Dies Natalis 2019: Education for life

Highlights and awards

Jan Beuving
Chariman Anton Pijpers (links) and Alumus of the Year Jan Beuving. Photo by Robert Oosterbroek.

Past Tuesday 26 March 2019, Utrecht University celebrated its 383rd Dies Natalis in the Dom Church. The theme was ‘Education for life’.

Read the speech by rector Henk Kummeling (pdf)

Dies speech Sari Lindblom

In her Dies speech titled The role of the teacher in tomorrow’s world professor Sari Lindblom, vice-rector of the University of Helsinki, reflected on this year’s theme.

Watch Sari Lindblom's speech (video)

Honorary doctorates

This year the university confered two honorary doctorates on Sionaidh Douglas-Scott and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose. Both candidates have the goal of putting research to work to tackle societal problems. With these honorary doctorates, Utrecht University wishes to express its great appreciation of the individuals receiving these doctorates and their work.

Read and watch more: honorary doctorates

Alumnus of the Year

Songwriter, comedian and performer Jan Beuving has been awarded the title Utrecht University’s Alumnus of the Year 2018. He received this honorary distinction during the 383rd Dies Natalis – the annual celebration of the university’s anniversary. Jan Beuving studied at Utrecht University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics (2008) and a master’s degree in History and Philosophy of Science (2009). He subsequently went on to become a songwriter and performer. Jan Beuving: ”I never thought I’d get an academic award.”

Read more: Alumnus of the Year

Teacher Awards

Traditionally the Teacher Awards were presented. Niels Bovenschen, teacher in Biomedical Sciences and head of the Pathology Research Laboratory, was awarded the 2019 Lecturer Award. Marij Swinkels, teacher in Public Governance and Management, received this year’s Teacher Talent Award.

Read more: teacher awards

Silver medals

During the ceremony, chairman Anton Pijpers awarded three silver medals. With this honourable gesture, he underlined the special merits of Hilke Grootelaar, Marij Swinkels and Elena Valbusa. They are the initiators of Incluusion. This project provides access to academic education for students with refugee backgrounds. Incluusion has now been able to arrange education for over 280 students. Other universities are now following Incluusion’s example.

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