The Hans-Raffée Alumni Networking Preis

Encouraging young students to step outside their personal and academic comfort zone and open themselves up to the wider world around them was not just part of Hans Raffée’s work as Professor of Business Administration at Mannheim, it was something that defined him as a person. Professor Hans Raffée, founding and honorary president of ABSOLVENTUM MANNHEIM, who died last year aged 91, was regarded by his peers as one of Germany’s foremost marketing experts. His knowledge, dedication, and extraordinary personality left their mark on generations of Mannheim students.

The University of Mannheim’s Business School, President’s Office and alumni network ABSOLVENTUM held a symposium in his memory in the university’s Aula. The evening began with a welcome address by Professor Thomas Puhl, President of the University of Mannheim. Professor Puhl shared anecdotes of how Hans Raffée treated his students as a teacher, scholar, and human being. He drew particular attention to Raffée’s holistic worldview and ability to synthesize religion, culture, science, and entrepreneurship into a single whole. “Fundraising is friendraising” was Hans Raffée’s motto, according to Puhl, as well as a founding principle of the successful Mannheim alumni network. 

To ensure that Hans Raffée’s legacy lives on, the University of Mannheim and ABSOLVENTUM MANNHEIM are launching the Hans Raffée Alumni Networking Prize. The aim of the prize is to raise awareness throughout Germany of extraordinary contributions made to or by alumni networks. The winner will receive EUR 10,000 in prize money, which can be used for alumni networking activities. This amount can in principle be divided among multiple winners and is provided by the Heinrich Vetter Foundation, ABSOLVENTUM MANNHEIM, the Karin & Carl-Heinrich Esser Foundation, and the Friends of the University of Mannheim. Only German alumni networks are eligible for the prize. Nominations can be submitted by university bodies, student unions, or members of alumni networks based in Germany.  

Text: Aileen Hope Sherrill / October 2022