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Wolfgang Jäger celebrates his 80th birthday

Warmest congratulations from the University of Freiburg

Freiburg, Aug 20, 2020

Wolfgang Jäger celebrates his 80th birthday

Wolfgang Jäger. Photo: Patrick Seeger

On the occasion of his 80th birthday on 24th August 2020 the University of Freiburg sends its former rector, the political scientist Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Jäger, its warmest congratulations. Speaking on behalf of the university and the Rectorate, Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer said, “Wolfgang Jäger took crucial decisions that set the course for the university’s successful development, and as the longest-standing rector to date brought great contributions to the University of Freiburg. Our thanks and our tribute go along with our best wishes for his future,” says Schiewer.

Jäger held the post of rector at the University of Freiburg from 1995 to 2008. One of the greatest successes of his period in office was the University of Freiburg’s inclusion in the group of nine leading German universities in the first rounds of the Excellence Initiative between 2007 and 2012. Another high point was the celebrations of the 550th anniversary of the foundation of the university in 2007. Attended by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, the anniversary was also the occasion for honorary senator Prof. Dr. Horst Weitzmann together with his wife to lay the foundation stone for the new university foundation (NUS), funded with the aid of a donation of one million euros. Other milestones also included the development of the Faculty of Engineering, the erection of a memorial to the victims of Nazism in Kollegiengebäude (KG) I, the opening of the Uniseum, the establishment of the International Graduate Academy (IGA), and extensive structural renovations including of the large lecture rooms in KG I, of the Audimax and the Peterhof Cellar.

For his achievements Jäger received many awards and honors. He is a Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes Académiques, one of France’s highest distinctions for contributions to French education. In addition, he received the Medal of Merit of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg and the Federal Cross of Merit First Class, the Pope conferred on him the Order of St. Gregory the Great, while the European Cultural Foundation honored Jäger with the European Science and Culture Award. In thanks for his many years’ support for the Walter Eucken Institut he received the Walter Eucken Medal in 2015. Jäger has honorary doctorates from the University of Grigore T. Popa Iasi, Romania, the University of Montreal, Canada, and the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Federal State parliament has elected him four times to be a judge on the Baden-Württemberg constitutional tribunal, on which Jäger has sat since 1988. He is also an honorary citizen of Freiburg im Breisgau and the Romanian city of Iasi.

Wolfgang Jäger comes from Niedereschach in the Black Forest. He studied political science, history and ancient philology in Munich, Freiburg and London, UK. From 1974 until he became an emeritus in 2008 he held the Chair of Comparative Governmental Teaching at the University of Freiburg. Over the course of his career he declined invitations to move to the universities of Cologne, Tübingen and Mainz. His research interests include political parties, media and politics, the history and political system of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the political system of the USA.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Jäger
Department of Political Science
University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 761 203-3468


Press photos for download
Photo: Patrick Seeger