The "Bene Merenti" Medal of Honour in Gold, Silver or Bronze is awarded for special services to the University of Würzburg. As agreed by the University's Board of Government on 26 March 2012, the list below includes all living awardees as well as those awardees that died no more than ten years ago.
"Bene Merenti" in Gold
(number in brackets indicates the year in which the Medal was awarded)
Prof. Dr. Eva-Bettina Bröcker (2014)
Professor of Dermatology and Venereology at the University of Würzburg since 1991. Between 1992 and 2011, Eva-Bettina Bröcker was Director of the University Skin Clinic. Her research there focused on melanoma and the treatment thereof. Bröcker had a considerable share in helping the Skin Cancer Centre achieve accreditation and having the Centre incorporated into the Comprehensive Cancer Centre Mainfranken. Between 1998 and 2011, she was part of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Clinical Research (IZKF), and in 2002, she became a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Since 2011, Bröcker has been a member of the university council for the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Heber (2014)
Professor at the University of Würzburg's Julius von Sachs Institute since 1979. Ulrich Heber was a co-founder of and the driving force behind the DFG (German Research Foundation) research unit "Ecophysiology." This unit evolved into the DFG Collaborative Research Centre Ökologie, Physiologie und Biochemie pflanzlicher Leistung unter Stress (ecology, physiology and biochemistry of plant performance under stress) which Heber headed for several years. One of the pioneers of ecosystem research, Heber was a visiting professor in this field at institutions all around the world, including Russia, Japan, France, Estonia and England.
Prof. Dr. Heinrich Hettrich (2014)
Holder of the Chair of Comparative Linguistics at the University of Würzburg since 1989. Between 1996 and 2008, Heinrich Hettrich was a Member of the Board of the Society for Indo-European Studies and editor of the Society's journal "Kratylos." Hettrich was very active not only as a reviewer for universities and scientific organisations in Europe and the US but also in academic self-government - in his final term as Dean, he made a significant contribution to merging the Faculties of Philosophy I and II and the Faculty of Geosciences to form the new Faculty of Philosophy I.
Prof. Dr. Hans Konrad Müller-Hermelink (2014)
Holder of the Chair of General Pathology and Pathological Anatomy since 1985 and Head of the Institute until 2009. During this time, he launched numerous research initiatives, one of the most important of which is the Interdisciplinary Centre for Clinical Research (IZKF). After his retirement in 2009, he became Wissenschaftsdirektor (scientific director) of the Medical Faculties of the Universities of Kiel and Lübeck. Hans Konrad Müller-Hermelink had a considerable share in earning the University of Würzburg national and international acclaim in the field of biomedicine and made a significant contribution to ensuring that findings from experimental research are transferred to clinical practice as quickly as possible.
Prof. Dr. Dr. Otto Ludwig Lange (2014)
Professor at the Chair of Botany II and Director of the Botanical Garden of the University of Würzburg from 1967 until his retirement in 1992. Otto Ludwig Lange conducted research on the ecophysiology of lichens, the heat and drought resistance as well as water relations of wild and cultivated plants, and the effects of anthropogenic air pollution. In recognition of his merits as a researcher in the field of lichen ecology, a mountain in Antarctica was named after him in 1967 - this mountain is now called "Lange Peak."
Prof. Dr. Karl Eduard Linsenmair (2014)
Holder of the Chair of Animal Ecology at the Institute of Zoology at the University of Würzburg. Karl Eduard Linsenmair played an important part in establishing and promoting tropical biology and biodiversity studies both in Germany and all across Europe. At a time when he was the only biologist on the Nationalkomitee für Global Change Forschung (National Committee for Global Change Research), Linsenmair made a decisive contribution to the development of the concept for the BIOLOG-BIOTA programme by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. He was also head of BIOTA-West, a programme aimed at solving concrete problems on the continent of Africa by applying findings from basic research in ecology. Through these contacts, Linsenmair helped Würzburg's Faculty of Biology earn its excellent reputation.
Prof. Dr. Horst Brunner (2013)
Holder of the Chair of German Philology at the University of Würzburg since 1981. Horst Brunner was Dean and Vice Dean of the former Faculty of Philosophy II and a member of the University's Senate. In addition to this, he was a long-term active member of various other committees. His research covers the German language and literature from its early days up until the 18th century as well as the history of German language and literature as an academic discipline. His work focuses on medieval and early modern German literature. One of the major research projects initiated and supervised by Horst Brunner is the Repertorium der Sangsprüche und Meisterlieder des 12. bis 18. Jahrhunderts (Repertory of texts and poetry of the Meistersingers of the 12th-18th centuries) published in 16 large-sized volumes.
