On Saturday, 220 HHL graduates from 65 nations received their diploma from HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management during a festive ceremony at the Leipzig Opera house. Not only the ceremony’s location was special this year: in the second part of the graduation Chancellor Angela Merkel was awarded an honorary doctorate for her leadership behavior which is in line with the Leipzig Leadership Model. Preceding the awarding of the honorary doctorate was Christine Lagarde's laudation to Chancellor Merkel, who described her leadership qualities in four words: diplomacy, diligence, determination and a sense of duty. She combined this characterization of Merkel's leadership style with her personal recognition of Merkel as an "extraordinary personality". It was an emotional and inspiring speech that more than lived up to the occasion. Following the conferment of the honorary doctorate by dean Professor Dr. Stephan Stubner, Merkel underlined in her speech the importance of compromises in a democratic society. Moreover, she encouraged the graduates (especially those who will return to their home countries after graduation) to carry Germany and Leipzig with them in their hearts and to act as ambassadors of tolerance. The graduation ceremony was topped off with a musical performance by the Gewandhaus Orchestra and the star tenor Rolando Villazón in honor of Angela Merkel. In the evening, the graduates, their families and friends as well as faculty members of HHL came together at Haus Leipzig to celebrate. After the more serious part of the graduation had taken place in the morning, a short program was offered in which Luis Schaal (class MSc18) reviewed the 2 years of study at HHL in a short speech and a game show selected the best course. The subsequent party was cheerful, and the graduates celebrated responsibly - a special wish of the co-rector Henning Zülch. It was a remarkable day, that surely will be remembered by every graduate for the rest of their lives.

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