Leading today, shaping tomorrow

Dies Natalis 2020

On Friday 6 November 2020 we celebrate the 107th Dies Natalis of Erasmus University Rotterdam. After the overwhelming success of the online Opening of the Academic Year with over 16,000 viewers, the University now also celebrates her birthday completely online. The theme of this year’s Dies Natalis is ‘Leading today, shaping tomorrow’.

Dies Natalis 2020

Program Dies Natalis

  • Contributions by two prominent speakers: internationally renowned architect Francine Houben and successful entrepreneur and EUR-alumnus Frank Slootman.
  • The presentation of two honorary doctorates to professor Jane Dutton (University of Michigan) and professor Katharina Pistor (Columbia University) by promotors from Rotterdam School of Management and Erasmus School of Law.
  • The presentation of the FAME Athena Award to professor Antoinette de Bont to acknowledge her exceptional contribution to promote gender diversity and inclusion at Erasmus University.
  • A speech by chair of the Executive Board Ed Brinksma.
  • Performances by spoken word artist Kevin ‘Blaxtar’ de Randamie on Making Minds Matter, the university's new motto.
  • Conversations with students and rector magnificus Rutger Engels about leadership and the relevance of universities.
  • Machteld Schoep

    Francine Houben is architect-director and one of the founders of Mecanoo architects in DelftThe oeuvre of Francine Houben's architecture is wide-ranging and includes projects such as universities, libraries, theatres, residential areas, museums and hotels. Her most recent building being the Library of Birmingham (2013). She is a member of the Sounding Board group Spatial Quality Rotterdam and is a member of the board of the International Film Festival Rotterdam.


    Frank Slootman has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and manager in the software industry. This year he brought a large IT company to the stock exchange for the third time in a row: Snowflake. Frank Slootman is a self-made man. He was born in Huizen, studied Economy at Erasmus University Rotterdam and left for Silicon Valley in 1984.

  • Professor Jane Dutton, Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan, is awarded an honorary doctorate by recommendation of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). Honorary promotor is Professor Joep Cornelissen.

    Professor Katharina Pistor, Edwin B. Parker Professor of Comparative Law and Director of the Center on Global Legal Transformation at the Columbia Law School of Columbia University in New York City, is awarded an honorary doctorate by recommendation of Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University (ESL).