Volkswagen Foundation – 50 Years

Festive ceremony at the German Historical Museum in Berlin on March 15, 2012. Foto: David Ausserhofer
Festive ceremony at the German Historical Museum in Berlin on March 15, 2012. Foto: David Ausserhofer

In 2012, the Volkswagen Foundation celebrates its 50th anniversary. For 50 years now the Foundation has dedicated its work to the support of the humanities and social sciences as well as science and technology in higher education and research. Since 1962, the Foundation has funded nearly 30,000 projects with a total of 4 billion euros.

Fifty years ago, in February 1962, the Volkswagen Foundation took up its work with the very first meeting of its Board of Trustees. To mark the occasion of its 50th anniversary the Foundation decided to realize a book production in cooperation with the “Photojournalism and Documentary Photography” department at the Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts. 20 young students of photography were invited to take a fresh look at the Foundation and its research funding activities. They enthusiastically launched into the task, using their cameras to create a picture of what modern research work entails and of the people and ideas that fill it with life.

The photos they brought back from visits to 37 researchers – as well as to the Foundation offices in Hanover – and the accompanying texts written by accomplished journalists join to form the anniversary book. It is entitled “Wir stiften Wissen – A Foundation of Knowledge”. Please have a look inside: http://www.volkswagenstiftung-50-jahre.de/media/jubilaeumsband/

Besides this publication, the Volkswagen Foundation arranged a two-day event in Berlin to celebrate its 50th anniversary. More than 400 guests accepted the invitation to attend the festive ceremony at the German Historical Museum in Berlin on March 15, 2012. The event included artistic contributions by the Namibian band Elemotho and the Armenian singer Narine Yeghiyan. On the second day, the Volkswagen Foundation hosted the International Symposium “Funding Knowledge Creation for the 21st Century” which took place at Schloss Bellevue. The picture gallery presents some impressions of both events.