At a reception on May 19th to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Bucerius Law School, Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz referred to the local institution as “ideal.” Bucerius Law School offers "a top legal education" and is "very good for Hamburg," said Scholz. The Mayor offered praise to the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius for its progressive stance in having founded the law school in 2000 “and financed it” saying, before the 140 guests in attendance at the Imperial Hall, "You have created a magnificent institution. Thank you!"
Professor Dr. Karsten Thorn, Acting President of Bucerius Law School, conveyed his gratitude to friends and patrons, as well as students and their families, for the faith and support that they have entrusted to the institution. "We will make every effort possible to uphold the confidence that you have placed in us", promised Thorn from his governing position of a school that has produced 2,766 graduates over the course of its 15-year history, 81 percent of whom have completed their legal training with distinction. Thorn emphasized the role that the law school plays for Hamburg, recognizing its contribution to the city as a center for scientific inquiry and for its stimulation of growth in the local legal services market, both for area firms and through the establishment of a Law Clinic.
Professor Dr. Michael Göring, President of the Board of the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, recalled the “conception” of Bucerius Law School in the Office of the Mayor on March 6, 1997. Among the parties involved were Marion Gräfin Dönhoff, Helmut Schmidt and, in spirit, Gerd Bucerius. In the words of Göring, the Law School has “several fathers and mothers.” The foundation of the school can be traced back to former member of the ZEIT-Stiftung Board Dr. Klaus Asche who took the suggestion of then Hamburg Mayor Voscherau to devise a private law school based upon a US model. Following numerous discussions with then local political figures, a great deal of persuasion and a business plan from Roland Berger, the idea also received a “stamp of approval” from Gräfin Dönhoff and Helmut Schmidt. Citing Schmidt, Göring identified two phrases that have endured through the present: “Anything with the word private written on the outside must indeed be private on the inside. We do not accept any money from the State!” and “Not exclusive to the wealthy!”
On the 109th birthday of namesake Gerd Bucerius (*May 19, 1906 — †September 29, 1995) and with the Law School celebrating its anniversary, Göring expressed hope that the restless and philanthropic spirit of Gerd Bucerius would continue to lead students. Looking to the future, he imagined continued growth for the institution as well as the addition of a second faculty offering the subjects economics, politics and law. “We’ll do what we believe is best!” he proclaimed in calling others to action. Göring concluded his speech with an expression of gratitude for support provided by the City of Hamburg and offered a special word of thanks to the President and management of the Law School as well as its students and their families. A musical accompaniment was provided by the Bucerius Saxophone Quartet (Sarah Weiler, Ingmar Krohm, Jacob Hinze und Norbert Beck). A reception at the city hall followed the afternoon’s speeches.