Have you heard the news from the University? They’ve kicked off October with a shiny new name, and it’s simply “Universität Münster”! The Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia gave the thumbs up for this change, wrapping up a whole process that started officially back in April.
So, why the switch? Well, the university’s Senate decided in April that they’re dropping Wilhelm II from their name. This decision came after years of back-and-forth, sparked by students in 2018 who wanted a closer look at Wilhelm II’s role in the university’s history.
Fast forward to 2020, and a group led by Münster historian Prof. Olaf Blaschke did some deep diving into Wilhelm II’s story. Then, in 2021, the Rectorate and Senate kicked off “The Issue of WWU” project, getting everyone—students, staff, and even the public—into the conversation through discussions, exhibitions, films, and even radio shows.
After lots of back and forth, the Senate voted to drop Wilhelm II and go for the international-friendlier “Universität Münster.” Why? Turns out, there wasn’t much (if any, at all!) of a connection between the university and Wilhelm II. All the celebrations over the years? They were all about honoring the real brain behind the university, Franz von Fürstenberg. And when it came to Wilhelm II, there wasn’t any proof he threw in a big bag of cash as support, nor did he help the university with his brilliant ideas.
Now, two months after the switch, the university’s got a fresh look – new logos, seals, and updated documents. The name change is all about embracing a modern, inclusive, and accurate vibe that jives with the spirit of Universität Münster. Goodbye Wilhelm II, and hello to a brand new chapter!