Founders Day 2010: EUR 70,000 for research and teaching

"Paths to the Future: Endowing Knowledge" / Foundations present a variety of forms of social commitment


Civil society is increasingly in demand to allow German universities to compete for the best minds in the international competition. The private commitment of sponsors provides an essential contribution to top-class research and teaching at German universities. The Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation as well as the Founders Day 2010 are thus under the slogan "Paths to the Future: Endowing Knowledge." Fifteen foundations and the umbrella foundation have provided a total of approximately €70,000 for research and teaching projects at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Eleven of them use the Founders Day 2010 to award their prizes to young scientists and provide a demonstration of the variety of topics and forms of sponsorship at the university.

Top research on the one hand, the qualification of intelligent minds on the other - these core tasks make universities the motor of a knowledge-based economic and cultural area. However, universities are increasingly unable to provide all the necessary services due to tight financial constraints. They are therefore increasingly dependent on private initiatives and investments. For this reason, the Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation was established in late 2004 under the patronage of the Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate. This umbrella foundation gives private persons as well as institutions and companies several options for unbureaucratic and efficient commitment as founder.

"A foundation does not require a large fortune. Small foundation contributions can also add up to a large effect for education and science, and will improve the future potential of our country," declares the Chairman of the Board of the University Foundation, Dr. h.c. Klaus Adam, on the occasion of the Founders Day 2010. "It would be particularly satisfying if the Founders Day would inspire others to follow the examples present today or to contribute to one of the existing foundations."

The Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation allows founders to permanently support very specific projects in research, teaching, learning, continuing education, and artistry according to their individual aims and desires. Mainz University is the sixth-largest university in Germany, with more than 35,000 students and 3,800 scientists in more than 150 institutes and clinics and an attractive spectrum of projects in all disciplines.

Preserve knowledge - transfer knowledge - create knowledge

This year's support of the Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation goes to an interdisciplinary project that provides particular support to research in the humanities and social sciences. The Foundation has provided approximately €15,000 that have made it possible to buy a book scanner for the central library of JGU. "The University Library is pleased to be now able to offer all library users the possibility of easy and comfortable scanning of books and magazines that ensures gentle treatment of the originals and allows for the complete usage of the templates - in accordance with the regulations for personal scientific purposes," declares Dr. Andreas Anderhub, Managing Director of the University Library of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. "This makes access to information as well as its handling much easier for students. We thank the Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation that allowed us to provide this additional value-adding service to our scientists." The purchase of the book scanner significantly improves the infrastructure for research and teaching at JGU as well as the working conditions for students. All university members may use the book scanner during the entire opening time of the Central Library - 22 hours a day, 7 days a week -, whatever their subject is.

Besides the support through material expenses for equipment or research projects, founders also have the possibility to help with investments, for example in scholarships, graduate schools, or study periods abroad to support young scientists and talents. "A particular advantage of the umbrella foundation is that the founders can personally select and support theirs project and actively follow its progress," explains the President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Professor Dr. Georg Krausch. "Close contact with the scientists and students they support provides the founders with continuous feedback on the way the profits of their assets are used, allowing them to observe the development and the benefits of their contribution in the long term."

At present, 28 dependent foundations are administered by the Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation. The total assets of the Foundation amount to approximately €6 million. "The founders can decide the form of their contribution - such as participation by endowment, creation of a foundation fund, or creation of a dependent foundation - according to their personal preferences and means," says Götz Scholz, Chancellor of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and Chairman of the Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation. "The Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation makes donations easy and provides many advantages. Competent consultants support the foundation procedure and help with the necessary steps in cooperation with the authorities involved." The University Foundation also administrates the foundation and guarantees competent handling of its assets.

The following foundations have demonstrated exemplary commitment by awarding prizes at the Founders Day 2010 of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz: the Adolf Todt Foundation, the Alumni Foundation of Mainz Journalists, the Blanke Foundation, the Karl Gückinger Foundation, the Philipp Haupt - Dr. Gisela Spennemann-Haupt Foundation, the Prof. Dr. med. Lothar Diethelm Commemoration Foundation, the Professor Dr. Friedrich Schubel Foundation, the Sibylle Kalkhof-Rose Foundation, the Gemstone and Deposit Research Foundation, the Sulzmann Foundation, and the Susanne Marie Sofie Haufen Foundation.