Waleria Nichelmann is coordinating the “50 Years University of Oldenburg” project at the Press & Communications Office. Her job is as varied as the programme of events for the anniversary year.
You are coordinating the plans for the university's 50th anniversary year. What are you particularly looking forward to?
All over the university people are putting together different event formats, many of which are highlights for me. For example, I’m particularly excited about the exhibition being prepared by students on the history of the university, which will be on display in the auditorium of the Old Teachers' Seminar on Peterstraße during the anniversary year. It's great to see them getting involved and offering their own perspectives. I'm also looking forward to the sound installation at the Haarentor campus.
Can you tell us more about it?
The focus is the bridge between the canteen and Building A02. This path will offer a special sound experience during the anniversary year. Together with Berlin artist Enrico Stolzenburg, students from the Institute of Music are collecting recordings of typical university noises, for example the clinking of dishes at the canteen or the sounds made at a lecture, and putting together an artistic synthesis which will be presented at a ceremony in June 2024.
What are your tasks in the organisation team?
My main task is to keep an overview of everything. I know all the dates and deadlines for every event and coordinate the collaboration with internal and external actors such as the City of Oldenburg. I’m also the point of contact for anyone who wants to contribute their ideas and help make the anniversary a success.
Will the anniversary also offer opportunities to explore science and research?
Definitely, we want to test and establish all kinds of new ideas and formats – from a pop-up store in Oldenburg city centre and themed campus tours to an adventure day for families and the Oldenburg Climate Days.
You came to the university to coordinate this special year here. What was your motivation?
Before coming here, I was a trade union secretary in industry. After more than five years in that sector I was looking for something different, and the advertisement for this job immediately caught my attention. How often do you get the chance to organise such an anniversary? I've also had a strong interest in education for some time now, which is another reason why it makes perfect sense for me to work at the University of Oldenburg.
Interview: Henning Kulbarsch