Opening Academic Year 2024-2025

The art of connecting
Illustration of figures around a globe.
Monday 2 Sep 2024, 15:00 - 16:30
Spoken Language
Erasmus Building
Campus Woudestein
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dr. Bonnie French is in the audience at the Opening of the Academic Year 2023.
Alexander Santos Lima

In times of climate change, shifting global order, and societal and technological developments, Erasmus University Rotterdam works to address these complex challenges as a community. We need and seek collaboration with each other and with external parties to achieve impactful and sustainable solutions. However, collaboration does not happen automatically. It requires a continuous process of open mindedness, feedback, dialogue and willingness to learn. This is no easy task. For this reason, the 'art of connecting' is central during the Opening Academic Year 2024–2025.

All the more reason to reflect during the ceremony on how Erasmus University Rotterdam embodies the Erasmian value of 'connection' and to showcase successful collaborations. How do they bring out the best in each other to create societal impact? How do they engage in dialogue with the outside world? What is needed to ensure these relationships remain resilient? During the Opening Academic Year 2024–2025, we will experience the art of connecting.

Register for the Opening of the Academic Year 2024-2025

Registration via the online registration form is required for access to the program in the Aula and the drinks. The language of the ceremony is Dutch, with translation into English available. There will be drinks after the ceremony.


How can 'connection' contribute to our positive impact mission and to our dream of growing into a true civic university strongly intertwined with the outside world?  

 These top speakers will explore the "art of connecting": 

  • Mpho Tutu

    Mpho Tutu is an Anglican priest, speaker, writer, and daughter of Desmond Tutu. She promotes the philosophy of Ubuntu, which provides people with insight into themselves and their connection with others. Ubuntu posits that one is only truly a person through other people. In other words, we are only human in relation to other humans. Our humanity is interwoven, and every tear in the fabric of our connectedness must be repaired so that we all may become whole. It forms the basis of who we are.

    Mpho Tutu smiles into the camera.
  • Annelien Bredenoord

    Annelien Bredenoord will become the President of the Executive Board, as of September 1st 2024, with the Opening Academic Year marking her first official act in this position. 

    Annelien Bredenoord
  • Simone Frederiksz

    Simone Fredriksz – Albeda MBO Executive Board Member. She works at the interface of business, digital technology, and education. 


    Simone Fredriksz smiles into the camera.
  • Desiree Hoving

    The Opening Academic Year will be hosted by Desiree Hoving, a dynamic science journalist known for her charisma and engaging moderation.

    Desiree Hoving smiles into the camera.
  • Huize Lucas

    The upbeat musical performance will be by Huize Lucas, whose eclectic blend of hi-fi electronic productions with orchestral arrangements emphasizes queer joy and collectivity. Huize Lucas, musically brings together talents from various backgrounds in a collaborative and inclusive environment, embodying the theme of 'connecting' that lies at the heart of the event. 

    Portret van Huize Lucas.

New President of the Executive Board

This year, the Opening Academic Year is a significant occasion for the President of the Executive Board. Annelien Bredenoord will begin her role as president at this event, marking her first official act in this position.

Mural Unveiling: The art of connecting

Prior to the Opening Academic Year ceremony, a mural by artist Marije Vermeulen will be unveiled on the side wall of the E-building. For this mural, Vermeulen created a design that takes into account the building's unique architecture, with geometric shapes and lines forming a connecting pattern that builds on the building's existing lines. The mural depicts the theme 'connecting' and symbolizes Erasmus University Rotterdam's dedication to embracing the art of connecting through interdisciplinary collaboration and societal engagement. More details on the unveiling of the mural will follow.

More information

For more information, visit the Opening Academic Year 2024-2025 page.

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