Welcome to the alumni community, Class of 2015!

The Graduation of the Class of 2015 took place on Friday the 3rd of July at the Koninklijke Schouwburg in The Hague. Below is the speech that Christine Everaars, board member of Evolucio, performed during the ceremony.

Good afternoon all! 

A bit less than five years ago, LUC courses started at Lange Voorhout, with only a small amount of students and professors. The first two years were fun, but LUC was still in baby shoes. In september 2012, you guys joined and made LUC to one whole, with students in all stages of the programme. 

Since that time, a lot has changed for you. Let’s start with the most obvious change, which the class representative also mentioned: moving from Lange Voorhout to the Anna van Buerenplein. From one beautiful characteristic building, to the also beautiful but definitely less characteristic one. You guys changed this. With your committee, college and other activities you gave colour to this building. Even though AvB did not always become more beautiful after your parties, it definitely became more characteristic… 

But there was more; you moved from being introduction week ducklings, to introduction week mommies and daddies, and eventually to those who didn’t really care about introduction week (except for the BBQ, of course). You changed from being first, to second to third years (some of you even fourth years). From being newbies to experts.

Just a few minutes ago, another thing has changed: You just moved from LUC to our alumni society, Evolucio. Because even though you leave LUC, that does not mean that LUC leaves you: that is one thing that does not change. Together, we want to stay connected online and offline, and we hope to see you on many of our events. 

To show that life after LUC is also full of choices, options and changes, we have compiled a short video of alumni life. Enjoy and welcome to the alumni community!


Call for Board Members

The Evolucio Board is looking for new board members!

Evolucio aims to connect LUC’s graduates with each other and the college. Besides a new class of graduates, we will help celebrate LUC’s 5-year lustrum during the Lustrum Season (during the second half of 2015).

We are looking for enthusiastic LUC alumni who would like to join our team, and who want to contribute to the important relationship between LUC and its alumni. The Evolucio board consists of the following members:

  • Coordinator, who oversees the board, organizes the meetings and keeps in touch with LUC;
  • 2 Events coordinators, who plan and execute the events (including a big Lustrum festivity and of course the yearly graduation dinner);
  • 2 Online coordinators, who put together the newsletter and make sure to stay in touch with alumni on social media and our website.

We would like to determine the optimal allocation of functions during and after the application process, based on the applicants’ interests. An Evolucio Board position would take up to 2-3 hours a week (this may vary from week to week depending on the workload). We are a young and growing community, so we are looking for alumni who would like to contribute to its development and help come up with new ideas!

If you’re interested in helping out with a specific event, or would like to be a contact person at your location (e.g. London, Paris), we’d love to hear from you too! We’re planning on having Evolucio Ambassadors, much like LUC’s student ambassadors, to spread the LUC spirit.

To apply for a position in the Evolucio Board, please send an email to info@evolucio.nl, with a short statement of motivation (max 200 words) and your CV before the 12th of July 2015. We will then select applications for a short interview. If you have any questions, feel free to email that address as well.

Where in the World: Lennart Hoedemakers, Class of 2014

As can be seen from our map, LUC alumni can be found all over the world. Today’s post was written by Lennart Hoedemakers, World Politics Major, Class of 2014.


Hi all,

My time at LUC, occupied with a major in World Politics and a minor in International Development, left me unsure as to what I wanted to do next. I had gotten increasingly interested in the economic development of countries, and specifically the role of multinational companies in this. I wanted to experience how and why the private sector appears to be so much more efficient in the attainment of their goals as compared to the often bureaucratic approach of many international organizations and institutions. Thus I ended up doing an internship at the Heineken Africa and Middle East department.

After a training period at the HQ in Amsterdam, and several visits to Kenya, I went to the main location of my assignment – Juba, South Sudan. My assignment here consists of several elements: my main task is to conduct a Trade Census, which is a survey of the beverage market in South Sudan. With this data it is possible to create a perfect picture of the number of outlets and the volumes of the market, allowing Heineken to adapt their strategy vis-a-vis the South Sudanese market. Similarly I am looking into the supply-chain and logistics of the South Sudanese market, and also assess what factors influence consumers here. Finally I’m actively involved in the organization of several Heineken events surrounding the Champions league this spring.


I honestly couldn’t have wished for a better internship; I have been given insight in the operations of Heineken International, in the process hiring, training and managing a team of 12 South Sudanese. Moreover, I have the independence to make localized decisions, while enjoying the supervision, support and resources of Heineken International. All in all, I’m very glad to have been given this opportunity, and don’t think I could have been learning more in any other possible way.

Regards from Juba,

Lennart Hoedemakers
‘Project Leader Trade Census – Heineken in Juba, South Sudan’

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

Welcome to the alumni community, Class of 2014 ½!

