April 27, 2023
In the World

International Celebration

President Mike Frandsen joins colleagues in honoring milestone anniversary and long-time study abroad program in Germany

Wittenberg President Michael L. Frandsen, Sharon Frandsen, newly announced Provost and Professor of Education Brian Yontz, JoAnn Bennett, director of international education, and 1978 alumnus Tim Bennett, associate professor emeritus of languages, are currently in Germany, where they celebrated the University’s longstanding partnership with Lutherstadt Wittenberg, April 24.

The event honored the 25th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between Lutherstadt Wittenberg and Springfield, Ohio, which originated in 1995. The anniversary celebration, initially slated for 2020, had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to this anniversary, those present also celebrated the delayed 30th anniversary of Wittenberg University’s summer study-abroad option in Lutherstadt.

During Monday’s event, the Frandsens, Yontz, and the Bennetts were joined by David Barry, associate professor emeritus of languages, and current students studying abroad in the Wittenberg in Wittenberg, Germany semester-long program, which began in 2011. To date, more than 300 students have participated in the program either via the summer or semester-long option.

With immeasurable support from the city of Lutherstadt Wittenberg, the program has proved a popular choice among students as it is both academically and financially accessible. Unlike most study-abroad opportunities, Wittenberg’s program offers tuition exchange, which allows students to maintain all their financial aid while studying in Wittenberg, taking rigorous language courses from Universtät Halle-Wittenberg professors, and engaging in intensive culture courses with their Wittenberg professor.

Once in Germany, students take all their classes at the original Wittenberg University, the Leucorea (the Greek name for Wittenberg). The classes are hosted by the Institute for Language and Culture of the Universtät Halle-Wittenberg, and Stefanie Rieger, director of the semester and summer programs in Wittenberg, Germany, consistently ensures that students have the courses and accompanying trips they need to fully experience German life and culture. With no foreign language prerequisites, the program enables students from all disciplines to participate.

Since the partnership began, multiple majors have been represented, and German colleagues have made more than 50 internship sites available to Wittenberg students in schools, businesses, labs, government, and non-governmental agencies, as well as tourism, marketing, and the arts. Students who participate undergo a rich cultural immersion throughout their stay, the quality and depth of which is evidenced by the unparalleled access and opportunities students have as they explore Wittenberg’s Lutheran heritage, grow as responsible global citizens, discover their callings, and pursue their passions.

To show Wittenberg University’s appreciation, President Frandsen presented Lutherstadt Wittenberg’s Lord Mayor Torsten Zugehör with a specially framed gift featuring a gold medal of the Wittenberg Seal and commemorative plaque. Present at the ceremony was also Dr. Reiner Haseloff, Minister President of Saxony-Anhalt.

Additionally, five 1974 alumnae, who annually travel together and who this year selected Germany for their destination, were on hand. They included: Maureen Bryson Barton, Jodie Bowman, Kathryn Gibbons Johnson, Jill Johnson Lavin, and Judy Brick Sanders. Moreover, Samantha Martens, a member of the Wittenberg class of 2019 and former program participant who now permanently works in Wittenberg, Germany, caught up with the contingent.

For more information on the Wittenberg in Wittenberg, Germany program, click here.

Recitation Hall
University Communications Staff
Staff Report

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

Back to top