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Dies Natalis: Tilburg University celebrates 90th anniversary

Honorary doctorates for Professors Alexander Rinnooy Kan and Eleonore Stump

Tilburg University celebrated its 90th anniversary on Dies Natalis, November 16, 2017. The theme of this year’s celebration was 'The Digital Society'.

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Honorary Doctorates

During the ceremony, honorary doctorates were awarded to Professor of Economics and Business Studies, Senator, and former chairman of the Netherlands Social and Economic Council, Alexander Rinnooy Kan, and Professor of Philosophy Eleonore Stump from Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. The laudatio for Prof. Rinnooy Kan, written by Prof. Dick den Hertog, stated that:

'Alexander Hendrik George Rinnooy Kan is awarded the degree of Honorary Doctor of Economicsfor his great achievements in the field of Data Science, also during the time when it was not yet known as such. He has made a fundamental contribution to the development and analysis of efficient mathematical methods for important classes of planning problems. During the time when he held various influential managerial positions he was an ardent promoter of and source of inspiration for the use of data and analytics in decision making. In the Netherlands, he is the standard bearer of Data Science.'

The laudatio for Professor Eleonore Stump, written by Proffessor Rudi te Velde:'Dr. Stump has earned her reputation with many influential studies in the field of medieval philosophy and the philosophy of religion. Her interest in the rich tradition of medieval thought has never been merely historical; what attracted her to the philosophy of this particular period is the philosophical analytical approach to the central themes of the Christian religion: the concept of God, the problem of evil, grace and free will, the ethics of human action, to mention a few of the most important areas of her research. Among her many books are her magisterial study on Aquinas, a very important book in the field of Thomistic studies.'

University Medals

Speakers were Distinguished University Professor Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Rector Magnificus Emile Aarts, and President of the Executive Board Koen Becking. University medals were presented to Ton Rombouts, former Mayor of ’s-Hertogenbosch, and Peter Noordanus, the Mayor of Tilburg.

Research & Education

During the ceremony 2 essays were presented on Research and Educaton: Science with a Soul and Tilburg Educational Profile.

Festive Events

In celebration of our university’s 90th anniversary, a series of festive events will take place on and off campus. After the Dies ceremony, the annual science festival, Night University, will start; this year’s theme is 'Back to the Future'.

On November 17, there will be a special event for schoolchildren: professors will teach workshops and master classes at special locations in the city. An NS train will transport them and a quiz will be held during the journey. Finally, on November 18, the university will receive its alumni.