As of Wednesday, the Evolucio community is a few alumni richer. The graduates of the class of 2014 and a half, experienced a very personal send-off by LUC. After reminiscing on the adventures, high and low points and other memories of these graduates, they were welcomed by Luc van der Stegen as the new batch of Evolucio alumni. We want to congratulate Anita Awolaja, Judith Bayer, Elizabeth Bogaert, Casey Bryan, Kaiyuan Chen, Vanessa Escoto, Su Jeong Ji (Suji), Freya Koci , Miika Korja, Maria Madland, Matthew McEveety, Madeleine McMurray (Maddi), Joes de Natris, Taymur Mustafa, and Sarah Wildeboer with receiving their bachelor’s degree. We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavours! Below is the speech that Luc performed during the ceremony.


Honourable guests, LUC staff and students, and lastly, my graduates, friends and febbies,

Last summer, Georgina gave this speech, and she started off saying that a lot of things had changed since the previous, first speech of our Alumni association which was given for the first graduation of Leiden University College– for one, she mentioned, her hair was a whole lot shorter. Well, my hair has stayed the same, I actually go to the exact same place, to the exact same lady in Chinatown to get my exact same hair cut for the past 4 years. I might have slipped up once.

A few other things have also stayed the exact same since; EVOLUCIO has organized an Alumni dinner every year, EVOLUCIO has skated on ice every year and EVOLUCIO has welcomed each batch of LUC’ers into its community. And this community, you’ll be part of it everywhere, you can go anywhere, and the community will still be with you, provided you’ll be in London or the Netherlands. Or our newest regional expansion; Taiwan.

 But let’s go back to when you guys were barely here: I observed your little group awkwardly from afar, slightly like a baby giraffe, some would characterize me. I can remember that you were sitting together in the common room of our shared student housing, conversing quite animatedly (they were yelling), and I was a little bit skeptical of what was happening with this rowdy bunch. I didn’t expect to get to know them, you, as soon as I did, I expected it even less than one would expect the Spanish inquisition.

It would only be several weeks later that I was walking around on the third floor of the Klok (our student housing), the night before the Earth exam and in the middle of the hallway, I encountered this table with two girls studying at it. And right away, they pulled up a chair and invited me to their little last minute studying session. And then I knew that I had become a part of this little, warm and very very welcoming community of febbies (the name that the February intake students adopted themselves). In the same way, I would now like to pull up a few extra chairs for you guys and invite you to our new shared table; EVOLUCIO and on behalf of the whole EVOLUCIO board, invite you to all future EVOLUCIO events to come.


If you ever have any questions or would like to connect to your fellow graduates, or have a cool idea for an event, don’t hesitate to drop a line, and we’ll see you on our events, facebookpage and webpage.



Where in the World: Maxime Verbeij, Class of 2013

As can be seen from our map, LUC alumni can be found all over the world. Today’s post was written by Maxime Verbeij, Human Interaction Major, Class of 2013.

Human Interaction Major, Class of 2013 In a way, life in Cape Town is pretty similar to that in The Hague. Again, I find myself living within a 3-minute walk from the train station, I work right behind parliament, there is a sandwich shop around the corner –though their sandwiches in no way compare to anything you get at LUSSO— and a short bus ride takes you down to some (pretty spectacular) sandy beaches.

Cape Town is a place of contrasts, opposites, and contradictions. This city is both gorgeous and disgusting, inviting and threatening. Moreover, this city is made up of a population that is similar and different at the same time. The rainbow nation is a nickname that suits South Africa on the one hand, but on the other, it romanticizes the regularized distinction between ‘blacks’, ‘whites’, and ‘coloureds’. However much these three groups have united as one South African people, these categories still exist and are omnipresent in everyday vocabulary and experience. Moreover, South African rainbow-nationalism has created such a strong sense of ‘us’, that it has led to xenophobia towards Africans from other countries. Indeed, “Africa is not a country” [Veronica D., is that you?] but such exclusion in a country that sings “Nkosi Sikelel’ Africa” -Africa, not South Africa, you see- as the first line of its anthem, is remarkable.

Inclusion and exclusion [hello Daniela!] be it formal or informal, is a theme that guides my daily routine. On a typical day at the Scalabrini Centre, I spend my mornings applying for Zimbabwean Special Permits, teaching different levels of English classes, and see some fantastic clients and some crazy people whilst covering the reception in the afternoon. Strange as it may seem, I enjoy being at reception most, because it has taught me a lot, especially about how to read appeal papers and (expired) asylum documents and about South Africa and the bureaucratic nightmare that is their Department of Home Affairs –a woman from Rwanda who has been in Cape Town since 1997 and is still extending her asylum papers every 4 months, really?

Over the past months, I have learnt much about many different things, but I have learnt more about people. Working in an organization that sees over 600 unique clients every week, you encounter so many different individuals. Some you laugh with, others you –almost, because we need to stay professional– cry with; Some are sweet, some are scary; Some will praise you, some will curse you; Some will want to kiss you, others may want to fight you. How do you deal with a man screaming that he will fight you and hurt you, yelling never to look at him again because an immature intern like you has no right to tell him what to do and does not know about his life? I know now. As cliché as it may sound, I have learnt a lot about, but even more from my clients -if only Congolese French and Shona.

