Wartburg honors German ties at graduation - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wartburg honors German ties at graduation

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

More than 350 students received their degrees from Wartburg College in Waverly Sunday.  Among those in attendance were a group of German dignitaries.  The Germany-Wartburg connection is longstanding, and now one of those dignitaries is hoping to make the connection even stronger.

Christine Lieberknecht is the minister president of Thuringia, Germany.  Sunday, she was awarded an honorary doctor of law degree from Wartburg College.

"I feel great honor, obligation and duty, especially in the sense that this is Wartburg College," Lieberknect said.

That's because she represents the Eisenach area of her native Germany.  Over the years, the college has maintained a close connection with Eisenach, in part because its namesake is Wartburg Castle in that region. 

Lieberknecht was thrilled to be able to address Wartburg students after receiving her honorary degree.  The German minister president hopes that Wartburg's connection with her country will only grow.

"I want to reach out to the students and welcome them.  I want to invite them to Thuringia and Germany so that the dialogue and exchange with Wartburg can continue," said Lieberknect.

It's a message that the dignitary from a half-a-world away hopes will resonate with students long after graduation.

Christine Lieberknecht was elected minister president of Thuringia, Germany in 2009, becoming the first woman from the Christian Democratic party to serve in that role.

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