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50 Years and Going Strong: The Johannes Kepler University Linz

The Johannes Kepler University Linz opened its doors in 1966 as a university for Social Sciences and Business and celebrated its 50th anniversary during the 2016/2017 academic year. The anniversary event has been an occasion to focus on the university's history, present, and future.


June 22, 10.00 AM: A study presentation titled "Zur Geschichte von Gelände und Umfeld der Johannes Kepler Universität Linz unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der NS-Zeit im Raum Auhof-Dornach"

Location: Keplergebäude Building, Hall C

The area on which Schloss Auhof stands has a turbulent history. Once owned by the Starhemberg family, the Schloss was taken over by the NS regime after Germany annexed Austria. There were many ideas as to how to best use the land, many of which were rejected. However, three camps were set up in close proximity to the Schloss, parallel to the site where the JKU was eventually built.

The study by Hermann Rafetseder is one of the first to focus on the history of the area where the JKU stands, with particular reference to the NS period in the Auhof-Dornach area.

June 29 – July 1, 2017: Symposium "Neue Universitäten: Deutschland und Österreich in den 1960er und 1970er Jahren"

During the 60s and 70s, the university landscape in Europe was in the middle of profound transformation. As in many other countries, university education was expanded in Austria. Opening new educational reserves and thus enabling more equal opportunities has become an important debate issue.

The symposium focuses on this phase of university history and highlights the founding of the JKU in the context of international university development during the 60s and 70s.

In cooperation with the Upper Austrian Chamber of Labour, the symposium begins on June 29 and features a discussion on the Universities' Social Responsibility. Participants include Isolde Charim, Johann Kalliauer, Meinhard Lukas, Hannah Lutz and Armin Thurnher.

On June 30 there will be a round table discussion featuring a panel of notable witnesses to history including Marina Fischer-Kowalski, Raoul Kneucker, Ewald Nowotny, Norbert Rozsenich and others. They will discuss university reforms and new establishments in the 60s and 70s.


At the same time on June 30, a second book was presented to mark the JKU's anniversary year:

Maria Wirth / Andreas Reichl / Marcus Gräser (Hg.), 50 Jahre Johannes Kepler Universität Linz. Innovationsfelder in Forschung, Lehre und universitärem Alltag. Böhlau Publishing, Vienna/Cologne/Weimar 2017.

Information About The Book  (Neues Fenster)


April 22, 2016: The "Our JKU – My History" station as part of the "Long Night of Research " event

As part of the "Long Night of Research" event, the JKU created a station titled "Our JKU - My History" featuring personal memories of the JKU as well as personal mementos, tokens and keepsakes.

September 10, 2016: Sparkasse of Upper Austria "Cloud of Sound - River of Knowledge"

The JKU kicked off its anniversary year with the Sparkasse of Upper Austria outdoor "Cloud of Sound - River of Knowledge" event at the Donaupark in Linz. Over 100,000 people attended.


September 27, 2016: JKU Campus Enhancements

New enhancement plans to create improved living, working, and living spaces at the JKU campus were presented on September 27. The federal government improved funding in the amount of €26 million Euros. Riepl Riepl Architekten won the architectural bid.


October 8, 2016: Formal Anniversary Ceremony

Special guests from academia, the government, the local business community, and society were invited to the formal anniversary ceremony on October 8. JKU founding professors Ernest Kulhavy and Friedrich Fürstenberg were among the distinguished guests.

October 28, 2016 – January 31, 2017: The JKU Sci Bar on the Main Square in Linz

Innovation and information went hand-in-hand for three months at the JKU SciBar. Located on the main square in Linz, the pop-up bar featured 60 screens mounted on the walls showing live broadcasts of classes taking place at the 60 lecture halls and classrooms on campus.


December 16, 2016: Book Presentation

The first publication marking the JKU's 50th anniversary was presented on December 16 in the form of an informative book chronicling the Johannes Kepler University's (pre) history:

Maria Wirth / Andreas Reichl / Marcus Gräser, 50 Jahre Johannes Kepler Universität. "Eine Hochschule neuen Stils". Böhlau Publishing, Vienna/Cologne/Weimar 2016.

Information About The Book  (Neues Fenster)

January 17, 2017: New Uni Center

The mark the university's 50th anniversary, the JKU and its partners presented the JKU with a modern Uni Center on January 17. Space to hold meetings and conferences as well as celebrations and ceremonies.


January 20, 2017: The JKU 50th Anniversary Ball

Over 2,500 guests attended the JKU Anniversary Ball on January 20 at the Brucknerhaus in Linz and enjoyed a colorful, retrospective trip through time as the Kepler University celebrated the past 50 years.


Photos: Upper Austrian State Archives/LHF, JKU, Riepl Riepl