The HCA is a central academic facility of the University of Heidelberg with its financial support coming from a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP). Without the continual support and patronage of dedicated benefactors the founding and continuous operation of the HCA would not have been possible. The HCA is sincerely grateful for the generosity of many individuals, corporations, and institutions. Donations from these benefactors not only enabled the institutional development of the HCA in general, but also provided several scholarships for the Master of Arts in American Studies (MAS) and Ph.D. programs, as well as funding for conferences.
The paramount patron of American Studies at Heidelberg University, Honorary Senator Curt Engelhorn and his wife Heidemarie have recently made a fresh long-term commitment to the HCA. Over a period of ten years they will provide 400,000 EUR annually to support the Center.
Curt Engelhorn has left his mark on our region. In 1955, he joined the pharmaceutical family business of C.F. Boehringer & Söhne GmbH, later called Boehringer Mannheim. Between 1966 and 1997 Engelhorn transformed the company from a medium-sized manufacturer of therapeutics to a leading global producer of health care products. By selling the company to La Roche in 1997, he managed to secure both its solid position in world markets as well as 10,000 jobs in Germany.
For decades, Curt Engelhorn has earned recognition as a major benefactor of the Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar, supporting the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim as well as the study of the United States at Heidelberg University. Due to his consistent promotion of the Schurman Library for American History, the endowment of the Curt Engelhorn Chair for American History, and his assiduous assistance to the HCA, Heidelberg can now pride itself to be the premier location for American Studies in Baden Württemberg. The Engelhorns’ generosity also finds expression in the Curt and Heidemarie Engelhorn Palais, an elegant eighteenth-century Bürger Palais within a stone’s throw of University Square, which was acquired by the Engelhorn family and kindly entrusted to the HCA on a rent-free basis for ten years.
Throughout his life, Curt Engelhorn, whose mother was American, maintained a special relationship to the United States. From 1947 to 1952, he lived in the U.S., where he studied chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. During his entire professional career he continually engaged himself in American politics, culture, society, and history. Curt Engelhorn is convinced that the tremendous challenges of the twenty-first century warrant close cooperation between the world’s most reliable and robust democratic regions on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Ladenburg Foundation has constitutively contributed to the development of the HCA from its very inception. It is represented by Dr. Martin Bussmann, a Trustee of the Mannheim Trust in New York.
Dr. Bussmann spent 15 years in the healthcare and chemical industries, at Knoll AG, Abbott Laboratories, and BASF AG, both in Europe and in the United States. Dr. Bussmann studied law at the universities of Frankfurt, Freiburg, Lausanne, and Heidelberg. In 1977, he was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School. In 1978 he received his Dr. juris. utriusque degree from the University of Heidelberg.
Both the Schurman Association for the Advancement of American Studies at Heidelberg University and the Schurman Foundation are named after Heidelberg Alumnus Jacob Gould Schurman, U.S. ambassador to Germany from 1925 to 1930. During his tenure, Schurman convinced numerous of his fellow countrymen to donate for the construction of the New University in Heidelberg. Managed by Rolf Kentner, who was their chairman until 2018, both the Schurman Association and the Schurman Foundation have contributed significantly to the establishment of the Curt Engelhorn Chair for American History and the HCA respectively. Since 2018, the Schurman Foundation has been headed by Dr. Thomas Peuntner (chairman), Hans-Hasso Kersten (deputy chairman) and Dr. Kurt Bock.
In line with its efforts to contribute to a more profound understanding of American history, politics, culture, and society in Germany, the Schurman Association launched the Schurman Lecture Series in 1992. The first speaker was then-Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl. Other speakers have included U.S. ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the late Prof. Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Prof. Alan Brinkley, and former Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army in Europe, General Meigs. Every five years, the Schurman Association awards the Schurman Prize for American History, Politics, and Culture, remunerated with 5,000 EUR, to a German author for his or her outstanding U.S.-related work. Previous recipients of the award included Jürgen Heideking (Cologne), Hermann Wellenreuther (Göttingen), and Klaus Schwabe (Aachen).
