Washington, D.C. – The BMW Center for German and European Studies in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Over the past two decades, the BMW Center has established itself as the premier Center of its kind in the United States.
The Center was founded in 1990 as one of three North American "Centers of Excellence," each supported by a 10-year grant from the German government. At the end of the decade, BMW AG's $10 million endowment gift secured the Center's fundamental mission -- to educate future generations of transatlantic leaders.
"The decision 20 years ago to create a set of demanding academic degree programs with the original gift from the German government has paid dividends beyond all expectations,” said Jeff Anderson, director of the Center. “The BMW Center has become a magnet for talented young people seeking to deepen their understanding of Europe and to integrate that knowledge with practical skills. At the same time, the Center has generated strong impulses at Georgetown and within Washington, D.C. that have, in no small way, helped to maintain and even strengthen transatlantic ties during challenging times."
Highlights of the past 10 years include:
• Nurturing and sustaining the transatlantic dialogue. Hosted prominent speakers such as the future Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, in 2003
• Hosting the Herbert Quandt Distinguished Lecture series. Notable presenters have included U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2004 and Hans-Dietrich Genscher, former foreign minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, in 2009
• Fostering graduate student research through the annual Graduate Student Conference and the yearly Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar in conjunction with the German Historical Institute
• Hosting two distinguished visiting professorships: the Konrad Adenauer Visiting Professor and the Prince of Asturias Distinguished Professor in Spanish Studies
"The BMW Center is a shining example of what can be accomplished with strong external support, creativity and commitment from university administration and faculty, and the determined efforts of gifted students,” said Carol Lancaster, dean of the School of Foreign Service. “The Center's next 20 years promise to be every bit as exciting and distinguished as the first."
“We are very proud to be a long-standing partner of Georgetown University,” said Dr. Norbert Reithofer, CEO and chair of BMW AG. “I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the university on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the BMW Center and I wish [the Center] continued success in further promoting research and intercultural understanding between American and German scholars.”
The Center is hosting several events to celebrate its 20th anniversary, as well as an academic conference in October to mark the occasion of the 20th anniversary of German unification.
About Georgetown University
Georgetown University is the oldest and largest Catholic and Jesuit university in America, founded in 1789 by Archbishop John Carroll. Georgetown today is a major student-centered, international, research university offering respected undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in Washington, DC, Doha, Qatar and around the world. For more information about Georgetown University, visit www.georgetown.edu.