The Günter-Thiele-Foundation for Communication and Management was founded in 2014, based on a predecessor, the Foundation for the Promotion of PR science at the University of Leipzig as part of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft. The foundation as an independent non-profit entity subject to legal supervision by the State of Saxony. 

The foundation’s objective is to support science and research as well as to promote young researchers and education in the areas of communications management, public relations and strategic communication. In particular, activities at the Institute of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Leipzig shall be pursued and extended. The purpose of the foundation is served in particular through realizing research projects, promoting academic publications, promoting continuing education and training projects, promoting the international cooperation with foreign research institutions, promoting historic research in the field of PR and communications management especially within the projects “pr-museum” and “PR archive” at the University of Leipzig and supporting the institute.

The foundation runs major projects like the Academic Society for Corporate Management & Communication, the Center for Research in Financial Communication, and the Communication Benchmarking Initiative.

Since 2000, the foundation and its predecessor supported research and teaching at the University of Leipzig with more than one million Euros based on project funding and the foundation capital. Among other things an endowed chair was financed five years long. 

Günter Thiele 

The foundation has been named after its co-founder and honorary chairman Dr. h.c. Günter F. Thiele, who has been actively involved in promoting PR research in the German-speaking area since the early 90s. Previously Thiele was partner in the largest German communication service provider, the PR agency ACB Press Information. 

Awards for excellent students

Every year since 2004 the foundation honors excellent master and bachelor theses in the field of public relations and communications management at the University of Leipzig with the Günter-Thiele-Award.

Board of trustees

Members of the Board of trustees of the Günter-Thiele Foundation:
- Prof. Dr. Bernd Schuppener, Hamburg; chairman
- Prof. Dr. Werner Süss, Berlin; vice chairman
- Prof. Dr. Günter Bentele, Berlin
- Prof. Dr. Thomas Lenk, Vice Rector, University of Leipzig
- Prof. Dr. Ansgar Zerfaß, Leipzig
- Erich Steinsdörfer, Managing Director Deutsches Stiftungszentrum, Essen