April 11, 2022
Prestigious German Order of Merit celebrated at UCalgary
Given its long-standing relationships with Germany and its diplomats here in Canada, University of Calgary was grateful to co-host, together with the German Embassy, an honour ceremony for Hubertus Liebrecht, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany for Alberta and Northwest Territories. The Bundesverdienstkreuz is the only federal decoration of Germany and is awarded in different categories. Liebrecht was presented with the Cross of the Order of Merit, commonly referred to as the “Knight’s Cross”. Similar to the Order of Canada, it is awarded for special achievements in political, economic, cultural, intellectual fields and other outstanding service.
- From left: Dr. Cheryl Dueck, senior academic director (international); Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (international); Bettina Jacob; Honorary Consul Hubertus Liebrecht; Ambassador Sabine Sparwasser; Consul General Klaus Schmidt; Dr. William Ghali, vice-president (research)
“Mr. Liebrecht has been an ongoing supporter of UCalgary collaborations with German academic institutions, including the Max Planck Institute. The university’s growing links with institutions in Germany, co-authored publications, research funding, and local cultural events, have made us stronger,” said Dr. William Ghali, vice-president (research). “Many congratulations to Honorary Consul Hubertus Liebrecht on receiving this recognition.”
The official announcement of the Bundesverdienstkreuz recipients for 2021 was made by the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The physical decoration was handed to Liebrecht at the event at UCalgary on March 29 by German Ambassador, Sabine Sparwasser.
Liebrecht is an eminent lawyer licensed in both Germany and Canada. As long serving president of ProCanada Consulting, he has helped countless individuals and families to become Canadian citizens and navigate the complexities of immigration, dual citizenship, tax and estate law in Germany and Canada. In addition to these career contributions, Liebrecht has made substantial contributions to his local and international communities. This year marks a decade of his service as Honorary Consul, a vital consular link for Alberta, during which time Liebrecht has placed emphasis on partnership with the University of Calgary to strengthen German-Canadian cooperation. Public service is a deeply held value for Liebrecht, who said that his grandfather had received the Order of Merit before him.
“His own biography is deeply connected to Canada and Germany. He always understood how close the links between our two countries are. How complementary our abilities. How much we can learn from each other,” said Her Excellency Sabine Sparwasser, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Canada at the event. “He has made it his mission to foster those bilateral ties. To name a few functions only: he was President of the German Canadian Business Association of BC, Founder of the German Business Centre North America and he is on the Board of the European-Canadian Centre for Innovation and Research in Edmonton.”
The ceremony included a number of special guests including Her Honour Lois Mitchell, Former Lieutenant Governor of Alberta; Irene Bakker, Honorary Consul of the Netherlands; Judith Romanchuk, Honorary Consul of Finland; and Klaus Schmidt, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany. The event was followed by a reception with German hors d'oeuvres and Fahr beer, by brewmaster Jochen Fahr, a UCalgary alumnus.
“Germany remains one of our key partners, a relationship that has been enhanced on all levels - research, academic, and community ties,” says Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (international). “Many of these relationships have been fostered and supported by Honorary Consul Hubertus Liebrecht. In fact, his enthusiasm and commitment has, and continues to increase awareness surrounding connections and opportunities between the University of Calgary and Germany.”