Dies Natalis 2015

Leiden University will celebrate its 440th anniversary, on Monday 9 February 2015 at 14:30 hrs., in the Pieterskerk Leiden. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Simultaneous translation

A simultaneous translation of the ceremony will be provided in English and will be broadcast live.

Dies lecture

The Dies lecture will be delivered by Hanna Swaab, Professor of Neuropedagogical Assessment and Developmental Disorders, and Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

The lecture will be entitled: The future of the vulnerable child.

Honorary Doctorates

During the ceremony, Honorary Doctorates will be conferred on:

Professor Peter Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter Jr. Professor of International Studies at Cornell University Ithaca, for his eminent contribution to research on political institutions in the area of comparative political economics and international relations. The Honorary Supervisor is Petr Kopecký, Professor of Political Science, Institute for Political Science, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. The Dean of the Faculty is Professor Hanna Swaab.

Lilian Gonçalves-Ho Kang You, state councillor within the Netherlands Council of State, for her exemplary dedication to the democratic constitutional state and for her enduring advocacy of human rights, in particular women’s rights. The Honorary Supervisor is Alex Geert Castermans, Professor of Civil Law, Institute for Private Law, Leiden Law School. The Dean is Professor Rick Lawson.

William Christie, artistic director of Les Arts Florissants and Le Jardin des Voix, for his extensive research on and excellent performances of French music from the 17th and 18th centuries, in particular baroque opera, and for the development of a unique choral and orchestral sound for his repertoire. The Honorary Supervisor is Professor Frans de Ruiter, Professor of Performing Arts, in particular the Relationship between Sciences and Performing Arts, Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Faculty of Humanities. The Dean is Professor Wim van den Doel.

Special performances

The ceremony will be through-composed in a rhapsodic succession of timeless phenomena, inspired by the glissando and performed by the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts and De Veenfabriek.

Teaching Prize and Research Award

The Chairman of the Leiden University Student Platform, Femke Vermeer, will present the 2015 Leiden Teaching Prize.  

Sophie Starrenburg (picture), former LUC-student, will then present her award-winning Bachelor thesis research.


During the reception following the official ceremony there will be the opportunity to congratulate the members of the Executive Board of the University, the Dies lecturer, the Honorary Doctors and their Supervisors, the Deans, the prize winners, and their partners. The reception will start at approximately 16:45 hrs.

Social media

Follow us on Twitter: #unileiden440



It is not possible anymore to attend the dies natalis. We are fully booked. The ceremony will be broadcast live via www.leiden.edu.

See also

Last Modified: 09-02-2015