Category Archives: News

Results Evolucio Winter Gathering

An important step in the development of LUC is staying in touch with you, our alumni. To centralize these efforts, Annemieke van Ast (LUC Recruitment and Communication), David Zetland (Assistant Professor of Economics) and Felipe van de Kerkhof (LUC The Hague Class of 2016) are now working on further developing Evolucio. The first of the new Evolucio 2.0 events was organized on December 17th of last year, it was great seeing so many of you again!

The alumni were welcomed by Lieke Schreel (Educational Director), who’s been involved with LUC from the start. Everyone was then invited to participate in focus groups to talk about their expectations of the alumni network and their experiences after leaving LUC.

In general you stressed you wanted to have the opportunity to continue learning and meeting up with your LUC peers, both formally and informally and in different alumni chapters in big LUC hubs (like London, Edinburgh, Berlin). In the meetings it became clear that the alumni expected LUC to take the lead in setting up these kind of events.

The alumni enjoyed receiving the newsletters and alumni spotlights. Furthermore, it was mentioned that you would like to be kept up to date about special achievements of professors and students, and be introduced to new staff members. Long story short: you want to be kept up to date with what was going on at LUC.

Finally, it was stressed you would love to see some sort of infrastructure in place where you can ask each other for advice, share experiences, and communicate job openings with each other.

We appreciate your feedback and have taken a few first steps towards meeting your wishes:

  • The first UK alumni event will take place on the 6th of May in London. Read more…
  • The alumni newsletter will be sent out every two months (with an occassional special edition in between)
  • On the 19th of April we are organising an alumni panel session about Capstone Experiences to bring LUC alumni and current students together. Read more…
  • The LUC LinkedIn network is being improved and now offers new opportunities for LUC alumni to connect. Read more…

To stay connected with alumni university wide, check out the Leiden University Mentor Network.

Please find an overview of Evolucios Workchart below:

Alumni Infographic

Download full size PDF

Comments and suggestions are always welcome!

LUC The Hague on LinkedIn

We received a lot of important ‘room for improvement working points’ in the Alumni Feedback Sessions at the first Alumni Winter Gathering last December. One of the most immediate concerns, was to the need to introduce a way to stay in touch with old and connect with new alumni online. To subscribe to the professional  nature of the alumni network as well as to address privacy concerns, we were explicitly advised to not use Facebook.

Taking all of these comments into account, we decided to build on LUC’s already existing ‘infrastructure’ on LinkedIn. Even though we’re obviously still improving things as they come, we think LinkedIn is the right tool to build a great Alumni network together. Here’s an overview of how we can use it:

  • Please add Leiden University College The Hague under education so you will show up on the alumni page of LUC. This way LUC can more easily connect with the alumni, and the alumni can connect amongst themselves (we’re working on getting our the LUC The Hague logo there. Strangely enough, this is not as easy as you might think)
  • Ask to become a member of the Evolucio – LUC The Hague alumni group on LinkedIn. This group can be used to ask other alumni for advice or exchange job openings or interesting events. At the moment, about a third of the LUC alumni is already in this group.
  • Follow the Leiden University College The Hague Company page to receive updates on LUC.

Comments and suggestions on how to improve our online activity are welcome and appreciated. Please send an e-mail to

Leiden University’s 440th Dies Natalis: LUC Alumna Sophie Starrenburg receives Best Thesis Award of Leiden University

Monday the 9th of February 2015 marked the day of Leiden University’s 440th Dies Natalis. It also marked the day that LUC alumna Sophie Starrenburg, Class of 2014, was rewarded the Best Thesis Award of Leiden University, and gave a speech about her Capstone project at the Dies Natalis. We believe this was a huge honour for Sophie, and thus we asked her to share some of her experiences of that day with us:


Last Monday, the 9th of February, I was given the amazing opportunity to speak at Leiden University’s 440th Dies. It was pretty exciting, as I had never been to a Dies in Leiden, only to those of LUC; as such, it was a lot of fun to experience all the pomp and circumstance that comes with the event, and also to get a sense of how LUC, as an institution, fits into the broader picture. This is only the second year that the University has chosen to let students speak about their theses at the Dies; the main motivation is to showcase that student research can also be very interesting. Each of the faculties was asked to provide theses from the previous academic year which had been given internal/external awards; a panel headed by the vice-rector then went through all of the nominations and chose one to be presented at the Dies.

