Grand Opening Signifies New Era for Serving Students in Vienna

| October 30, 2014
Webster Vienna

The grand opening of Webster Vienna’s new location, the Palais Wenkheim in Vienna’s 2nd District.

Music, lights and reflections on a university’s role in a community highlighted a festive night as Webster University celebrated the formal grand opening for the relocation of Webster Vienna Private University to the Palais Wenkheim.

Though Webster University has been in Vienna since 1981, the campus had outgrown the space it occupied for the past 18 years. “I’m happy to say that after 18 years, Webster is going downtown again,” said Arthur Hirsh, Webster Vienna director.

Hirsh thanked those who helped make the night possible, including individuals who scouted more than 30 possible locations over the last several years, all the way to the local sponsors of Wednesday’s event. “This wouldn’t be possible without the strategic vision of President Beth Stroble and Provost Julian Schuster,” Hirsh said.

Stroble congratulated Webster Vienna colleagues, faculty and staff for the milestone — “and particularly the students, because this is really for you.”

The move marks an important strategic milestone. Finding a new location to enable the Vienna campus’ growth was one of the University’s “Stretch Goals” identified by President Stroble and Provost Schuster in 2011 to help accomplish the institution’s Vision 2020 strategic plan. After 33 years in Vienna, selecting and executing the perfect location required an intersection of experts across the University.

Webster Vienna grand opening

Guests at the grand opening toasted Webster and enjoyed guided tours of the Palais Wenkheim.

President Stroble reflected upon how much Webster has grown in its 100 years: at 33 years, Webster Vienna now represents a third of the University’s history.

“For three decades, Webster University has offered a truly global classroom experience in Vienna to students from around the world,” Stroble said. “This expansion in Austria is part of our overall mission of offering a superior American-style education in an environment that fosters creativity and collaboration.”

“What brings people to life are dreams, and vision,” Schuster said. “Tonight we are in a beautiful building. But what brought us together is not the building. What brought us together is the dreams and vision of Webster University and its people.”

After remarks from Stroble, Schuster and Hirsh, Webster alumnus Steve Chaid MBA ’97 moderated a panel discussion that included those three Webster leaders as well as members of the Webster Vienna advisory board and key partners in the Vienna community: HE Lee Anthony Brudvig, Chargé d’affaires, Embassy of the United States of America, Prof. Thomas Hintze, Chairman of the Vienna Campus Advisory Board and Chairman UPC Austria, Dr. Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, Vienna City Councillor for Culture and Science as well as Mag. Gernot Mittendorfer, Member of the Management Board, Erste Group Bank AG, and Karl-Heinz Hora, Borough Mayor, Leopoldstadt, City of Vienna.

Stroble, Schuster and Hirsh were joined by dignitaries and advisory board members for a panel discussion.

Stroble, Schuster and Hirsh were joined by dignitaries and advisory board members for a panel discussion of how Webster serves the Vienna community.

“The last 15 years have been a success story for the city of Vienna: The numbers of universities increased from 8 to 21.  Vienna is one of the largest university towns in the center of Europe and the German-speaking region. Webster University has its share in that, especially when it comes to bringing international flair to Vienna and making it more cosmopolitan. I am glad, that the move of this important institution will help to tie it even more closely to the city”, said the Vienna City Councillor for Culture and Science, Dr. Andreas Mailath-Pokorny.

See further coverage of the event in this story at the Webster Vienna site, “Webster Vienna Goes Downtown.”

Enjoy these photos from artist and Webster faculty member Holger Lang, and check back in Webster Today for further coverage of the event, including how the Palais Wenkheim was selected to enable an expanding, enhanced academic experience for students.

To celebrate the opening, the facade of the Palais Wenkheim was illuminated for three days.

To celebrate the opening, the facade of the Palais Wenkheim was illuminated for three days.

Celebrating Webster Vienna

Tags: ,

Category: Alumni, Campus Snapshots

Comments are closed.