On the Death of Horst Hippler

The Founding President of KIT and Former Rector of Universität Karlsruhe Died at the Age of 77
Horst Hippler Thomas Klink
Professor Horst Hippler died at the age of 77. (Photo: Thomas Klink)

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is mourning the loss of its founding president Professor Horst Hippler, who died on March 6, 2024 at the age of 77. In 2002, Hippler was elected Rector of the then University of Karlsruhe. With his idea to establish KIT, he led the university to its first success in the Excellence Initiative competition in 2006. From 2009 to 2012, he headed KIT together with Professor Eberhard Umbach. After that, he was President of the German Rectors’ Conference until 2018.

“This is a sad day for us. Horst Hippler was one of the great masterminds and pioneers of KIT. For three years, he was KIT’s founding president and headed it with great courage and prudence. He tirelessly engaged for the needs of researchers and students and always remained closely connected to KIT,” says Professor Oliver Kraft, Acting President of KIT. “We are deeply saddened by his death. Our thoughts are with his family. For his extraordinary commitment to KIT and the former Universität Karlsruhe, we are greatly indebted to Horst Hippler and will always honor his memory.

“Without Professor Horst Hippler, today’s KIT would not exist. I was greatly impressed by his visionary power, his vigor, and his high determination as well as by his openness and humor in discussions,” says the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of KIT, Professor Michael Kaschke. “We are grieving with his family.”

Press release of KIT