News and events Tilburg University

Dies Natalis 2020

Date: Time: 16:00 Location: Dies Natalis

On Thursday, November 19, Tilburg University celebrated its 93rd anniversary. You can review the Dies Natalis below.

Transition in Academia

The theme of this year's Dies Natalis was Transition in Academia. Current events call for global, national and regional issues to be tackled. As a university, we now have more than ever the duty to fully realize our core mission, Understanding Society.  Indeed, our society is currently seriously tested in many ways. A small virus is challenging us to address fundamental questions about our common future, which will be a future of transitions.

Transition of the rectorate

Central to this year’s edition was the transition of the rectorate. We welcomed Professor Wim van de Donk who officially accepted the office of Rector Magnificus. Professor Jantine Schuit was also installed as the Vice-Rector Magnificus.


Outgoing Rector Magnificus Klaas Sijtsma

Outgoing Rector Magnificus Klaas Sijtsma spoke, among other things, about the importance of the joint VSNU project Room for Everyone’s Talent (Erkennen en Waarderen). Room for Everyone’s Talent signifies an almost unprecedented transition in the recognition and appraisal of the various aspects of working at a Dutch university and entails no less than a change in academic culture. Tilburg University actively contributes to this national movement. Sijtsma's last act as Rector Magnificus was to reveal the portraits of our past and present female professors.


Keynote by professor Bart Berden

Professor Bart Berden, chairman of the board of the Elisabeth Tweesteden hospital and chairman of Regional Consultative Body for Acute Care ROAZ (Regionaal Overleg Acute Zorg) then gave a keynote on the collaboration between the hospital and the university in the light of the regional partnership and transfer of academic knowledge.

The internationally renowned singers of ‘Cappella Pratensis’ added lustre to this Dies Natalis with the song ‘Ubi Caritas’.

Professor Wim van de Donk 33rd Rector Magnificus

Finally, Professor Wim van de Donk accepted his appointment as the 33rd Rector Magnificus of Tilburg University with a speech. He spoke about the things that, in the upcoming academic decade, will challenge and shape the idea of universities in general, and our University in particular.