Dies Natalis 2023

Experience our 96th Dies Natalis all over again

Published: 24th November 2023 Last updated: 21st December 2023

On Thursday, November 16, we celebrated our university’s 96th Dies Natalis. The theme of this year’s ceremony was 'Experiencing Broad Prosperity'.

Together with the audience, the Executive Board enjoyed a varied and surprising program, which included the presentation of an honorary doctorate to the President of the Supreme Court and a warm welcome to the new Vice President of the Executive Board. The event concluded with a personal and insightful talk by two professors on Tilburg University’s role in ensuring broad prosperity. 

Were you unable to attend the Dies Natalis or would you like to watch it again?

Experience the Dies Natalis 2023

Tilburg University’s Rector Magnificus and President of the Executive Board Wim van de Donk opened the ceremony and spoke briefly about this year’s theme, 'Experiencing Broad Prosperity'.

As a university, we want our research to address both current and future challenges, and to help ensure broad universal prosperity. With its Academic Collaborative Centers, Tilburg University uses its wide range of expertise to make concrete contributions to broad prosperity, in co-creation with societal partners. 

Van de Donk also made a few introductory remarks before the presentation of an honorary doctorate to Dineke de Groot.

Dies Natalis 2023 - Wim van de Donk - foto Maurice van den Bosch

Presentation of honorary doctorate to Prof. Dineke de Groot

Prof. Dineke de Groot, who currently serves as President of the Supreme Court and teaches at VU Amsterdam as an associate professor of jurisprudence and conflict resolution, received an honorary doctorate during Tilburg University’s Dies Natalis. Honorary supervisors Prof. Stéphanie van Gulijk and Prof. Reinout Wibier of Tilburg Law School awarded her the degree in honor of her exceptional societal and academic achievements in bridging the gap between the justice system and society. “The multidisciplinary work on broad prosperity, sustainability and social security could not be done without legal scholars. They are the ones who show which choices can help us solve societal issues within the context of the democratic rule of law.”

Dies Natalis 2023 - Dineke de Groot - foto Maurice van den Bosch

It is a great privilege for our university, for our law school, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and for Stéphanie van Gulijk and myself in particular, to award this honorary doctorate to Dineke de Groot

- Reinout Wibier

I would like to thank Tilburg University, and my two honorary supervisors in particular, for awarding me this distinction

- Dineke de Groot

Dies Natalis 2023 - Dineke de Groot 2 - foto Maurice van den Bosch

Presentation of honorary doctorate to Prof. Dineke de Groot

Dineke de Groot’s speech

Welcoming new Executive Board Vice President Wilma de Koning

After the presentation of the honorary doctorate, Hugo Reumkens, President of the Tilburg University Board of Governors, took the floor and spoke warm words of welcome to MSc. Wilma de Koning, the new Vice-President of the Executive Board. 

Dies Natalis 2023 - Wilma de Koning - foto Maurice van den Bosch

“This is a perfect day to start this new position, celebrating our university’s birthday with colleagues and associates. I am proud to be working at Tilburg University again after 14 years, now as a member of the Executive Board, and I look forward to helping this institution achieve its objectives for the coming years.” - Wilma de Koning

Prosperity or Wellbeing

At the end of the ceremony, Prof.dr. Antoinette de Bont and Prof.dr. Lex Meijdam, joined by special guest speakers, provided a surprising perspective on the topic of broad prosperity in a talk entitled Prosperity or Wellbeing: Why Broader Is Better. 

Telling a personal story and offering specific insights, De Bont and Meijdam began their presentation with a look back at the past, before leaping to the present and future through a series of impressive images. How can Tilburg University, through its research and co-creation processes, help tackle challenges on the road towards sustainability, universal social security, and other development goals?

Watch the full presentation on YouTube

Dies Natalis 2023 - presentatie Antoinette de Bont & Lex Meijdam - foto Maurice van den Bosch

In a short period of time, the world has changed tremendously. But did economies of scale and industrialization only bring our ancestors prosperity and happiness? 

- Antoinette de Bont

We’re increasingly realizing that economic growth comes at the expense of our social and natural capital. 

- Lex Meijdam

Leaving the audience with plenty of food for thought, the presentation was the perfect way to conclude the 2023 Dies Natalis.