UC Riverside Professor Gives Commencement Speech in Germany

Department Chair of Art History at UCR, Jeanette Kohl, gives graduation speech at Friedrich-Alexander-Universitaet Erlangen-Nuremberg

From left to right: Guenter Leugering (FAU’s Vice President for International Affairs), Sybille Reichert (FAU’s Chancellor), Jeanette Kohl (Chair, Art History Department at UCR), Antje Kley (FAU’s Vice President for Teaching and Learning), Eva Wattolik (FAU’s visiting faculty in Art History at UCR in winter 2016) and Hans Dickel (professor in Art History at FAU and co-organizer of the department collaboration).

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – Jeanette Kohl, chair of the Department of Art History, gave the commencement speech at UCR’s partner university in Germany, Friedrich-Alexander-Universitaet (FAU) Erlangen-Nuremberg.

“It was a special honor to address graduating students, families and faculty in my commencement speech at FAU and to celebrate their success in FAU’s impressive baroque residence. I am a German teaching in California, so it felt quite natural to fill our partnership with life,” Kohl said.

Department Chair of Art History, Jeanette Kohl, gives graduation speech at Friedrich-Alexander-Universitaet Erlangen-Nuremberg, UCR's partner university in Germany.

Department Chair of Art History, Jeanette Kohl, gives graduation speech at Friedrich-Alexander-Universitaet Erlangen-Nuremberg, UCR’s partner university in Germany.

Kohl was invited by FAU’s chair of the art history department, Professor Christina Strunck. The visit was part of an ongoing collaboration between the two universities. The partnership began in 2013, after a graduate student workshop with faculty and students from FAU in Riverside. Kohl and another UCR art history professor, Kris Neville, took a group of seven graduate students on a summer study trip abroad to the German university in 2014.

A second workshop took place during that trip in FAU’s Orangerie, which is part of the Baroque Residence in Erlangen’s city center. Originally used to house citrus trees during the cold German winters, the university’s Orangerie is now home of the department of art history. Professor Kohl gave her commencement address in the historic “Wassersaal” (water hall) in front of graduate students, their families, faculty and guests from the cities of Erlangen and Nuremberg.

“Our past joint workshops and future exchange of faculty and students were met with great enthusiasm and are generously supported by both universities’ leadership.

Initiatives like these embody the idea of a partnership between the universities and provide first-rate opportunities for both faculty and students to immerse into another culture, academically and otherwise,” Kohl explained.

During her trip, Kohl also met with FAU Chancellor Sybille Reichert, and Vice Presidents Guenter Leugering and Antje Kley to discuss plans for future collaborations. The collaboration will continue as FAU’s Dr. Eva Wattolik, an expert in 20th Century European Art and Media Culture, will teach a graduate seminar at UCR in the winter of 2016. The following year, faculty from UCR will teach a course at FAU.

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