As the words “Berliner Verbund” were spoken by Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek announcing the winners of the Excellence Strategy competition, the recipient names which followed were already drowned by exuberant cheers. The four leaders of the alliance partners jumped from their seats, congratulated each other, and then enthusiastically and appreciatively waved to the guests in the room. After all, they knew the audience was made up of people who had diligently worked together with them for this moment for just over three years. They had all come together that Friday evening, 19 July 2019, at Urania Berlin, to watch the live stream of the press conference held by the Wissenschaftsrat, Federal Ministry, and German Research Foundation in Bonn. Nothing more stood in the way of popping the champagne.
“Finally, it is happening to me,” “ We will, we will rock you!” and “We are the champions.” Several hundred Berlin university members, from the Executive Board to students, exuberantly sang, clapped and danced to music hits to fit the occasion at the party at Urania. These tracks were played by special DJs and DJanes, with the turntables featuring numerous VIPs including, Günter M. Ziegler, president of Freie Universität Berlin; Professor Dr. Angela Ittel, vice president of Technische Universität Berlin; Karl Max Einhäupl, former CEO of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin; and Berlin State Secretary for Higher Education and Research Steffen Krach.
If you would like to see what else the big party celebrating the Excellence award had to offer, read our review “Party of Four”.