Past Events: Alumni Exclusive  

Past Events:
Alumni Exclusive

Past Event: Interactive Museum Inspirata

19 August 2015 – Visiting the interactive museum "Inspirata" (with children)

Children who seem to grow taller than their parents in an instant, a soap bubble you can enter, and a tornado inside a water bottle – on 19 August 2015, small and grown-up visitors alike spent an afternoon embarking on many little adventures during the event FOR and WITH alumni. The interactive museum "Inspirata" at Alte Messe opens a door into the fascinating world of mathematics and natural sciences by enabling its visitors to carry out experiments by themselves with the help of its exhibits. Many alumni and University staff gladly brought their children along to this special alumni event.

Alumnus Uwe Petzschler acted as a tour guide to the group. He studied physics and mathematics at Leipzig University to become a teacher, and is now part of the association's board that operates Inspirata. Petzschler built many of the numerous exhibits himself and keeps on improving them.

The museum's supporters and contributors include several scientists of Leipzig University, which is why visitors were also able to take a look at the educational area "mathemachen²". It contains 20 creative maths stations for children aged between 8 and 13 and is often used by University students who can practice teaching mathematics and natural sciences to children.

Past Event: Association HausHalten e.V./Wächterhaus project

21 July 2015 – Insights into the work of the association HausHalten e.V.

In the midst of the Wilhelminian-style buildings in Lützner Straße, there is a small house reminiscent of a farm that was built around 1800. On 21 July 2015, alumni of different disciplines met there to learn more about the association HausHalten e.V. whose seat is that same house.

Hannes Lindemann, geography student at Leipzig University and member of the association's board, told the alumni that HausHalten e.V. was founded in the early 2000s in order to offer house owners in Leipzig new ways of preserving their threatened houses. In so-called "Wächterhäusern" (watcher houses), the association sets up projects that rent the vacant buildings for temporary use. This way, the buildings' decay is stopped and deteriorated neighbourhoods can be revitalised. In the meantime, the Wächterhaus project has been replicated in other cities, and in Leipzig, it has been complemented with additional concepts.

Afterwards, the alumni had the chance to catch a glimpse of the historical club house's well-preserved cottage garden that is usually hidden behind a gate.

YouTube video showing the association work of HausHalten e.V. (in German)

Past Event: Botanical Garden

25 June 2015 – Along the "relationship path" in the Botanical Garden

During a tour of the "relationship path" in Leipzig University's Botanical Garden that is currently being set up, a group of alumni gained new insights into the complex relationships of plants and animals.

The biologist Dr. Martin Freiberg was our guide and led us to 18 different plant stations strewn all over the Garden. At these stations, he used so-called "ambassador plants" to explain us phenomena stemming from the cohabitation of plants and animals. From plant defenses and pollination to frugivores and carnivorous plants, the alumni learnt a multitude of fascinating facts about how plants and animals have adjusted to each other in the course of evolution.

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Past Event: Werk 2 tour

13 May 2015 – Werk 2 tour

Roughly 20 alumni of all disciplines learnt how an old factory could turn into a cultural centre. On 13 May, the Alumni Exclusive event ("FOR and WITH alumni") took place in WERK 2, the "culture factory" in the south of Leipzig.

Katja Krause, an alumna of Leipzig University, has managed the sociocultural centre since 2011 and provided us with a look behind the scenes. A theatre rehearsal in one hall, a soundcheck in another hall, and a tango class on the first floor gave a first impression of the variety of Werk 2's cultural programmes.

A stopover in Andreas Weißgerber's graphics print shop proved to be especially rewarding. The alumni were told about the printing techniques taught and employed in the shop, followed by a live demonstration of how one course participant's artwork was printed with a printing press.

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Past Event: Exhibition tour in the Bibliotheca Albertina

16 April 2015 – Exhibition "The St. Nicholas Church Library"

Around 1600, any citizen of Leipzig who took pride in himself could not help but donate a lavishly illustrated book to the St. Nicholas Church Library. A tour of the exhibition "Documents of the Lutheran faith: The St. Nicholas Church Library" in the University Library brought home the fact that the books in a church library do not only serve theological, but representative purposes.

