, and society is an important funding institution that will continue to support the University in future to promote talent and realise new ideas," says Chairman of Universitätsverein, Horst Eggers.