It all started three years ago in the college lounge at the Lange Voorhout 44 on a rainy Monday morning in September with the introduction week for the first ever Leiden University College (LUC) students: this day marked the commencement of our bachelor studies. For some, however, it feels like this introduction week took place no more than three months ago. Time has passed incredibly fast and after three academic years filled with reading weeks and true LUC-style parties, the LUC journey ended for sixty-six of our students on the twenty-second of June, 2013.
At 14.00 sharp, the graduating students entered the Atrium of the City Hall in their caps and gowns, with their tassels still on the right side. The Dean of LUC, Prof. dr. Chris Goto-Jones opened the graduation ceremony, after which the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor of education of the city of The Hague, and the Vice-Rector Magnificus of Leiden University addressed the students, staff and guests. The Deputy Mayor awarded Georgina Kuipers with the Global Citizenship Award, to honour all the work she has done for the LUC community. The commencement speech was delivered by our Dean, who gave us important advice during our last minutes as LUC students. Even though the famous fish were hardly mentioned, the Dean’s advice was illustrated by the movies Kung Fu Panda and Star Wars. Following the commencement speech, a video was shown which summarised our three years at LUC and presented the achievements of, and traditions established by, the Class of 2013. The first student to take the floor during the ceremony was Hilde Woker, who launched LUC’s Alumni Foundation Evolucio. After the launch, it was finally time for the graduating students to receive their diplomas, shake hands with the Dean and turn their tassels to the left side.
Once all students had taken their seats again, three more speeches followed. Jouke de Vries, the Dean of the Faculty Campus The Hague, handed out the award for Highest Academic Achievement to Barend de Rooij. Barend subsequently gave his Valedictorian speech. The last speech of the day was delivered by the Class Representative of 2013, Limo Baroud, who also presented the Senior Gift. After the closing remarks of the Dean, the graduates and the choir performed the song Viva La Vida. The ceremony ended with all the graduates on stage throwing their caps in the air.
After the ceremony, the graduates, their family and friends, the LUC staff and other guests were invited to enjoy drinks and snacks during the reception. The festivities ended with all the graduates dancing in the middle of the City Hall whilst balloons fell down from the ceiling.
Evolucio would like to congratulate the first students that graduated from LUC and welcome them into our alumni society. Let’s hope that the wonderful memories of those amazing three years at LUC will last forever, and that we, as alumni, will be able to stay in touch, and keep the LUC spirit alive.