In April, curator Dr. Sebastian Kötz showed a group of alumni, students and staff what the old tomes can tell us about the religious and social climate of Leipzig during the time of the Reformation.

Sebastian Kötz is especially pleased with the good condition of the books written over 400 years ago. During the preparations for the exhibition, he made a lucky find: He discovered a handwritten letter by the library's founder to the donor of a donated book that was bound into said book – a letter that had went unnoticed for centuries.

You can learn more about the exhibition in this report by Leipzig Fernsehen (in German).

Past Event: Sport Campus

26 March 2015 – Sport Campus tour

Even if you did not study anything sports-related, you probably know Campus Jahnallee – whether from your sport course in the evening hours or as a music venue. The Alumni Exclusive event in March gave a group of alumni the opportunity to take a more in-depth look at the Sport Campus.

Dr. Christian Hartmann, who has been part of the Faculty of Sport Science for more than 40 years, was the alumni's tour guide. He showed them the vast premises and shared anecdotes that showed how much the sports education in Leipzig has changed since the time of the sports university, which was then called "Deutsche Hochschule für Körperkultur" (1950–1990).

Swimming, gymnastics, judo and much more: Looking into the various sports halls gave some indication of how many different sports can be played at Campus Jahnallee. Apart from that, Dr. Christian Hartmann never failed to draw the alumni's attention to architectural gems in the neoclassicist group of buildings. It soon became obvious that Campus Jahnallee provides an unusually aesthetic backdrop for sports and is always worth a second look.

Past Event: Gewandhaus

4 December 2014 – Gewandhaus

In December 2014, a group of alumni had the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of the Gewandhaus. Christian Fanghänel, formerly working for the University and now head of Marketing/Sales at the Gewandhaus, and his team gave the alumni a tour of the concert hall.

Mr Fanghänel did not only explain how the organ was made and how the Great Hall's famous acoustics work. He also provided the alumni with a look into some parts of the Gewandhaus that are not usually open to visitors, such as the performers' dressing rooms, the backstage area and the instrument storage room. Several alumni used this unique opportunity and took a seat on the musicians' chairs on the orchestra stage. The tour also found many connections between Leipzig University and the Gewandhaus.

Music itself played an important part in the evening: After the tour, many participants visited the Great Concert at a reduced price, with works by Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Bartók.

Past Event: Egyptian Museum

5 November 2014 – Egyptian Museum

In November, the Egyptian Museum's conservator Karl Heinrich von Stülpnagel showed his workplace to a group of alumni. The Krochhochhaus in the Goethestraße, a high-rise building that used to be a bank in the 1920s, now houses ancient Egyptian objects. The Egyptian Museum is primarily a collection for teaching. Its exhibition pieces are meant to help students of Egyptology visualise objects and analyse them. This is why there are practical exams in the museum's rooms quite regularly, says von Stülpnagel.

As "Lord of the Things", the conservator has his very own perspective on the display items. During the alumni tour, he did not focus on Egyptological research subjects, instead opting to provide the participants with fascinating accounts and personal anecdotes stemming from over 20 years of daily work routine conserving ancient, highly fragile objects.

Time and again, von Stülpnagel showed his deep respect for the ancient Egyptians and their craftsmanship. He admires them for having created elaborate, perfectly modelled objects with only a handful of technical tools. Looking at ancient Egyptian coffins and their ornamental painting revealed interesting details about the ancient Egyptians' death cult.

Past Event: Exhibition "Leipzig in the Autumn of '89"

16 October 2014 – Exhibition "Leipzig in the Autumn of '89"

To celebrate the Peaceful Revolution's 25th anniversary, the University Archive held the photography exhibition "Leipzig in the Autumn of '89" in the new Augusteum's foyer from 8 October until 5 November 2014. The exhibition was mainly devoted to the effects that the historical photographs taken by Armin Kühne, a Leipzig-based photographer, have on their viewers, documenting the events during the demonstrations in the autumn of 1989 and the months after.

Beate Rebner of the University Archive accompanied the alumni on an exhibition tour and provided them with interesting background information concerning the photos' genesis and their selection for the exhibition. The motifs gave rise to a lively discussion between the alumni who shared their own memories of the autumn of 1989 with each other.

