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Alt-Präsident Hinrich Seidel verstorben

Former President Hinrich Seidel has Passed Away

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Leibniz University Hannover mourns the death of its former President

Professor Dr. Dr. hc. mult. Hinrich Seidel, former president and honorary citizen of Leibniz University Hannover has passed away on 18 February 2020 aged 88.

“Hinrich Seidel shaped the face of our university; his work continues to bear fruit to this day. He promoted collaborations with international universities – long before the term “internationalisation” even existed. Within the scope of his international work, he initiated and maintained contact with universities in Central and East-Central Europe, while strengthening collaborations with neighbouring countries in Western Europe such as the United Kingdom or France. He managed the university with foresight and vision, encouraging interdisciplinary and collegial projects. Leibniz University Hannover is much indebted to him and we will honour his memory”, says Professor Volker Epping, President of Leibniz University Hannover.

Born on 7 November 1931 in Rendsburg, Hinrich Seidel commenced his studies in Chemistry at Kiel University in 1951. He was conferred a doctorate in 1960 and completed his habilitation in 1967. In 1971, he received a professorship in inorganic chemistry at the former Technische Universität Hannover and was appointed head of the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry in 1972.

Between 1975 and 1977 – and again between 1979 and 1997, Professor Seidel acted as President of the former Universität Hannover. Over the years, Universität Hannover evolved into the largest university in Lower Saxony, the number of students doubled.

During his time as Vice-President and President (1984 - 1994) of the “Standing Conference of Rectors, Presidents and Vice-Chancellors of the European Universities”, collaborations between universities in Europe moved into a positive direction resulting in many structural and strategic partnerships.

Furthermore, Hinrich Seidel was involved in non-university committees. Between 1981 and 1999, he was part of the UNESCO advisory committee European Centre for Higher Education. Between 1982 and 1996, he acted as alternate chairman and deputy chairman in the supervisory board of Hochschulinformationssystem GmbH (HIS).  Between 1995 and 2001, Hinrich Seidel was a founding member of the Central Evaluation and Accreditation Agency Hannover (ZEvA). The agency made significant contributions in the field of course evaluations at universities.

In recognition of his work, Hinreich Seidel received numerous awards, including the Orders of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland, as well as being awarded the titles Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite and Officier de la Légion d’honneur (France), and Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (UK). He was an honorary citizen of Hannover.

Professor Seidel was a highly esteemed member of the international academic community and received numerous honorary doctorates from universities in Aberdeen, Bristol, Compiègne, Dublin, Poznan and St Petersburg.

The shared book of condolence of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover and the city of Hannover can be signed here:

Thursday 20 February - Wednesday 26 February


Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover
Main university building (“Welfenschloss”)
Welfengarten 1
30167 Hannover


Opening hours:
Monday - Thursday: 10.00 - 17.00
Friday: 10.00 - 15.00
Saturday/Sunday: closed

Thursday 27 February - Friday 28 February


Landeshauptstadt Hannover
Neues Rathaus
Trammplatz 2
30159 Hannover


Atrium of the town hall
Opening hours:
9.00 - 18.00


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For further information, please contact Mechtild Freiin v. Münchhausen, head of Communications and Marketing and spokesperson of Leibniz University Hannover (Tel. +49 511 762 5342, Email