Upon completion of their apprenticeship, craftsmen traditionally take to the road and are known as journeymen. On their travels, they get to know new places, improve their skills and acquire new knowledge. Their small treasures in their Charlie – short for Charlottenburg cloth – give them assurance and remind them of their roots, embody their traditions and represent their basic know-how and tools for the future. This applies symbolically to students who, after graduating, feel the urge to set out into the world with their knowledge and skills. They face the challenges of the future with fresh ideas, a goal in mind, and the courage to approach things by new ways and means.

In the spirit of such wanderings and of these values, the jury confer the Charlie Award to outstanding personalities of our time at the Campus Symposium. Unswerving fidelity to principles, independence, determination and a pioneer role in current or past events are what has been characteristic for each of the winners to date as well as for any future candidates for the Charlie Award. They have to set a good example, be inspiration and anchor-points on the path of life of the wayfarer.

Although these travels frequently lead students far away from their origins, at one time or another every traveler is drawn back home again, quite in keeping with the maxim: “There’s no place like home!” Back to the place where the wanderer once learned the values the Charlie Award stands for and where tradition, solidarity and loyalty have not been forgotten despite the fast pace of the world around us, but rather represent the consistent cornerstones of the community.