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Honorary doctorates

The University of Groningen awards honorary doctorates to people who have made an exceptional contribution to society, academia or politics.

Recently former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been awarded a honorary doctorate for his societal contributions in the field of peacekeeping and the development of the Paris Agreement.

Lustrum 2019: All Inclusive

Anniversaries of the UG are marked by these honorary awards. The University of Groningen (UG) will be awarding honorary doctorates to Prof. Titia de Lange and Dr Philipp Blom during its anniversary week in June 2019. Historian Blom will be awarded an honorary doctorate at the suggestion of Prof. Ann-Sophie Lehmann of the Faculty of Arts, whereas cell biologist De Lange was nominated by Prof. Gerald de Haan of the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Philipp Blom and Titia de Lange
Philipp Blom and Titia de Lange

During the 400th anniversary of the University in 2014 a total of ten honorary awards were awarded.

Honorary doctorates in the 21st century

Archbishop Desmond Tutu (photo: Elmer Spaargaren)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (photo: Elmer Spaargaren)
  • 2018 Ban Ki-moon, for his outstanding achievements, incl. the development of the Paris Agreement.
  • 2014 Professor José Casanova, Theology and Religious Studies
  • 2014 Professor Sir Francis Jacobs QC KCMG, Law
  • 2014 Professor Ronald M. Evans, Medical Sciences
  • 2014 Professor Renata Kallosh, Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  • 2014 Professor Michael Schudson, Arts
  • 2014 Professor Dani Rodrik, Economics and Business
  • 2014 Dr. H.C. Paul Polman, Economics and Business
  • 2014 Professor Robert E. Slavin, Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • 2014 Professor Christine Korsgaard, Philosophy
  • 2014 Prof.dr. Andreas Faludi, Spatial Sciences
  • 2012 Desmond Tutu, Theology and Religious Studies
  • 2009 Hisashi Owada, Law
  • 2009 Marilynn Brewer, Behavioural & Social Sciences
  • 2009 Michael Menaker, Mathematics & Natural Sciences
  • 2009 Kader Abdolah, Theology and Religious Studies
  • 2004 Mirjam Pressler, Arts
  • 2004 Ian Buruma, Theology & Religious Studies
  • 2004 Jan Blokker, Social Sciences

Read more on previous awarded honorary doctorates, starting in 1717.

Honorary doctorate ceremony

Mirjam Pressler receives the cappa (Photo: Elmer Spaargaren)
Mirjam Pressler receives the cappa (Photo: Elmer Spaargaren)

The UG honorary doctorate is symbolised by the red cappa. The Rector will also present the doctorate with a doctoral diploma, adorned with the seal of the UG.

Both staff and student associations take part in the ceremony, starting with the procession from the Academic Building to the Martini Church where the ceremony will take place. Professors are present in academic dress: Gown, bands and beret, decorations and distinctions. Students carry their flags and banners.

Honorary doctorates receive the title doctor honoris causa, or dr.h.c.

Last modified:14 June 2019 2.33 p.m.
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