Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Latest news Events Academic Ceremonies

Honorary Doctorates / Transfer Rectorship

On Friday, 14 June 2019, the University of Groningen awarded Honorary Doctorates to Professor Titia de Lange and Dr Philipp Blom. The special academic meeting formed part of the UG’s Lustrum festivities (5 until 15 June), when the University celebrated its 405th anniversary. During the academic ceremony, Professor Elmer Sterken bade farewell as Rector of the University of Groningen and professor Cisca Wijmenga, who became the next Rector of the University of Groningen, gave a short acceptance speech.

Honorary doctorates

Philipp Blom

Dr Philipp Blom (Hamburg, 1970) studied Philosophy and Judaism in Vienna and Oxford, where he was awarded a PhD in 1997 for a thesis on Nietzsche. Blom has since worked as a translator, writer, editor and freelance journalist. His essays have appeared in publications including The Independent, The Times Literary Supplement, Die Zeit and Vrij Nederland. As a critical and international ‘public intellectual’, Philipp Blom represents the interests of the Humanities in society and, in turn, the values and ambitions of the UG.

More information.

Titia de Lange

Prof. Titia de Lange (Rotterdam, 1955) is director of the Anderson Center for Cancer Research and head of the Cell Biology and Genetics Laboratory at Rockefeller University. De Lange has conducted extraordinarily ground-breaking scientific work in the field of the biology of ageing. Her discoveries have resulted in fundamental insights into the way in which cells are able to transfer their genome to daughter cells after each cell division, without damaging it.

More information.


Elmer Sterken

Elmer Sterken (Apeldoorn, 1961) studied Econometrics in Groningen. He was awarded a PhD in 1990 and has occupied the chair in Monetary Economics at the UG since 1996. Sterken was Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business from 2008 to 2011, before being appointed as Rector of the UG in 2011. He has always been a strong advocate of teaching innovation, internationalization and contact with students. Among the highlights of his time as Rector were the celebration of the UG’s 400th anniversary in 2014 and the bestowal of the Nobel Prize on Prof. Ben Feringa in 2016. Sterken is returning to the Faculty of Economics and Business as a professor.

Cisca Wijmenga

Cisca Wijmenga (1964), Lodewijk Sandkuijl Professor of Human Genetics at the UG, is a leading, authoritative academic. She has has made an important contribution to insight into the genetics of complex, often chronic, conditions such as gluten intolerance. In 2015, she was awarded the Spinoza Prize : the most prestigious research prize in the Netherlands. She is a member of the board of the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMW), was a Fulbright scholar and was the head of the department of Genetics at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). Wijmenga is not only a leading and well-respected academic, but also an experienced manager who has proven herself both nationally and internationally and who knows how to bring people together.

Last modified:12 March 2020 6.55 p.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands