Matthijs Bierman, director of Triodos Bank Nederland, has been elected Alumnus of the Year 2012 by the University of Groningen. The award will be presented to him on 3 September by Rector Magnificus Elmer Sterken, during the official Opening of the Academic Year in the University’s Academy Building.
The University of Groningen regards its alumni as ambassadors for the University, playing a part in society all over the world after their study period in Groningen. Since 2009, the University of Groningen annually honours an alumnus who has made a special contribution to society, academia or culture: the Alumnus of the Year. The prize is an expression of both appreciation and encouragement. The Alumnus of the Year is regarded as a source of inspiration to others and is also considered to embody great promise for the future.
Matthijs Bierman (1964) graduated in both Business Administration and Law at the University of Groningen in 1991. He then went on to work in various positions, including as an aid worker in Botswana, and in 1996 joined Triodos Bank, where he became director in 2003. He deliberately chose to work for this idealistic bank because he wanted to manage a socially committed organization.
The University of Groningen attaches great importance to the theme of sustainability and will celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2014 under the motto ‘4 ∞ For Infinity’. The Alumnus of the Year 2012 is translating commitment to a sustainable society, focusing on the future and for future generations, into practice in his own sector. Against all trends, Triodos Bank has continued to grow steadily, under the leadership of a daring, determined man who has stayed true to his principles.The University considers Bierman to be an inspiring example in times of financial crisis and a rather damaged image of the financial world, who demonstrates that sustainable business can be very successful.
The Alumnus of the Year Award comprises a statue specially designed for this event by the Groningen artist Jan Steen. Rector Magnificus Elmer Sterken will present this prize to Matthijs Bierman on 3 September, during the festive Opening of the Academic Year in the Academy Building. A video message from Bierman will be shown during the Summer Ceremony on 6 July, held to close the academic year. The Alumnus of the Year Award has previously been presented to Jeroen Smit in 2009, Jelle Brandt Corstius in 2010 and Stine Jensen in 2011.
- More information about the Alumnus of the Year election: Yvonne Jordens, jury coordinator, Alumni Relations & Fundraising Department, University of Groningen, y.m.jordens-streng rug.nl, tel. 050-363 4684 or 06-5146 9987.- The Alumnus of the Year will appear on the cover of the summer issue of Broerstraat 5 , which will appear this week, and inside this University alumni magazine you will find an in-depth interview with Matthijs Bierman. - The 4 July issue of Unifocus, the University of Groningen’s online video magazine, will include an item about the election, quoting Matthijs Bierman.
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