Short recap of my Capstone, for those unaware: I looked at the ways in which international law protects tangible and intangible forms of cultural heritage, concluding that the current approach doesn’t work too well. I argued that the criminalisation of cultural genocide (which had originally been part of the concept, but was scrapped from the Genocide Convention) could provide a possible solution, as it captured the effect that cultural destruction can have on groups and could possibly aid timely intervention in potential genocidal situations.

In the run-up to the day, after practicing with an organising member of staff, I was essentially given one message: the speech needed to be slower, shorter, and simpler. She also informed me that there would be 1200 people in attendance, a matter of which I had been blissfully unaware up until that point (let’s just say I wasn’t exactly primed to present to crowds of that magnitude). Despite the existential angst produced by being forced to reduce one’s Capstone to essentially 500 words –as well as many practice sessions in which I forced myself to speak ever slower and slower –I managed, and by the time the actual day rolled around, I felt pretty prepared (but also experiencing what one might call impostor syndrome). The worst moment was waiting by the side of the stage as I was introduced, but once I was behind the podium and started speaking, I got into the flow of things – and before I knew it, it was over!

In the end, the whole experience was far more fun than I would have thought it could be: I got a lot of nice reactions afterwards, and entered into some interesting conversations with some of the attendees (was pulled into a conversation with one of the honorary doctorates, Peter Katzenstein –I could have probably really used a World Politics or Human Interaction major with me at that moment!).

Here’s to hoping that we’ll see another LUC’er on stage next year –and that all my fellow alumni are doing well, wherever you may be.


Sophie Starrenburg
Class of 2014

Grand Opening Anna van Bueren building

Although LUC’s new Anna van Bueren building had been in use since August, it had yet to be officially opened LUC-style – sushi, confetti, unlimited drinks… All should sound familiar to alumni. Thus, around 16 o’clock on Thursday the 31st of October, 400 guests gathered at the (still) impeccably white building, the new permanent home of our beloved college!

Besides the new wooden auditorium, filled to the brim with distinguished guests (as well as a few students), there were different Global Challenges-themed lounges where guests could watch the opening ceremony. The new Dean, Professor Jos Schaeken, kicked off the opening by welcoming everybody to the new building already nicknamed ‘Annie.’

Christine Everaars, Chair of Fortuna, then introduced a video by LUC.ID, which captures the essence of LUC life:

This was followed by Professor Jouke de Vries (Dean of Faculty Campus The Hague), Professor Simone Buitendijk (Vice-Rector Magnificus Leiden University), and Ingrid van Engelshoven (Deputy Mayor of the municipality of The Hague), who reflected on the growth of LUC and its developments these past years.

Then it was the students turn again: six Voices of LUC – guided by fellow alum Imane Maghrani, now working at LUC at PR & Marketing and as a Residential Assistant – shared their experiences, highlighting our community spirit and numerous opportunities for learning, whether through classes or from each other’s stories.

Finally, it was time for the much-anticipated keynote speaker Frans Timmermans, Minister of Foreign Affairs. He spoke as eloquently as always about the global challenge of knowledge in an age of information overload, tying personal experiences together with wise insights into today’s quickly changing world and its infobesitas. We recommend reading the whole speech, which can be found on his Facebook page!

Last but not least, it was time to officially open ‘Annie’: with the push of a big red button, Mayor of The Hague Jozias van Aartsen and Rector Magnificus of Leiden University Professor Carel Stolker set in motion a number of confetti canons throughout the whole building! (Also, a video that shows how Annie was built was shown; it can be watched here.)

