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August 30, 2004
Institute namesake Claus Halle dies at 77
Claus Halle, former Coca-Cola executive and generous
University benefactor, died on Sunday, Aug. 22. He was 77.
Halle, along with his wife, Marianne, provided the support for the Claus M. Halle
Institute for Global Learning, which officially opened in October 1997. He was
a vocal proponent of enhancing international relations, especially between the
United States and Germany, his home country. In 2000, Emory bestowed an honorary
degree upon him.
“I feel very fortunate to have had Claus as a mentor and a friend since
we met in 2002, and to have had the chance this summer to get his input for the
new initiatives underway at the Halle Institute,” said Vice Provost International
Affairs Holli Semetko, who is director of the institute. “Clause and the
board of the Halle Foundation provided support for a major research project we
have undertaken in Europe this year, reflecting his deep commitment to international
understanding. His passion for people, democracy, diplomacy and trade can be
seen in the work of the Halle Institute, and we will miss him very much.”
In 1950, Halle joined the Coca-Cola Company in Germany as a trainee. He was named
area manager for central Europe in 1965 and president of Coca-Cola Europe in
1970. By 1979, Halle was vice-chair of the company with responsibilities for
operations in Europe and Africa.
Following his retirement from Coca-Cola in 1989, Halle served on the boards of
such organizations as the Carter Center, the Southern Center for International
Studies and the Woodruff Arts Center.
“I had the good fortune of working for Claus early in my career,” said
Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Neville Isdell in a statement to Coke employees worldwide. “He
was a great mentor and, more importantly, a dear friend. He was a true globalist
with a deep understanding of every country in which we operate. His commitment
to everything he did was second to none, and he was always a gentleman with a
wonderfully dry sense of humor. We are all poorer for his passing.”
A memorial service was held Wednesday, Aug. 25, at 11 a.m. at Glenn Memorial.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Oglethorpe Exchange
Program, Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, 30319, or to International
University Bremen Foundation of America, 316 Mid Valley Center No. 281, Carmel,