Professor GŁnther Zade, founding father of World Maritime University


Professor Günther ZadeProfessor Günther Zade, founding father and former Vice-Rector and Academic Dean of the World Maritime University (WMU) has died in Germany. He was 70.

Professor Zade was involved with the design and establishment of the WMU prior to its opening in Malmö, Sweden, in July 1983 and he then dedicated his life and intellect to the creation and progressive development of the University. As Vice-Rector and Academic Dean of WMU, he contributed directly and positively towards the well-being and academic achievement of the University and, more importantly, those of its students. Even after his retirement in 2001, he continued to serve WMU as a research fellow and became editor of the WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs.

IMO Secretary-General and WMU Chancellor Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, said: "It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Professor Zade. His dedication and foresight in the formative years of the University helped to nurture WMU to become what it is today - a unique model of international learning and co operation. Professor Zade was one of the true 'Founding Fathers' of WMU who made an outstanding contribution to the establishment, development and progress of this unique institution that serves so well the global maritime community. His singular devotion to the development of maritime education and training is wholeheartedly acknowledged throughout the maritime community and many WMU graduates are where they are today, in high-level roles in the maritime world, because of Professor Zade's role as their mentor. We all owe him a great debt of ratitude for his dedicated service, vision and deep commitment to the noble ideals and values which WMU embodies."

Günther Zade grew up in East Germany and studied mathematics at Leipzig University, where he gained fame as an outstanding athlete, becoming a member of the East German national water polo team.

He embarked on a seafaring career in the West German merchant marine in 1957, becoming a master mariner and subsequently completing postgraduate studies in Nautical Studies and Education. From 1968 until 1983 he served at Bremen Hochschule für Nautik, as Lecturer, Professor, Vice-Rector and, finally, Rector.

In 1982, the then Secretary-General of IMO, Dr. C.P. Srivastava, asked Professor Zade to assist in the design and establishment of WMU, an institution that he served with passion and enthusiasm for almost twenty years.

Professor Zade was founding member, first chairman, and President of the International Maritime Lecturers' Association (IMLA) and played a leading role in many other international and national professional associations such as the International Association of Institutes of Navigation (IAIN), the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) and the German Institute of Navigation. He was a prolific researcher and author of many studies on the subjects of maritime education and training.

His outstanding contribution to WMU and to maritime education worldwide has been widely recognized and honoured. The Government of Germany awarded him one of that nation's highest honours, the Bundesverdienstkreuz 1.Klasse, the Government of France created him Chevalier de l'Ordre du Mérite Maritime and Shanghai Municipality awarded him the Magnolia Silver Award. Lloyd's List presented him with the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Maritime Training and Constanza Maritime University in Romania recently awarded him an honorary doctorate. WMU itself awarded him the distinction of Professor Emeritus and established an ongoing student scholarship in his name.

To honour the memory of Professor Zade, WMU will establish the annual Günther Zade Lecture, to be held in connection with the annual meeting of the University's international Board of Governors. Distinguished experts from the international maritime education milieu will speak on issues of maritime education and training, to which Professor Zade devoted his professional life.

Professor Zade is survived by his wife Inge, his daughter Maja and his son Ralph.

Briefing 17, 10 May 2006

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