The University of Groningen has awarded honorary doctorates to Prof. Titia de Lange and Dr Philipp Blom. The academic ceremony on Friday 14 June was part of the 81st lustrum of the UG. During the ceremony, Prof. Elmer Sterken, Rector for the past 8 years, handed over his rector chain to Prof. Cisca Wijmenga. She will be the new Rector Magnificus of UG as of 1 September 2019.
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 Nietsche. 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.
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.
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 & Business from 2008 to 2011, before being appointed as Rector Magnificus 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 Magnificus were the celebration of the UG’s 400th anniversary in 2014 and the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Prof. Ben Feringa in 2016. Sterken is returning to the Faculty of Economics and Business in the role of professor.
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