Prof. Dr. Werner Goebel (2013)
Holder of the newly-created Chair of Microbiology at the University of Würzburg between 1974 and 2007, Werner Goebel has been a highly successful researcher in the field of medical microbiology. His groundbreaking works on a toxic protein (hemolysin) secreted by the bacterium Escherichia coli opened up an area of research that has been inextricably linked with his name ever since: the investigation of the molecules involved in bacterial pathogenesis. As part of a European consortium, Goebel helped decipher the genome of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes between 1997 and 2000.
Prof. Dr. Elmar Klinger (2013)
Elmar Klinger held the Chair of Fundamental Theology and Comparative Religious Studies at the University of Würzburg between 1976 and 2006 and was Dean of the Faculty of Catholic Theology between 1993 and 1995. He was a member of the Senate between 2004 and 2006. Between 1997 and 2002, he supervised the research project Partnerschaftsarbeit der Kirche in Deutschland und in Peru. 30 Jahre Pastoral in Cajamarca (Work on Partnership of the Church in Germany and in Peru. 30 Years of Pastoral in Cajamarca), and between 1998 and 2002, he was the first spokesman of the Graduate School Wahrnehmung der Geschlechterdifferenz in religiösen Symbolsystemen (Perception of Gender Differences in Religious Symbol Systems) that was funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation). Between 2006 and 2009, Klinger supervised another DFG-funded research project: Melchior Cano – De locis theologicis. Textkritische Edition des lateinischen Textes und deutsche Übersetzung (Melchior Cano – De locis theologicis. Text-critical Edition of the Latin Text and German Translation).
Prof. Dr. Franz-Ludwig Knemeyer (2012)
Having worked at the Chair of Constitutional and Administrative Law of Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg since 1970, Knemeyer made an important contribution to the field of administrative law by founding the Institute of Administrative Law. In particular, Franz-Ludwig Knemeyer encouraged an exchange with local government law by founding the Kommunalwissenschaftliches Forschungszentrum Würzburg, a local government research centre, in 1978. In his capacity as Chairman of numerous associations and centres dedicated to this subject, he has strongly influenced the development of the same.
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Sinn (2012)
Ulrich Sinn has worked at the Chair of Classical Archaeolgy since 1994 and is also Head of the Department of Ancient Artifacts at the Martin von Wagner Museum. Estimated for both his research and his work in academic self-government, he is a well-regarded colleague. Ulrich Sinn served on examination committees, was a co-founder of the Teacher Training Centre (ZfL) and was Vice President of the University between 2003 and 2009.
Prof. Dr. Josef Stoer (2012)
Retired in 2010. Drawing on the years of research experience he had gained in the US, Josef Stoer established an excellent research environment in the field of mathematics at the University of Würzburg. A member of numerous associations, Stoer was committed to the subject of mathematics not only in a university context. He was also active in establishing computer science at the University of Würzburg.
Prof. Klaus Viktor Toyka (2012)
Worked at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg since 1989. Holder of the Chair of Neurology and Director of the University Clinic's Department of Neurology and Polyclinic for Neurology until 2010. His research in the field of neuroimmunological disorders earned the University of Würzburg international acclaim. On 28 September 2005, Klaus Toyka became a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Klaus Toyka was also a patron of the University in general and of the arts in particular.
Renate Schülke-Schmitt (2012) †
Holder of a degree in Jurisprudence, she had been part of the University Clinic's administrative service from 1988 until she resigned as Director in 2011. While active in the Clinic's administration and management, she worked towards multifaceted organisational cooperation and helped create positive framework conditions for clinical research and projects in the area of medicine. She deserves special recognition for her work on state and national committees, for example as a Member of the Board of the Verband der Universitätsklinika Deutschlands (Association of University Clinics in Germany).
Holder of the Chair of Special Education from 1976 to 1992, with a special interest in education for people with learning disabilities. As the first holder of this Chair, he realised pioneering achievements: he established this subject, which had yet to enjoy any kind of university tradition in Germany, and profiled it in the University’s teaching and training curricula. Owing to his dedication, Special Education became firmly rooted in Würzburg alongside conventional teacher training. Thanks to Möckel, Special Education in Würzburg achieved nationwide visibility and impact.
Holder of the Chair of Bible Studies and Auxiliary Biblical Sciences at the Faculty of Catholic Theology from 1972 to 2004. Müller is regarded as one of the most renowned experts in Early Jewish Apocalypticism. During his time at the University he was responsible for the academic publication on the so-called “Judensteine aus der Pleich” – with more than 1500 artifacts, this is the world’s largest collection of gravestones and gravestone fragments from a Jewish cemetery dating back to the Middle Ages. Another highlight of Müller’s tenure was the Ecumenical and Inter-Faith Dialog.
