Oktoberfest Launches Duke Club of Germany


With typical German efficiency, the Duke Club of Germany had its first official meeting on Friday, September 21, and its first event the next day. At the inaugural meeting, Sibylle Gierschmann LL.M. '99, Markus Nauheim LL.M. '96, and Ralf Weisser LL.M. '91 were co-hosts for a reception in Munich at their law firm BBLP Beiten Burkhardt Mittl & Wegener. Nearly fifty friends of Duke and alumni from the undergraduate, law, business, and graduate schools attended the event.

Guests were welcomed with gifts: official Oktoberfest beer mugs, Duke caps, BBLP T-shirts--and aspirin, for the day after. Jennifer Maher J.D. '83, director of international studies at Duke's law school, provided a Duke update and discussed plans to honor the late professor Herbert L. Bernstein, who died in April, by establishing a fund in his name for a lectureship in comparative and international law at Duke.

Gierschmann and Nauheim presented their ideas about the new club's mission as an interdisciplinary organization for all interested in the university. Tim Warmath '84, president of the Duke Club of London, shared his experiences in international club event planning, and Hans-Karl Kandlbinder A.M. '54, president of Duke's Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee for Germany, offered to provide additional Duke contacts. Eric Buis LL.M. '99 of Zurich, Bernhard Welten LL.M. '99 of Bern, and Manfred Ketzer LL.M. '99 of Vienna, who were attending this Munich event, were suggested as candidates for organizing Duke clubs in Switzerland and Austria.

For the next day, the law firm BBLP had reserved a box at the Schottenhamel tent for Duke alumni and friends to watch the parade of Munich breweries. The parade ended at the tent, where the mayor of Munich officially declared the opening of Oktoberfest--the world's ultimate "kegger."

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