It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of our colleague and predecessor Professor Dr. Günther Michel, who passed away March 19, 2017. Günther Michel was born August 22, 1928 in Triebes, Thuringian Vogtland. He finished school after a short period in war captivity in 1947 followed by an apprenticeship in agriculture. Michel received his higher education in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Leipzig between 1948 and 1953. Upon graduation he joined the Institute of Veterinary Anatomy and received the title Dr. med. vet. in 1954. He became a lecturer after his habilitation in 1962 and Professor of Histology and Embryology in 1969.
With great dedication Günther Michel led the research section for anatomy, histology and embryology up until July 1990 when the Veterinary Faculty regained its sovereignty. He was then appointed executive director of the Institute of Veterinary Anatomy and elected Associate Dean Academic. With all his energy he was devoted to reorganizing education and modernizing the whole faculty. He was given emeritus status after 40 years of commitment for the Institute of Veterinary Anatomy, Leipzig where generations of graduates benefited from his teaching in histology and embryology.
In the past 20 years he remained strongly connected to the faculty life and delighted everyone with his frequent visits to the institute. Even after his retirement he still held lectures on the history of veterinary medicine for first year students. Among many other things he also worked for the extension of the institute’s museum collection on the training and research farm Oberholz. For the students of the Otto Benecke Stiftung e.V. he was the supervisor offering fatherly support to veterinarians, who emigrated from Russia as ethnic German repatriates and received training in the clinics and the food hygiene department. For more than 20 years Günther Michel was a member of the association Freundeskreis Tiermedizin der Veterinärmedizinischen Fakultät Leipzig e.V. and he also advocated for the veterinary profession outside of university.
With great sadness all members of the Institute of Veterinary Anatomy and the Veterinary Faculty mourn and bid farewell to our warm-hearted, venerable colleague who devoted himself to the interests of our institute and faculty. Our sympathies go out to his wife, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for this loss. We will remember Günther Michel with gratitude for everything he achieved and every way he paved.