Past Event: University Hospital

14 August 2014 – University Hospital tour

In August, Helena Reinhardt, head of Corporate Communications/Public Relations at University Hospital Leipzig and former student of Leipzig University, and her colleagues gave our alumni the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of Leipzig's biggest hospital. To give the alumni a first impression of the hospital employees' daily routine, they were given a tour of the logistics centre and the distribution centre linked to the pneumatic tube conveyor system, one of the biggest of its kind in a German hospital. The alumni could also catch a glimpse of the laundry machines, gaining insight into the many processes necessary to ensure the proper operation of a big hospital.

The University Hospital Leipzig has changed considerably in the past few years. Ultra-modern interconnected clinical centres have sprung up along the medical campus at Liebigstraße. The hospital offers maximum care to its patients and belongs to the most modern hospitals in Europe, despite its long history. A look behind the scenes is most worthwhile, since modern in-house hospital logistics are in a class of their own when it comes to complexity. Every day, 1,400 patients have to receive the correct meals three times a day, individually compounded medication has to be delivered fast and correctly, 3,800 members of staff have to be provided with clean scrubs and uniforms, thousands of medical products have to be available at absolutely all times – all in accordance with business principles. And of course the patient is not to be bothered with any of this.

Past Event: The University Orchestra's dress rehearsal

7 July 2014 – The University Orchestra's dress rehearsal

When our alumni visited the dress rehearsal for the University Orchestra's anniversary concert, they had the opportunity to talk to the musicians during the break and after the rehearsals.

In 2014, Leipzig's University Orchestra celebrated its 10th anniversary. Initially, the Orchestra had 40 founding members – by now, almost 100 musicians are part of the ensemble. During its anniversary concert on 12 July 2014, the Orchestra played Camille Saint-Saëns' Organ Symphony as well as a piece of music that was newly composed at the Orchestra's request.

Leipzig's University Orchestra is organised in a democratic fashion and headed by a board of students on a voluntary basis. The University Orchestra has been supported by the MDR orchestra since 2005.

Past Event: Geological and Paleontological Collection

22 May 2014 – Geological and Paleontological Collection

In May 2014, our alumni were able to view historical findings as well as current projects in the showrooms of the Geological and Paleontological Collection.

Entire generations of geoscientists contributed their valuable material to what is now Leipzig University's Collection in Geology and Paleontology: The collection is made up of several 100,000 objects, among them magnificent fossils and rare originals.

The present collection of valuable exhibits is the result of a long historical development. This massive accumulation can be traced back to the tradition of geosciences in Leipzig. In the second half of the 19th century, the collection gradually changed from a mere mineral cabinet (common at the time) to a prominent scientific collection.

Past Event: VINETA

21 May 2014 – Discovery tour to VINETA

The sun was shining bright the day that Romy Engwicht and Katja Leser of Krystallpalast Varieté – both former students of Leipzig University – took our guests to a discovery tour toward the unique floating building in the middle of the Störmthal lake, VINETA. The alumni learnt interesting facts about the history, present and future of the region and plans concerning the lake.

Since June 2011, Krystallpalast Varieté has been operating VINETA – the extraordinary floating venue south of Leipzig – on the Störmthal lake, in midst of Leipzig's ever-growing lake district Neuseenland.

VINETA symbolises the lost church of Magdeborn and acts as a memorial for all those places that had to make way for the open-pit mining of Espenhain (visible proof: the Störmthal and Markkleeberg lakes). It is anchored at the precise location where the biggest parish that yielded to the diggers – Magdeborn – used to be. An eaves height of 15 metres makes VINETA the highest floating building on a German lake. As a unique, cross-regional centre of attraction and objet d'art, VINETA has an appearance of lightness and a graceful design. Its historical and aesthetic uniqueness makes it a perfect venue for weddings, family celebrations, company parties and cultural events.

Past Event: Museum of Classical Antiquities

23 April 2014 – Leipzig University's Museum of Classical Antiquities and its sponsors

Leipzig University's Museum of Classical Antiquities is one of the oldest and most significant collections of Greek and Roman antiquities at German universities. Nearly a quarter of the art objects displayed as part of the permanent exhibition are donations. A number of the foundations responsible were presented to our alumni during the tour. Without our private sponsors' generous support – among them scholars and art lovers from all over the world as well as well-known citizens of the city of Leipzig –, a collection of this outstanding size and variety would not be possible.