Afterwards, the guests were free to explore the building and its many themed rooms, as well as its sushi and bitterballen platters. It was a great opportunity for students and a few alumni to meet the many people that played a role in creating this new home for LUC. There were also a number of familiar faces – Charlotte Gabriël, Lieke Schreel, Professor Chris Goto-Jones and Dr Cissie Fu – and it was wonderful to see the large volume of students and staff that keep our alma mater going on a daily basis. On to the next big event… Perhaps another graduation ceremony?!

LUC’s third Dies Natalis

The Board of Evolucio was very honoured to have been invited to the third Dies Natalis of Leiden University College. This year, it was celebrated two days prior to the actual event, as the 29th of September falls on a Sunday. Students, staff, and special guests gathered in an informal setting, in LUC’s own auditorium in the Anna van Buerenplein building. We were welcomed by Jos Schaekens, the new dean of LUC, who spoke about LUC 2.0, and how this year LUC would grow, with the necessary changes (such as himself, Freya Baetens, the new Director of Studies, a new Managing Director, and so on). He sounded very enthusiastic, and he definitely showed his dedication to LUC.

The next thing ‘on the menu,’ to quote Jos, was the book launch of Yih-Jye Hwang’s Global Challenges: Peace and War. For all alumni who haven’t heard about this book: make sure you either get a copy, or borrow one, and read the dedication, because Jay and Lucie Cerna (now back at Oxford) thank all the people who have contributed to this edited volume, but ends with thanking the students of the classes of 2013, 2014 and 2015. They dedicate the book to the students. The purpose of this book is to provide 1st years of LUC a comprehensive overview of the disciplinary theory of peace and war (in that order!), and an elaboration of the case studies. Many people at LUC whom we know have written a chapter, such as Laurens van Apeldoorn, Ann Wilson, Francesco Ragazzi, Patsy Haccou, Corina Stan, but also Eric Storm and Niels van Willigen, and of course Yih-Jye Hwang and Lucie Cerna. After the book was officially launched, by a quick, but excellent improvised speech by Freya Baetens, members of the LUC faculty were invited on stage for a panel discussion about teaching peace and way in a liberal arts college.

The 'Peace' panel

This panel discussion, led by Freya, led us to the next element of the Dies Natalis, namely the launch of the ICC multimedia exhibition: ‘Justice Matters’. The registrar of the ICC, Herman von Hebel, introduced the LUC students and staff to the role of the ICC, and why justice does indeed matter. For anyone who wants to see this multimedia exhibition, make sure to visit the Anna van Buerenplein sometime soon, because the exhibition will still be there on the 2nd floor!

The Fortuna Board 2012-2013

The Fortuna Board 2013-2014

It was then time for some common aspects of a Dies Natalis, namely the inauguration of the Fortuna Board and the awards for best teacher, best admissions essay, and best academic performance. The three present members of the old Fortuna Board, Miika Korja, who delivered a speech passing on the gavel to the new board, Georgina Kuipers, and Christine Everaars received their engraved LUC watches. Then the new Fortuna Board members were invited on stage, after which Christine, the chair, thanked the old board, and spoke with excitement about the coming year. She then also presented the LUC Best Teacher Award, which went out to Bríd Walsh! Sophie Starrenburg, who will be graduating this year, received the Dean’s Prize for Best Academic Performance. Normally at a Dies Natalis, the event ends with a performance of the LUC Choir, and so it happened this year as well. Congratulations to Anna-Liisa Springham for organising and leading the choir, who performed their Gospel Project, which sounded really good!

The Gospel Project performing

As Jos ended the Dies Natalis, ‘let’s go and grab a beer,’ the LUC students and staff went down to the 2nd floor, where the student bar would now officially be opened. The Evolucio board enjoyed a drink, but most of all, enjoyed the company of LUC staff and students, whilst celebrating three years of LUC. Cheers!

The Graduation Ceremony

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.