The generous support of both Schurman Association and Schurman Foundation also made possible three extensive two-week excursions with Heidelberg students to the United States over the past years.
Dr. Hans-Peter Wild is President of the Leonie Wild Charitable Foundation, which he established with his mother in 1997. The Foundation supports social and cultural projects in Heidelberg and the surrounding area. Dr. Wild is owner and chairman of the Rudolf Wild GmbH & Co. KG, the world’s largest private manufacturer of natural ingredients for food and beverages.
It is of great importance to Dr. Wild to give something back to society – both on the local level and beyond. For a long time he has been a staunch supporter of Heidelberg University which, in recognition of his services, named him Honorary Senator in 1996, thus continuing the tradition of his father Rudolf.
His experiences with international markets as well as with different cultures taught Hans-Peter Wild the importance of respecting cultural diversity. “In order to do business in the United States, I need to be able to think like an American,” says Wild.
From the very beginning, he supported the HCA as a place where the next generation of leaders may study America’s cultural peculiarities. Three scholarships for our Master in American Studies program, covering tuition fees as well as living expenses, are testament to his commitment. The WILD Scholarships are crucially important for the global appeal of the MAS and for the program’s pronounced internationality. In 2006, Hans-Peter Wild was appointed chairman of the HCA’s board of trustees.
For many years, Dr. h.c. Manfred Lautenschläger has been actively supporting the University of Heidelberg, e.g. by providing the biennial Lautenschläger Research Prize, endowed with 250,000 EUR, and by materially underwriting the construction of a new home for the university’s children’s hospital, now named the Angelika-Lautenschläger-Klinik. In 1998, Manfred Lautenschläger was named Honorary Senator of the University.
Recognizing that Germany owes the United States a special debt of gratitude for its democratic and prosperous development after World War II, he is convinced that a center such as the HCA can foster mutual understanding, especially in times when political differences create irritations in transatlantic relations. Thus, Manfred Lautenschläger has supported the HCA from the very beginning, e.g. by providing rent-free offices on Heidelberg’s West side during the early stages of the institute’s development. Since 2006, he has been funding a series of international conferences facilitating the consideration of current issues and initiating a fruitful cooperation between the HCA and the German-American Institute in Heidelberg.
In May 2008, the Manfred Lautenschläger Foundation generously supported the 55th Annual Meeting of the German Association for American Studies (GAAS) held at Heidelberg University with the HCA acting as local organizer.
On the initiative of Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, the world’s leading chemical company resolved to make available three dissertation scholarships for the HCA’s Ph.D. in American Studies program. Each stipend is remunerated with 12,000 EUR annually and awarded for a total of three years.
Dr. Kurt Bock is Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. Since 2003 he has been a member of the Board of Executive Directors and has served as Chief Financial Officer of the BASF Group, responsible for Finance, Corporate Controlling, Global Procurement & Logistics, and Information Services as well as for Corporate Audit. In this capacity, his responsibilities also included the North America regional division. Dr. Bock was born in Rahden, Germany, in 1958. From 1977 to 1982, he studied business administration at the universities of Münster and Cologne as well as at Pennsylvania State University. He received his doctorate in economics from the University of Bonn in 1985. He joined BASF’s Finance Division in 1985 and served as executive assistant to the CFO until 1991 and as Head of Technology, Planning and Controlling, Engineering Plastics division, until 1992. In 1992 he joined the Robert Bosch GmbH in Stuttgart, first as Senior Vice President, Finance and Accounting, before becoming Managing Director of Bosch Brazil. In 1998 he returned to BASF, this time as CFO of BASF Corporation, Mount Olive, New Jersey. In 2000 Dr. Bock became President of Logistics & Information Services at BASF headquarters in Ludwigshafen. As a member of the Schurman Foundation he has been involved in promoting research and education in American history and culture at Heidelberg University for many years and has assisted the HCA’s development by word and deed. He is a member of the HCA’s Board of Trustees.