The alumni could also admire the special exhibition "Imaginary Museum", a light installation conceived by students of the Academy of Visual Arts that bathed the museum and the exhibits in a green light.

Leipzig University's current plans to shut down the study programme "Classical Archaeology" endanger the Museum of Classical Antiquities as well. For this reason, the German Association of Archaeology (DVA) set up an online petition on 10 February 2013, aiming to preserve both the institute and the Museum.

Past Event: Learning Clinic

6 November 2013 – Learning Clinic

The Learning Clinic opened its doors in November and provided our alumni with a glimpse into the plethora of medical abilities. Those interested in medicine could take matters into their own hand. Under the guidance of Learning Clinic staff, they could test their skills and knowledge with patient simulators that displayed various heart or lung diseases, depending on the setting. The alumni were also able to practice immediate life-saving measures, actions that the first aider has to take in an emergency with injured, ill or poisoned persons.

The Leipzig Learning Clinic enables all medical and dental students to learn and practice important practical medical skills and abilities.

Past Event: Schumann House

25 October 2013 – Schumann House

On a tour of the Schumann House's exhibition rooms, the visitors learned about the lives that Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck led up to their wedding and how they spent their first four years of marriage in this house. The many prominent visitors received a special mention, and anyone who was interested to know even more about the Schumanns' lives could learn about their parents and children. Particular emphasis lay on the present use of the House as an independent primary school for the arts, as well as on the work of the Robert and Clara Schumann Society Leipzig, founded in 1995. After the tour, the alumni had the opportunity to attend a concert in the Schumann House, held by students of the University of Music and Theatre Leipzig.

This tour was made possible with the kind support of the Society's chairman, Leipzig University alumnus Dr. Bernd Landmann.

Past Event: BIO CITY

16 October 2013 – BIO CITY

Dr. Svenne Eichler, CEO of the Centre for Biotechnology and Biomedicine and alumna of Leipzig University, provided our alumni with insights into the state of biotechnology in Saxony, the structure of BIO CITY, and her work at Leipzig University's Centre for Biotechnology and Biomedicine.

The beginning of the new millennium saw the city of Leipzig and Leipzig University deciding to promote biotechnology in Leipzig. The biotechnology campaign launched by the Free State of Saxony made this possible, and in 2003, BIO CITY was inaugurated at Deutscher Platz. Apart from Leipzig University's Centre for Biotechnology and Biomedicine, BIO CITY attracted startups and biotechnology companies. One of these companies is Vita 34 AG. In the company's Glass Laboratory, the alumni could observe the processing and preservation process of cord blood.

Past Event: Onomastics

25 July 2013 – Onomastics

In late July, Alumni Exclusive organised an event that provided our alumni with insights into the diverse tasks of name researchers. They learnt about the different steps of a scientific name analysis, using their own last names as examples.

The study of names has a long and distinguished tradition in Leipzig. Today, Leipzig University's Centre of Onomastics combines onomastics teaching, research and name consulting. The Centre teaches students (who can study onomastics as an elective subject), publishes the magazine "Onomastic Information" and the series "Onomastics Lipsiensia", and advises anyone in need of name consulting (usually place names and personal names). This is the part of the Centre's work that is most easily perceived by the public.

Past Event: Art in the new Augusteum

3 July 2013 – Art in the new Augusteum

In July 2013, the tour "A Dialogue between Modern Architecture and Historical Art" led the alumni through the new Augusteum's foyer and onto the Leibniz forum, where art objects illustrated all eras of the University's history, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, bringing to mind important scientists, scholars and students.

