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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Homecoming: German studies department celebrates Homecoming

    Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildca
    Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildcat Professor Albrecht Classen speaks to his Introduction to German Studies class in the learning services building on Thursday, Nov. 6. Kevin, please write a second sentence.

    The German studies department is celebrating the 100th Homecoming weekend by welcoming the College of Humanities’ Alumnus of the Year, Eric Baker, who graduated with a degree in German back in 1984, for a full afternoon of German-themed events on Friday.

    On Friday, Albrecht Classen, a professor in German studies, will present this year’s Collegiate Showcase lecture on “From the Past to the Future: Why is Germany Doing So Well Today?” in the Kiva Room of the Student Union Memorial Center at 2 p.m.. Classen will discuss why many countries are struggling with economics today, why Germany is faring better than most and how through the lens of Germany we can better understand the modern world.

    The department head of German studies, Barbara Kosta, said the department felt honored it was going to be featured in this year’s Homecoming. Kosta added she is looking forward to meeting Eric Baker when he is presented with the 2014 College of Humanities Alumnus of the Year award.

    “It’s a great opportunity to see what you can do with the [German studies] degree,” Kosta said.

    After graduating from the UA, Baker went on to earn his juris doctor from the James E. Roger’s College of Law and now works for Starbucks as head of corporate counsel for the Northeast Region.

    Benjamin Horn, vice president of the Deutscher Studenten Club and a senior studying German studies and biology, said he thought it was amazing to celebrate Homecoming at the UA simultaneously with the celebration of German reunification. Horn added that the significance of Homecoming is important to him because it is an event where individuals come together again under one banner to celebrate their reunion.

    “I look towards the good in history,” Horn said. “There will always be shadows over history that we must remember back on as they shape who we are, but they should not control us.”

    Horn said what drew him to study German was his great-grandfather, who was from Frankfurt, Germany. But before Horn could learn to formulate sentences in German, his great-grandfather died, taking with him a piece of family history, as no one else in his family spoke German. It wasn’t until Horn’s sophomore year at the UA that he signed up for German and became fascinated by the advances Germany had made in the medical field.

    “This past summer, I volunteered in Heidelberg, Germany, at a cancer clinic to gather data for my research on palliative care,” Horn said. ”The calm and open environment drew me in and pushes me to want to study medicine in Germany.”

    Following the lecture at the student union, the department welcomes everyone to come to the Poetry Center for coffee, strudel and conversation at 3:30 p.m. The event is free, and students from the School of Music will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Kaffeekantate.” German students will also present a display of German-inspired poetry.

    The department will host a reception of German-inspired food and drinks on the patio of Cafe Passé on Fourth Avenue at 6 p.m.. Tickets may be purchased at the College of Humanities website with prices starting at $15, but students can attend for free.

    “I want people to reflect not only about where they are today and the freedoms that they possess, but also where we are going,” Horn said. “We always have a choice to make, and when we come together as a group, it only takes one voice to make a difference and begin anew.”


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