Jan Beuving is Utrecht University’s 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 another academic award.”

Jan Beuving
Picture: Robert Oosterbroek

Jan Beuving

Going on to become a songwriter and performer having studied mathematics: Jan Beuving is living proof of the benefits that the broad foundation provided by scientific studies at Utrecht University can bring. The jury praised his talent for making complex academic and scientific subjects accessible to a wide audience in his performances. By almost always referring to his time studying at Utrecht University in interviews, he has also acted as a great ambassador for the university. The jury: “Through his high profile, his role as an ambassador and his passion, Jan Beuving realises our university’s ambition to combine the sciences with society.”

Alumnus of the Year

Utrecht University is proud of its alumni. This is why the university presents its Alumnus of the Year award each year. This award allows the university to underline the fact that alumni are an important, integral part of the academic community. Together with students, academics, alumni, social partners, government bodies and the commercial sector, Utrecht University strives for sustainable solutions to the great challenges we face, today and tomorrow.

An Alumnus of the Year is someone who is bringing about progress in his or her area of endeavour. Someone who dares stray from the beaten track; someone with a commitment to society who acts as a source of inspiration to today’s students. Previous Alumni of the Year include Cathelijne Broers, Feike Sijbesma and Marjan Minnesma.


The jury unanimously chose Jan Beuving from the shortlist of candidates for Alumnus of the Year 2018. The jury was made up of dr. mr. Madeleine van Toorenburg (alumna and jury chair); drs. Harald Miedema (alumnus and member of the Board of the Utrecht University Fund); mr. Floris de Gelder (alumnus); prof. dr. James Kennedy (Utrecht University) and drs. Monique Mourits (Utrecht University).


The Alumnus of the Year is presented with a work of art by Utrecht-based artist Nissim Men showing the winner’s favourite place in the city. Jan Beuving chose the Freudenthalgebouw, the building that is home to the mathematics faculty where he studied, as well as Jansbrug bridge – the place where he declared his love for his wife. The prize is made available by the Utrecht University Fund.