Six frescoes in a corridor connecting the Main Building to the Lecture Hall Building are the last structural remnants of the mediaeval Dominican monastery, having witnessed the University's early days. The frescoes were painted around 1500 and constitute the biggest series of mediaeval mural art in Saxony. In the northern part of the foyer, at the Paulinum's southern wall, sixteen grave slabs dating back to the period from the 16th to the 18th century illustrate the fates of University staff and important citizens of Leipzig. The "Schinkel Gate" is the sole remnant of the classical main building ("Augusteum") designed by A. Geutebrück. Other artefacts reminding the viewer of University buildings from the 19th century are sculptor Ernst Rietschel's "Regents' Virtues" (personifications of gentleness, piety, justice and wisdom) as well as three marble busts by Hermann Knaur and Carl Seffner, which portray the University's most famous students: Leibniz, Lessing and Goethe.

Past Event: Leipzig Music Trail

20 June 2013 – Leipzig Music Trail

The initiator of the Leipzig Music Trail, Professor Dr. Werner Schneider, took our alumni on a tour, exploring parts of the Music Trail. The participants were inspired by Mendelssohn's study, Schumann's favourite inn and Wagner's hall, letting the creative atmosphere work its magic at the authentic sites where the artists lived and worked.

The "Leipzig Music Trail" links the most important homes and workplaces of famous Leipzig-based composers with a visually highlighted guide system in the city centre. It has a length of 5.3 km and can be explored on foot.

Past Event: Krystallpalast Varieté

25 April 2013 – Krystallpalast Varieté

In April, more than 30 alumni got an up-close experience in the Krystallpalast Varieté: After a guided tour and conversations with alumni working at the variety show, they could enjoy the vivacious atmosphere of the show "Ladies' Room". International artists and a mixture of dance, artistry, songs, comedy and delicate humour enchanted and ensnared them.

The Krystallpalast was founded in 1882 as the first, biggest and most famous variety show of the city of Leipzig, but was destroyed in the Second World War. Since its re-opening in 1997, the Krystallpalast Varieté Leipzig is both a culture venue with a long tradition and a place of modern variety shows. With its international shows changing every two to three months, the Krystallpalast is known well beyond the city limits.

Past Event: Anatomy Teaching Collection

15 April 2013 – Anatomy Teaching Collection

Preparator Christine Feja gave our visitors a tour of the Collection and taught them something about the anatomy of human organ systems. With the help of drawings, explanations and models, the alumni learnt a lot about the human body as well as the preparation techniques used.

The Collection has a long tradition. The oldest macroscopic specimens can be dated back to 1870. The Collection's hayday was in the late 19th century when Wilhelm His was its director (1872–1904) and when valuable wet specimens were created. The bombing of the institute on 4 December 1943 destroyed many exhibits. It was 57 years later in 2000 that the Teaching Collection was reconstructed and could be re-opened.

Past Event: University Orchestra

26 November 2012 – Blowing their trumpets

Visiting the University Orchestra made up of around 100 musicians provided our alumni with insights into rehearsals. They also had the opportunity to talk to the musicians themselves.

Leipzig's University Orchestra was founded in October 2003 as an orchestra for students and has quickly developed into a classical symphony orchestra. The University Orchestra enjoys the support of the MDR symphony orchestra. Rehearsals, for example, take place in the MDR studios, among other places.

Past Event: Alumni Exclusive in Pongoland

26 October 2012 – Wolfgang Köhler Primate Research Center

In October, our alumni learnt why the Wolfgang Köhler Primate Research Center studies the cognitive skills of great apes and how researchers can test what our nearest relatives know and understand about their fellow apes, various inanimate objects, the concept of time etc. They heard about differences and common features of chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos, the way their social groups work, what their daily routine looks like, and what all this has to do with the evolution of human cognitive skills.

The Wolfgang Köhler Primate Research Center is a project of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in collaboration with the Leipzig Zoo. Researchers and students from Leipzig University and other universities around the world conduct their research projects at the Center, guided by its staff.

Past Event: Alumni Exclusive in the Museum of Classical Antiquities

8 August 2012 – Enjoying Colour. The New Antiquity

The special exhibition "Enjoying Colour. The New Antiquity" in the Museum of Classical Antiquities cast a spell over our alumni in August. The exhibition showed historical and newer colourful reconstructions of ancient sculptures and reliefs borrowed from renowned archaeological collections and museums from Germany and from abroad, complemented by in-house exhibits.

