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UG to award honorary doctorate to Feike Sijbesma in Martinikerk on 22 January

The awarding of the honorary doctorate is part of the Nobel Prizewinners’ Ceremony
18 January 2021

On Friday 22 January 2021, the University of Groningen (UG) will award an honorary doctorate to Feike Sijbesma in the Martinikerk in Groningen. The former CEO of DSM will be presented with his honorary doctorate by Rector Magnificus Cisca Wijmenga during the special Nobel Prizewinners’ Ceremony as part of the Climate Adaptation Week Groningen (held between 19 and 25 January). Former secretary-general of the UN Ban Ki-moon will visit the ceremony online to offer his congratulations. The honorary supervisor of Sijbesma is Prof. Peter Verhoef, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business.

Due to the current corona measures, it will not be possible to physically attend the ceremony. There will be a livestream available on the UG website and on, therefore, for those that are interested in watching the ceremony. The awarding of the honorary doctorate itself will take place between 12.00 p.m. and 01.00 p.m.

Feike Sijbesma
Feike Sijbesma


Societal engagement

Sijbesma is being awarded the UG honorary doctorate as a result of his significant societal engagement as one of the ‘captains of industry’ in the Netherlands. President of the Board of the University, Jouke de Vries: ‘His thorough efforts regarding climate issues and sustainability in particular make him a valuable honorary doctor. He has played an important role in sustainability processes within DSM and he has used his voice to stress the importance of societal engagement of multinationals.” He has also worked hard on this in an international context. Between March and September 2020, he acted as special ‘corona envoy’ on behalf of the Cabinet. The UG wants to reward these efforts with the highest distinction that can be granted from the academic world.

About UG honorary doctorates

An honorary doctorate (Latin: doctor honoris causa) is a doctorate granted to someone that has contributed exceptionally to academia without having obtained a PhD degree. The University of Groningen also awards honorary doctorates to people who have made an exceptional contribution to society or politics. Honorary doctorates are mainly awarded by the UG during its five-year anniversary (lustrum) celebrations. Of the 22 honorary doctorates awarded by the UG this century, this is only the third not to be awarded during a lustrum. UG honorary doctorates are symbolized by a traditional burgundy-coloured kappa (cape), to be worn by the honorary doctor.

Last modified:28 March 2023 12.23 p.m.
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