Friends of Freiburg Annual Gala Dinner

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Datum und Uhrzeit
11.04.2024, 18:00 - 22:00 Uhr

The Penn Club


The Friends of Freiburg University, in collaboration with our co-sponsors, are pleased to announce our seventh annual Gala Dinner at:

The Penn Club / 30 West 44th St. / New York City
Thursday, April 11, 2024

Honored Guest
Consul General David Gill,
Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in New York

Featured Speakers

Dr. Helmut Laaff
Freiburg-based entrepreneur
Department of Dermatology at the University of Freiburg
Founder of Academia Meets Industry e.V.
“Scientific organizations supporting the University of Freiburg”

Christoph Ebner
First Chairman, Friends of the Documentation Center for National Socialism Freiburg, 
Head of the SWR Studio Freiburg 
Julia Wolrab
Director of the Documentation Center for National Socialism
of the Freiburg Municipal Museums

Virtual Presentations

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Krieglstein
Rector, University of Freiburg

Martin Horn
Lord Mayor, City of Freiburg

Co-sponsored by Academia Meets Industry e.V.


Click Here to RSVP


6:00 PM Reception
7:00-10:00 PM Dinner and Remarks
The dress code is cocktail attire.

Don’t miss this chance to reconnect with old classmates, make new friends, and celebrate your alma mater. This year’s gala dinner celebrates the transatlantic relationship with a special focus on the ties that bind the university, the city, its leaders and institutions with the community of Friends of Freiburg in North America.

Please RSVP by April 8 to attend. For questions or further inquiries about sponsorships, please contact Marta Millar at

About the Speakers and Organizations:

Prof. Dr. Helmut Laaff has been running the private DermatoHistological Laboratory (DHL) in Freiburg since 1992. Over the years, the portfolio expanded to include methods of general pathology, hematopathology and molecular pathology. Consequently, in 2020 the DermatoHistological Laboratory changed its name to the Institute for Dermatohistology Pathology Molecular Pathology Prof. Dr. Helmut Laaff. Helmut Laaff initially studied medicine in Tübingen and Rio de Janeiro. He completed his medical residency at the Institute of Clinical Pathology and the Department of Dermatology and Venereology in Freiburg. Afterwards he stayed abroad in New York City to specialize as a dermatopathologist. In his free time, he enjoys skiing and mountaineering. In 2012, he climbed the Seven Summits – the highest mountain on each of the seven continents.

Christoph Ebner was born in Murg/Southern Black Forest and studied political science and economics at the University of Freiburg. He completed a traineeship at the Institut zur Förderung des publizistischen Nachwuchses, ifp – the Catholic School of Journalism in Munich. He worked as an editor and as a freelance journalist for radio stations, newspapers and magazines. Ebner has worked with Südwestrundfunk in Baden-Baden since 1995, initially as an editor and representative for journalistic training, then head of the central multimedia newsroom, development of the social media desk and assignment as ARD radio correspondent in Zurich and Geneva. In 2016 he moved to SWR Studio Freiburg, where he has been the Studio Manage since 2019. There, he has the overall responsibility for Studio Freiburg as the largest SWR regional studio in Baden-Württemberg. Ebner has taught at several journalism schools, universities and the ARD/ZDF Media Academy. He is the winner of the 2013 Grimme Institute German Radio Prize for an online news program for young people. He is the author of several book publications, articles in specialist journals, countless reports, and commentaries, radio plays. Since 2022, Ebner is the First Chairman of the Förderverein NS Dokumentationszentrum Freiburg. e. V.

Julia Wolrab studied history, Islamic studies and public history in Freiburg and Berlin. From 2013, she worked for seven years as a research assistant for the nationwide NGO “Gegen Vergessen – Für Demokratie” (Against Forgetting – For Democracy) in the field of historical-political education and remembrance culture. For two semesters, she was a lecturer in applied political science at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences. In 2013, she founded the history agency “Past at Present”, which specializes in digital history education projects. From 2018 to 2020, she acted as managing partner of the agency. In 2019, she was commissioned by the City of Freiburg to present historical research and documentation on the ownership of the Old Synagogue Square between 1864 and 2016. Since October 1, 2020, she has been director of the Documentation Center for National Socialism at the Freiburg Municipal Museums. In her spare time, she is working on her doctorate with Prof. Dr. Willi Oberkrome (University of Freiburg) on the history of the Sinti and Roma and is a board member of the Freundeskreis Freiburg – Tel Aviv-Yafo and on the advisory board of the Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation.

Academia Meets Industry e.V. In 2016, Prof. A. Bechthold (University of Freiburg) and Prof H. Pfundner (Roche Pharma AG) created the idea of a new Master Program “Regulatory Affairs & Drug Development” within the existing Master’s degree program in Pharmaceutical Sciences. There is a need in the industry for university graduates with sound knowledge in the areas of pharmaceutical drug development and regulatory affairs. These topics are usually underrepresented in existing university programs of pharmacy, life sciences and medicine. As a result, graduates from all faculties have difficulties finding employment within these areas of the pharmaceutical industry. Following the creation of the specialty “Regulatory Affairs & Drug Development,” the association “Academia Meets Industry e.V” was founded at the end of 2017. The major aim of this organization is to support talented young students in their education and facilitate a network between students, university personnel and industry representatives.

Documentation Center for National Socialism Freiburg

By March 2025, the Documentation Center for National Socialism of Freiburg Municipal Museums will be established in a central location in Freiburg, in the former tourist office built in 1936. In this way, the city of Freiburg is creating an institution that explicitly deals with the history of National Socialism for the first time on around 800 square meters. A special focus will also be placed on the historical connections between Germany, France, and Switzerland in the border triangle.

There have been calls for many years for the establishment of a documentation and information center in Freiburg. It is thanks to the civic engagement of Freiburg citizens that this idea has been discussed repeatedly in the past. On June 24, 2018, the municipal council unanimously passed a resolution in principle to establish a documentation center on National Socialism in Freiburg, which is now being implemented.

Right from the start of the planning process, various justified expectations have been placed on the future documentation center, which will be reflected in the multi-functionality of the building. The documentation center will be a place of information, with a permanent exhibition on the National Socialist era as well as changing special exhibitions. Closely linked to this is the function of being a contact point for documentation and research. To this end, long-term collaborations are planned with universities in Germany, the USA, France and Switzerland as well as with nationwide archives and research institutions on the National Socialist era. There is already close cooperation with the University of Freiburg, including our academic advisory board, joint events and seminars with the Department of History. At the same time, the Documentation Center will house a central place of remembrance for the victims of National Socialist tyranny, offering the opportunity for silent commemoration in the covered inner courtyard. Last but not least, the documentation center will also be an educational and discussion space to promote democracy and diversity in our society.

For further information: