Previous Dies celebrations

Every year on 26 March, Utrecht University celebrates the Dies Natalis; the anniversary of the university. This archive provides an overview of the activities during the Dies Natalis in previous years.

    • Dies Natalis 2020: #UUgotthis

      News
      On 26 March 2020, Utrecht University turned 384 years old. With the motto #UUgotthis we shared our aspirations, attitude and commitment.
    • Dies Natalis 2019: Education for life

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

Dies Natalis archive (in Dutch)

Dies Natalis 2018, Darwin, Data en Academische Intelligentie

Diesrede:
Minister van OCW Ingrid van Engelshoven

Eredoctoraten:
prof. dr. Williams
prof. dr. Barabási

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2017, Town and Gown

Diesrede:
Prof. dr. Maarten Hajer

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Sangeeta Bhatia
Professor Peer Bork

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2016, Create, Connect & Celebrate

Diesrede:
Prof. dr. Beatrice de Graaf

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Robert J. Sampson
Professor Sybil Seitzinger

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2015, Onderwijs in beweging

Diesrede:
prof. dr. Frits van Oostrom

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Douglas Altman
Professor Kurt VanLehn

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2014, Jeugd en identiteit

Diesrede:
prof. dr. Michael Sandel

Eredoctoraten:
Professor BJ Casey
Professor Michael Sandel

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2013, Institutions

Diesrede:
prof. dr. Frans B.M. de Waal

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Avner Greif
Professor Frans B.M. de Waal

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2012, Life Sciences

Diesrede:
prof.dr. Bert Leufkens

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Neil Ferguson
Professor Ruslan Medzhitov

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2011, Kennis voor de toekomst

Diesrede:
prof.dr. Bert Weckhuysen

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Carlos Duarte
Professor Christopher Murray

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2010, Hersenen, cognitie en gedrag

Diesrede:
prof.dr. Marian Joëls

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Jacques Mehler
Professor Elizabeth Spelke

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2009, Volksgezondheid en epidemiologie

Diesrede:
prof.dr.ir. Bert Brunekreef

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Richard Laing
Professor Paul M. Ridker

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2008, Bol van Wiskunde

Diesrede:
prof.dr. Ieke Moerdijk

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Michael Storper
Professor Daron Acemoglu

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2007, Religie als denkoefening

Diesrede:
prof.dr. Willemien Otten

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Tadaki Hirose
De heer Willem Jan Otten
Professor Diane Marie Amann

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2006, Verwondering en Verlichting

Diesrede:
prof.dr. Paul Schnabel

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Diana Wall
Professor Avelino Corma
Professor Graham Gibbs
Professor Sangkot Marzuki

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2005, Een wonderbaarlijke methode

Diesrede:
prof. dr. Theo Verbeek

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Jean-Luc Marion
Professor Kamil Ugurbil

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2004, Kinderen en jeugdigen in cultuur en wetenschap

Diesrede:
prof.dr. Willem Koops

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Matthias Mann
Professor Albert Heck
Professor John Lochman
Professor Willem Koops

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2003

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Elaine Ostrander
Professor Alan Weinstein
Professor Titia de Lange

Dies Natalis 2002

Eredoctoraten:
Professor Rudi van den Hoofdakker
Professor Randall Hulet
Professor Margaret Jacob

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 2001, Kennis @ la carte

Eredoctoraten:
Professor William Berggren
Doctorandus Bart Stapert
Professor Marcel Reich-Ranicki

Meer informatie

Dies Natalis 1636-2000

Utrecht University was founded on 26 March 1636. Ever since then, the university celebrates the Dies Natalis every year. Information on some of these Dies Natales has been preserved, some of which is shown below.

1736: 100 years of Utrecht University

The centennial anniversary of Utrecht University was celebrated with a grand masquerade – a costumed parade with a theme. The masquerade of 1736, with Bacchus as its theme, was organised by students and was an event for all residents of the city. 

For the occasion of the centennial anniversary, a medallion was minted bearing the following inscription (in Dutch): 'De zaal der vrijheid is de tempel der wijsheid; nadat de monsters bedwongen waren, zijn de kunsten herwonnen'. It has been a tradition to mint medallions at lustra ever since. By now, this has grown into a beautiful collection.

Dies Natalis 1948
Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard. Source: University Museum.

1906: 270 years of Utrecht University

During the Dies Natalis of 1948, a honorary doctorate was awarded to prof. Eleanor Roosevelt. Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard attended as guests.

Dies Natalis 1951
The Dies Parade of 1951. Source: University Museum.

1951: 315 years of Utrecht University

For a long time, students organised the lustrum celebrations. The Utrechtsch Studenten Corps organised a masquerade and a lustrum game about Genghis Khan. Members of other student societies participated as well. An elephant walked along in the parade.

1956: 320 years of Utrecht University

For lustra, the Utrechtsch Studenten Corps was commissioned by the University Senate to organise all kinds of festivities, including a festive parade through the city. Since 1945, members of other student societies could participate in this as well. After friction came about among the student societies in 1951, the university decided to more strongly disconnect the Dies Natalis and the lustrum celebration.

In 1956, the celebration of the Dies Natalis was moved to April after all because of the Dutch vastentijd. The organisation was now assigned to a commission of the University Senate. The solemn celebration had a mixed reception in the press. The Dutch newspaper NRC spoke of a 'professors' lustrum' and 'something sterile'.

Global Ecology Problems

1983: 347 years of Utrecht University

On 18 March 1983, the 347th anniversary of Utrecht University was celebrated in the Jacobi Church.

The Dies Natalis was moved because the Dom Church was undergoing restoration at the time. The theme of the day was Global Ecology Problems. Four honorary doctorates were presented. The title of the Anniversary Speech was: 'Morrelen aan de wereld'.

 

Back to the information page Dies Natalis.