Acknowledgment for newly erected campus-project - soon celebrating 50th anniversary
Dr Thomas Hufnagel and Mr. Jürgen Seitz who played key roles in the construction project of the new school campus as Board Members of the German European School Singapore (GESS) have been honored for their outstanding efforts on behalf of the GESS Association. German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier bestowed upon them the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. The new building which opened in 2018 brought together the entire student body, with the Preschool, German national curriculum stream, and the English-speaking IB Curriculum stream at on one location with state-of-the-art facilities at Dairy Farm Lane.
German Ambassador to Singapore Dr Norbert Riedel, who presented the Orders of Merit on behalf of Germany's Federal President Steinmeier for their outstanding voluntary contributions to German-Singaporean relations in the field of culture and educations as well as for the advancement of ‘German Schools Abroad’ congratulated the two awardees: “German Schools abroad are not-for-profit and run by independent school associations. The honorary work of the Board Members is indispensable for their success. Both Mr. Seitz and Dr Hufnagel have devoted enormous efforts into this project and were crucial in seeing this generational project through. These Orders of Merit recognize their individual contributions and endeavours, but at the same time are also an acknowledgement for the boldness, vision and implementation work contributed by all honorary Board Members, staff and school community involved in this milestone project across the past decades. It was their joint team effort that has made GESS the biggest German school in Asia and allows it to celebrate its 50th anniversary towards the end of this year with a clear perspective for many more generations to come.”
Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, also a Member of Parliament for the Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency in which the GESS campus is located, joined Ambassador Dr Riedel in congratulating the two awardees and commending the work of GESS: “Singapore has always enjoyed a very close partnership with Europe, in particular with Germany. This is clearly visible, with more than 10,000 European companies and more than 45,000 jobs created by German companies alone in Singapore. GESS plays a key role in helping German and other European expatriate families make Singapore their home and a great venue for their children’s education. I congratulate Thomas Hufnagel and Jürgen Seitz for the well-deserved awards that recognise their sterling work. I am also delighted at how well GESS has connected with our local community, opened its facilities to Singaporean sport clubs and become an integral member of our neighborhood.”
Mr. Jürgen Seitz, who is Executive Vice President Production Asia at Pepperl+Fuchs Asia Pte. Ltd, currently serves as Vice President of the Board of GESS and spearheaded the Campus Project Team from its early beginnings through to the opening in 2018. Dr Thomas Hufnagel was President of the Board in the years 2015 to 2018, when the new Campus was being constructed and opened. Thomas is a Partner at Luther LLP Singapore.
The Orders of Merit of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany were handed over by Ambassador Dr Riedel on 25 March 2021 at the official residence of the Ambassador. Due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions the ceremony was restricted to a small group.
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