Professor of Experimental Transplantation Immunology at the Surgical Clinic I from 1994 to 2010. Karin Ulrichs was also particularly dedicated to the advancement of women, working as the Women’s Representative for the Faculty of Medicine. She was determined to help female academics to achieve a balance between their family life and their work and to enjoy equal opportunities, especially in advancing their careers. To this end, she enthusiastically took on additional duties, which included participating in the University’s mentoring programs.
Director of the Medical Polyclinic from 1982 to 2004. Wilms was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and spent six years on the Science Council. Between 1991 and 1994 he helped to set up the Faculty of Medicine at Dresden University of Technology as a member of the Founding Committee. He received the Faculty of Medicine’s Albert Kölliker Teaching Award in 2004, and the Bayerischer Verdienstorden, a Bavarian Order of Merit, in 2005. In 2008, Wilms was the Founding Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Mainfranken, a combined cancer treatment and research facility.
Holder of the Chair of German Linguistics from 1976 until his retirement in 2008. He transformed the University into a centre for modern dialectology. He is also to thank for the development of the postgraduate degree programme in “Linguistic Information and Word Processing” as well as the postgraduate degree programme in “IT Philology”, which emerged from this in 2001. For ten years he ran the “General Studies” programme, from 1982 to 1984 he was the spokesman of the DFG research group “Prose from the Middle Ages in Germany”, and then until 1992 he acted as spokesman of the DFG Collaborative Research Centre “Knowledge-Organising and Knowledge-Communicating Literature in the Middle Ages”.
From 1995 to 2007, the University Clinic and the Faculty of Medicine counted among his responsibilities at the Bavarian State Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts. His term of office saw the construction and establishment of the Centers for Operative and Internal Medicine (ZOM and ZIM), and he was also instrumental in developing the concept of the Medical Campus in Würzburg's Grombühl district. He was an essential contributor to the success of medicine and the life sciences at Würzburg.
From 1996 to 2007, Professor Werner Schiedermair headed the Support Department for the University of Würzburg (excluding the Faculty of Medicine) and the Department of Endowment Management at the Bavarian State Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, his efforts on behalf of the University always driven by inexhaustible energy and professional expertise.
Chancellor of the University from 1992 to 2006, for services including his efforts to modernise the University's administrative organisation. Deeply committed to the restoration of the Old University and Neubaukirche, the university church, where he had a carillon installed upon completion of the restoration works, he also turned the university-owned forest of Forst Sailershausen into a modern and commercially profitable concern. For the installation of the carillon and the restoration of the Audimax, the main lecturing hall at Sanderring, he launched fundraising campaigns that made it possible to realise these projects.
Prof. Dr. Volker ter Meulen (2006), Professor of Clinical Virology and Immunobiology from 1975 to 2002, for his commitment to implementing cross-faculty concepts of research and teaching.
Prof. Dr. Ursula Brechtken-Manderscheid (2005), Professor of Mathematics since 1985, former Women's Representative, Vice President of the University from 2000 to 2003.
Prof. Dr. Jobst Böning (2005), Professor of Psychiatry from 1980 to 2005, Vice President of the University from 1994 to 2003.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Freericks (2005), Professor of Economics and Corporate Taxation from 1976 to 2006, Vice President of the University from 1995 to 2003.
Prof. Dr. Gottfried Landwehr (2003) †, Professor of Experimental Physics from 1968 to 1997. Due to his inspiration and initiative, the University established its internationally renowned Centre for Semiconductor Physics.
Prof. Dr. Horst Hagedorn (2003), Professor of Geography from 1971 to 2001, Vice President of the University from 1994 to 2000.
Lydia Wießler (2001), Member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Redeemer, previously active at the Medical Policlinic, for her commitment to nursing.
Gerasina Ruppert (2001), Member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Redeemer, previously active at the Medical Policlinic, for her commitment to nursing.
Wolfgang Schliffer (2000), Director of the University's Computer Centre from 1974 to 2001, for building an exemplary data processing and network structure.
Dipl.-Ing. Hermann Holtschke (1996) †, for his service to the University as Head of Technical Maintenance Services for newly-built Hubland Campus. In this capacity, he demonstrated great professional expertise and organisational skills as well as a very proactive and conscientious approach to work.
Alfred Przbylski (1995), Vice President of the University from 1982 to 1991.
Prof. Dr. Hans-Achim Müller (1995) †, Head of the Department for Applied Cytology at the Institute of Pathology. He was very active in academic self-government. For his merits in the field of cytology, he was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande, a German Order of Merit, in 1989.
Prof. Dr. Horst Kremling (1995), Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology from 1978 to 1985, Vice President of the University from 1976 to 1982.
Prof. Dr. Dr. Martin Lindauer (1995) †, Holder of the Chair of Animal Physiology (1973-1987). He was awarded the Bene Merenti Medal in Gold for his outstanding achievements both as a researcher in the field of experimental behavioural biology and sensory physiology and as a supporter of young scientists. In 1986, he was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz I. Klasse, a German Order of Merit.
