Jena University will be celebrating its 450th jubilee in 2008. If you ask yourself what has shaped the university and kept it so vital throughout the centuries, you can sum it up in one word borrowed from its name patron Friedrich Schiller: "Lichtgedanken". Its innovative potential, i. e. questioning and thinking along unconventional paths, has given the university the strength to perpetuate continual self-renewal and self-assertiveness.

A jubilee is always a good occasion to look back on past achievements. So I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the development and growth of the university - the employees and staff of the faculties and administration, students and alumni, as well as dedicated townspeople, who supported and continue to support "their" university in both word and deed.

I hope for such a successful and creative cooperation for us all also in the future, because last but not least, a jubilee is a good occasion to consciously look ahead. For this reason, the University sees itself in tough competition for the best minds. To ensure that in the future "Lichtgedanken" can blossom and bear fruit at the Friedrich Schiller University, the University accepts the challenge. In the not-so-distant future, this idea should help the University to become one of the best European universities. Everyone who helps to pave the way and open the doors should be thanked now.

The jubilee year is at the intersection of historical and future "Lichtgedanken". However, the multifaceted programme offers not only the chance to look back and ahead, but also to celebrate the present. Accordingly, the Friedrich Schiller University cordially invites you to faculty open houses, lecture series, concerts and commemorative events in 2008. We are looking forward to the opportunity to welcome you as our guest. I would also like to thank all the students and staff in the faculties and administration who through their hard work and dedication have made this programme possible in the first place.

During this jubilee year, let us look to Schiller's "Gunst des Augenblicks" to gather strength for the future by looking at the past and the present of the Friedrich Schiller University.


Prof. Dr. Klaus Dicke