EUniWell congratulates Hester Bijl as new Rector Magnificus of Leiden University

10/02/2021 | Leiden

Leiden University celebrated its 446th Dies Natalis on 8 February. On this special day former Rector Professor Carel Stolker transferred the rectorate to Professor Hester Bijl. She is the first female Rector Magnificus of Leiden University.

Having had a combined Rector and President for over 15 years, as of today Leiden University once again has a Rector Magnificus in its purest form, Bijl remarked as brand-new Rector, having just received the chain of office. Bijl: ‘Having served as Vice-Rector for four years, I consider it a great honour to be able to take up this wonderful post at this equally wonderful university, a university with an eye to tradition and an eye to the future, with a broad spectrum of academic disciplines and teaching programmes, and with wonderfully driven students and staff from home and abroad.’

She also emphasised the importance of well-being. ‘For our well-being we need one another. Well-being is crucial and is something we as a university are focusing our efforts on.’ When receiving an honorary doctorate from Leiden University in 1999, Nelson Mandela remarked that people’s well-being is one of a university’s responsibilities, Bijl noted. ‘That is why I’m so pleased with EUniWell, our European alliance on well-being. We and six other universities have joined forces in our teaching and research to focus on themes such as population health, and individual and social well-being. EUniWell aims to improve the well-being and welfare of students, staff and the public.’ 

Read the article about the Dies Natalis:

Watch the video of the dies natalis:

Photo Credits: Monique Shaw