Prof. Dr. Werner Uhlmann (1990) †, Professor of Statistics from 1965 to 1996, Rector of the University from 1969 to 1971.
Prof. Dr. Dieter Schäfer (1987), Honorary Professor of Economic Geography since 1977, CEO of the Würzburg-Schweinfurt Chamber of Industry and Commerce from 1965 to 1993, for his service to the University as member of the Associative Board of the Universitätsbund.
Dr. Dr. Hans Zimmermann (1980), Minsterialdirigent (ret.), for his service as long-term liaison of the University at the then Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture.
"Bene Merenti" in Silver
for his dedication to the partnership between the Universities of Padua and Würzburg as well as for German-Italian friendship. Giuseppe Zuccalà, born in 1925, lectured at the University of Padua for more than thirty years as a Professor of Criminal Law. There, in 1987, he was appointed the Rector’s Representative for relations with German-speaking universities. He deserves special praise for his services to the partnership with the University of Würzburg.
Worked at the University’s Institute of Slavonic Studies and Comparative Linguistics from 1972 until her death in 2009. She lectured in Serbo-Croat and Slovenian, Old Bulgarian Language and Literature as well as the Literary and Intellectual History of the Southern Slavs. She also organised guest lectures and DAAD exchange programmes with Sarajevo. She initiated joint ventures with cities including Ljubljana and Belgrade. In addition to her academic work, she also spent many years on academic self-administration committees.
Due to his outstanding scholarship in the field of German Linguistics, Professor Werner Wegstein's career is marked by extraordinary academic achievements. He designed the curriculum for Würzburg's IT Philology and provided decisive contributions to the conceptualisation of the corresponding postgraduate degree programmes. More than this, he was strongly committed to the self-government committees of the University, the professional association of non-habilitated teaching staff and to the support of guest students from abroad.
Chemical laboratory assistant at the Institute of Molecular Infection Biology. For her services towards establishing an electron microscopy department, together with the professors of the Chair of Zoology I. In addition, she has been working at the Institute as a network administrator since 1998 and is a co-organiser of conferences in the fields of Infection Research and Molecular Medicine. Her most valuable services to the University derive from her capacity as Building Commissioner: She supported the restoration of the structure at Röntgenring 11 and the implementation of plans to restore the Old Surgery building.
Dr. Gerhard Egert (2005), former Chief Academic Director of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, for his extraordinary efforts as Managing Director of the Faculty. He started to establish faculty administration in the 1970s and then went on to develop it into an exemplary instrument of academic self-government.
Prof. Erich Oetheimer (2001), Professeur d'Allemand, University of Caen, France, for his efforts on behalf of the university partnership between Caen and Würzburg, and the Franco-German friendship in general.
Peter Sedlacek (2000), Director of the Dean's Office of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Umea, Sweden, for his contributions to the Würzburg-Umea university partnership.
Franz Hain (1991) †, Chief Operating Officer (ret.) of the Institute of Physics, in recognition of long years of reliable service. Supervising experiments with outstanding technical and teaching expertise, he made a significant contribution to the training of students.
Dr. Roland Horster (1987), former Treasurer of the Universitätsbund, for his efforts in the Society of the Friends and Patrons of the University.
Dr. Walter Brod (1982) †, physician, long-term unsalaried head of the Institute of University and Student History and the History of Science, patron with close ties to the University. Among other donations, he endowed the university library with his unique collection of views of the City of Würzburg on permanent loan.
Franz Märtirer (1981) †, precision mechanic, in recognition of his exemplary and selfless performance of his duties at the Institute of Physics. Among other contributions, he developed experimental arrays for physicists and other researchers.
Karl Theodor Vogel (1977) †, Senior Publisher and Associate of Vogel-Medien GmbH & Co. KG, Würzburg, for his financial and non-financial support of the publication of scientific series.
"Bene Merenti" in Bronze
Spent 37 years in the International Office, which he also ran from 1981. He devoted a lot of his time to looking after foreign students at the University. He was very keen to make sure all parties got involved and worked together: Central Administration, Aliens Registration Authorities, Studentenwerk, Student Representation and Language Centre (ZfS). He transformed the International Office into the service organisation it is today for foreign guests.
Rudolf Wachter was part of the University's Central Administration from 1967 to 2008, with long terms at the Examination Office, the Human Resources Department, and at the Central Office (subsequently re-named Präsidialkanzlei and now operating as the Department of Central Services). During his long career, Rudolf Wachter acquired vast stores of detailed knowledge about the University, which won him his reputation as "the living encyclopedia of the University."
Marianne Peterek (1988) †, Assertive and committed, she spent 40 years working at the Administration Department of the University Clinic and Polyclinic for Dental, Oral and Maxillary Medicine.