The cabinet exhibition's point of departure is the way that ancient sculptures look today: plain white marble and the dark patina of corroded bronze. However, ancient written sources and archaeological findings never left a doubt that ancient sculptures used to be richly hued. The exhibition and its 17 striking examples show how classical archaeologists imagine the "new" colourful, vivid antiquity, based on practical experiments.

Past Event: Alumni Exclusive in the Botanical Garden

18 July 2012 – Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden tour invited our alumni to go on a tour of the vegetation regions of our planet and discover a variety of plants on the way.

The main focus was on the summer exhibition "Millet, Rice and Soybean ... Plants That (Not Only) Feed the World." The tour of both greenhouses and open land showed that plants offer far more than just nutrients: They are the basis of clothing, construction material, toys, herbal remedies, cosmetics, packaging, fuels, spices and much more.

With its vast collections of plants, Leipzig Botanical Garden provides students and researchers with material for teaching and studying as well as with plant material for research. At the same time, its treasures are open to the increasingly interested public.

Past Event: Alumni Exclusive in the Museum of Musical Instruments

23 May 2012 – In Search of the Perfect Tone

The newly renovated Grassi Museum with its Museum of Musical Instruments hosted the second Alumni Exclusive event in 2012.

The tour of one of the biggest collections of musical instruments in the world gave an overview on masterpieces built in Leipzig workshops of the Bach age and the unique keyboard instruments that used to belong to the inventor of the piano, Bartolomeo Cristofori. The alumni were in awe of the museum's numerous treasures and learnt about curiosities of instrument construction in five centuries.

Past Event: Alumni Exclusive in the University Archive

18 April 2012 – Historical treasures

University history can be fascinating – that is what Alumni Exclusive set out to prove to its guests with a tour of the University Archive. The Archive is one of the biggest European university archives and holds about 7,000 linear metres of files and roughly 2,000 documents, spanning the time from the University's foundation in 1409 to today. The collection also contains film footage and photos illustrating the University’s history.

During the tour of the University's historical treasure chamber, anecdotes of 600 years of University history were related, and selected originals were presented to the alumni. The tour brought back memories of the alumni's own years of study as well – after all, the Archive stores study documents from every faculty.

Past Event: Alumni Exclusive in the Paulinum/new Augusteum

19 October and 2 November 2011 – Tours

In autumn 2011, we allowed our alumni a unique glimpse into the interior of the new main building at Augustusplatz, the new Augusteum, and into the much-discussed "Paulinum. Auditorium – University Church of St. Paul." The Paulinum combines an assembly hall with a worship room and reminds the onlooker of the University Church that was dynamited in 1968. Its grand opening is planned to take place in 2013.

The heart of the campus – the Paulinum – sparked such interest that an additional event had to be organised.

Past Event: Alumni Exclusive in the Egyptian Museum

2 August 2011 – Death Cult in Ancient Egypt

In every museum exhibiting ancient Egyptian objects, findings in connection with tombs occupy a very special position. This might present a problem, because the viewer might lose sight of the objects' real-life background. One very promising way to overcome this difficulty and to increase visitors' understanding of the historical circumstances is the subject of Egyptian anthropology. It covers both small objects, such as vessels and vases from the 3rd millennium BC, and big memorials like the elaborately decorated wooden coffin of Hedbastiru. Social differentiation and chronological developments are the two main axes of approach towards the actual meaning of objects in their time.

5 July 2011 – Ancient Egyptian Art

The beginning of ancient Egyptian culture can be dated back to the early 4th millennium BC with an impressive series of objects that show skilled craftsmanship. In contrast to this continuity in time, there are a number of breaks whose details are not sufficiently clear and that were put up for discussion during the tour. The University collection of the "Egyptian Museum Georg Steindorff" allows the viewer to follow Egypt's historical development up to the early Islamic period. The specific characteristics of ancient Egypt and the common features it shares with both ancient and modern concepts of art are illustrated using selected objects.

last update: 29.08.2017 


Leipzig Alumni
(German Alumni)

Nina Mewes
Ritterstraße 26
04109 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-35036
Fax: +49 341 97-35009

Leipzig Alumni International
(International Alumni)

Ulrike Renker


If you wish to participate in a FOR and WITH alumni (Alumni Exclusive) event, please commit to it by getting in touch