Deutsche Bank, a leading international provider of financial services, has contributed to scholarly exchanges between Germany and the United States by underwriting a Deutsche Bank Junior Fellowship-in-Residence at the HCA in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.
The program offers younger scholars the possibility to prepare their research for publication while profiting from an ideal academic environment. Simultaneously, the guest scholars are involved in the international Master’s program and participate in the center’s academic life. The first winner of the fellowship has been Jeannette Eileen Jones, Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, whose scholarly work focuses on American cultural and intellectual history, with emphases on race and representation in science, film, and popular culture. Throughout the academic year 2008-2009, Kirsten Fischer has succeeded Dr. Jones as the second Deutsche Bank Fellow. She is Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, undertaking research on the relationship between reason and belief in the history of eighteenth century American religion.
One of the oldest companies in the U.S. and the leading manufacturer for agricultural machinery worldwide, John Deere has been supporting the HCA’s annual Spring Academy since 2005.
For the duration of one week, 20 European and American doctoral students from various disciplines and examining U.S.-related topics meet with leading experts in their fields to discuss their ongoing research. Due to the close collaboration with John Deere’s Dr. Oliver Neumann, Public Relations Manager, Europe and Africa, a strong communal spirit has taken hold between the company and successive Spring Academy participants. Since 2005, John Deere is sponsoring the Spring Academy with 10,000-12,000 EUR annually.
Ray and Elfi Carrell established an endowment fund in 2007 to support advanced education at selected universities in both Germany and the USA.
Ray Carrell, an American who attended Texas Tech University, spent many years in the region as the former CEO of Aktiengesellschaft Kühnle, Kopp & Kausch in Frankenthal. Elfi Carrell is a German citizen, who attended Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt. She is currently an English teacher at the Alte Kurfürliches Gymnasium in Bensheim.
Dr. Bernd-A. von Maltzan is the Vice Chairman of Deutsche Bank’s global division Private Wealth Management. He is also active in various international non-profit organizations, among them the American Berlin Opera Foundation, New York, whose Founding President he is.
The Foundation facilitates practical training for young American vocalists at the German Opera Berlin as well as connections to opera houses throughout Europe. In 2002, Bernd-A. von Maltzan won the cultural award of “Elyseum – Between the two Continents”, a transatlantic cultural institution. Since its inception Dr. von Maltzan has been an avid supporter of the HCA, including his endowment of the Bernd von Maltzan Scholarships for students of the M.A. in American Studies program.
MLP is the leading independent financial services supplier for academics and other discerning clients in Europe.
In 2008, MLP generously sponsored the Annual Meeting of the German Association for American Studies (DGfA/GAAS) held May 15-18 at the University of Heidelberg with the HCA as local organizer. More than 200 participants from Germany and the United States discussed “The American Presidency and Political Leadership,” an apt theme in a presidential election year. Both the DGfA/GAAS and the HCA gratefully appreciate the support of MLP and its CEO Dr. Uwe Schroeder-Wildberg.
For the past two years, Herbert A. Jung has generously contributed to the stock of scholarships for the HCA’s Master’s program.
Herbert A. Jung is a chemist who spent time as a postdoc at Yale University. From 1967 to 2003 he worked in marketing and management in Brussels. Since his early youth, Jung has been fascinated by photography. Starting in 2002, he has been active as a painter and sculptor in Heidelberg with exhibitions in Brussels, Rotterdam, Mannheim, and Heidelberg.
Upon the initiative and by means of support of Dr. Martin Bussmann a foundation has been established by the Mannheim LLC in New York which allows American donors to support the HCA.
The Friends of the Heidelberg Center for Amercan Studies is a “tax-exempt non-profit organization” which has funded the HCA substantially since its founding. The members of the board of directors are Dr. Bussmann, David Hogan, Lucy Whitehead, and Prof. Dr. Detlef Junker. Dr. Bussmann studied at Heidelberg University. He has worked for several companies in Europe and the United States, particularly for BASF AG. Currently, he is trustee of the Mannheim Trust in New York and at the same time managing director of Mannheim Holdings LLC.