The university's Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and the Robert Bosch Stiftung of Stuttgart, Germany, have announced the creation of the Richard von Weizsacker Professorship at SAIS, in honor of the Federal Republic of Germany's sixth president.
Former President von Weizsacker will visit SAIS today for the formal inauguration of the professorship, which will be held by Daniel Hamilton, director of the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations.
"The Richard von Weizsacker Professorship honors the accomplishments and insight of one of Germany's great democratic leaders," said Heiner Gutberlet, chairman of the board of trustees of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, upon announcing the award. "We are also proud to deepen our association with Johns Hopkins University and with SAIS, which has a distinguished tradition of scholarship and has made many contributions to greater transatlantic understanding."
Dieter Berg, the executive director of the foundation, added, "In these days it is more important than ever to strengthen the transatlantic dialogue. We will contribute to further intensify the relationship between our nations and in particular their citizens."
Jessica Einhorn, dean of SAIS, said, "This award from the Robert Bosch Stiftung provides international recognition and much-needed support for a program vital to building understanding of European-American relations. We at SAIS have huge admiration for Dan Hamilton's outstanding achievements in creating and fostering the center. We are honored to have Richard von Weizsacker's name associated in such a meaningful way with SAIS."
Upon learning of the award, former President von Weizsacker said, "It is a great honor for me and a significant token of the deeply founded German-American friendship. Due to the generosity of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and Johns Hopkins SAIS, young Americans will have the chance to learn more about the ongoing process of European integration representing a political and economic landmark in the globalizing world."
"It is a tremendous honor to be associated with an individual as distinguished as Richard von Weizsacker," said Hamilton, who also serves as executive director of the American Consortium on European Union Studies, a collaborative effort between Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, George Washington, George Mason and American universities to advance greater understanding of the European Union in the nation's capital and beyond.
"Richard von Weizsacker has always challenged Europeans and Americans to stand by the values they profess, and to recognize their common responsibility to address broader global challenges that no nation can confront effectively alone," he said. "Our center has exactly this mandate, and we will work hard to live up to the high standards implied by an association with President von Weizsacker."
The Robert Bosch Stiftung has provided core funding for the new professorship, and SAIS is committed to securing further funding to sustain the position. The model is the Steven Muller Development Professor of German Studies at SAIS's European campus in Bologna, Italy. That professorship also was inaugurated with core funding from the Robert Bosch Stiftung.