Working in Cape Town, I have taken so much of what was taught at LUC with me, which both adds to and complicates my stay here. Honestly, what would Spivak say about the Women’s Rights Workshop that was organised here just last week? White men (women, really, because the gender-balance in our office is a bit askew) saving brown women from brown men? Then again, reading up on linguistic relativism and postcolonial theory makes the fact that there are 11 official languages in South Africa, but that only two, English and Afrikaans, are valued in the public sphere, so much more interesting. Linguistic hierarchies and linguistic oppression by a white minority, who wouldn’t want to write another capstone about that? Turns out that LUC stays with you, even long after graduation.

25th October 2014: Amazing Race

Amazing Picture

“Empires rise and fall, but nutcases live forever…”

Evolucio invites LUC’s alumni and third years to the Amazing Race on Saturday 25th October. Teams score points by completing hilarious and insane tasks throughout the city of The Hague. The crazier the feat, the bigger the reward. The group with the highest score takes home the eternal glory for winning the very first amazing race (and will be immortalized accordingly). Most importantly, fun comes first! After we have crowned the victors, the reunion continues with drinks at Plein.

Send a message stating your team’s name and composition (3-5 Alumni/students) to events@evolucio.nl and we’ll see you the 25th! You can also sign up solo or with a friend by sending an email to the same address and we’ll find a team for you.

Location: The Hague

Time: 14:00- 20:00

Date: Saturday 25th October 2014

Watch the event page on Facebook to catch a glimpse of the assignments we have in store for you…

2014 – Evolucio Board

Evolucio’s Board is the representative body of our alumni community. The board is committed to supporting the goals of Leiden University College, nurturing the connection between the college and the students, and in preparing LUC students and alumni to become the leaders of tomorrow.

The Board of 2014 is comprised of nine members, who have graduated in either 2013 or 2014. The aim of the current board is to build upon the efforts of the past year, to establish new ideas and to keep the LUC spirit alive.

We would hereby like to present the Evolucio Board of 2014:


Christine Everaars Christine Everaars

Hello everyone! My name is Christine Everaars and I graduated in June 2014, after three beautiful years at LUC. As a major, I’ve chosen sustainability, combined with a minor of Entrepreneurship. This has lead me to apply for a (first) masters’ programme in Entrepreneurship in the Dutch capital Amsterdam. After this, I would like to have a career in sustainable management. Besides teaching me what I (might) want to do in life, LUC has taught me to enjoy the little things. My best memories are probably not the big parties, although I love dressing up. The friendships and great late-night discussions are great to look back at and relive when I meet LUC students and alumni. This is also something I would also like to see in Evolucio events: to combine education and great lectures with socializing the LUC way. I hope to see you all at our events.

Contact Christine via: christineeveraars[at]evolucio.nl

Danny Damen Danny Damen

Danny Damen, reporting for duty. I was allowed to call the halls of LUC ‘home’ for the past four years, pursuing a degree with the World Politics major. The Hague will be my port of call for at least another year as I will join fellow LUC alumni in the Crisis & Security Management master program at Leiden University. The choice for this was quite easy, as it allows me to continue where I left off in the RNLAF, but in the trenches of academia instead of combat zones across the world. My prolonged time at LUC has been many things, but certainly not boring. From celebrating New Year’s in (or rather on) places we shouldn’t be to attending 9 AM classes straight after pulling an all-nighter player Guitar Hero with friends (apologies if we ever kept you awake!). Evolucio is more than just a connection and getting drinks here, there, and everywhere (although this definitely is important!). I hope Evolucio will present you with interesting events this year that will keep us close to academia, but that are also more personal than a plain lecture.

Contact Danny via: dannydamen[at]evolucio.nl

Eline Severijnen Eline Severijnen

My name is Eline Severijnen and I am a member of the Class of 2013. I will obtain my LL.M. degree in Public International Law from Leiden University this summer and start an MSc programme in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies at the London School of Economics and Political Science in September. In London, I will continue my work as Evolucio board member to ensure the London-based alumni stay connected with each other and LUC. I look forward to being closely involved in our alumni community yet another year and it is an honour to contribute to LUC and its future alumni generations through Evolucio.

Contact Eline via: elineseverijnen[at]evolucio.nl

Georgina Kuipers Georgina Kuipers

I am Georgina Kuipers, a member of the Class of 2013. I majored in World Politics, which is why I happily accepted an offer to do a Research Master in Political Science and Public Administration at Leiden University, specializing in Public Administration. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at LUC, especially the possibility to help shape the college as a member of the Board of LUC’s Study Association Fortuna and as the student member of LUC’s Programme Board. LUC was my home for three years and I am looking forward to creating ways to stay connected to the amazing people I met there – and to all those other wonderful future alumni – through Evolucio.

Contact Georgina via: georginakuipers[at]evolucio.nl

Hilde Woker Hilde Woker

Hei, jeg heter Hilde. Hyggelig å møte deg! Hi, my name is Hilde Woker. Pleased to meet you! I belong to the first cohort of Leiden University College The Hague Alumni, who graduated on June 22nd 2013. At LUC, I majored in Global Justice and completed a minor in World Politics. Over the past year, I completed a master’s degree in Public International Law at Leiden University, in addition to the Leiden Leadership Programme. This year, I am studying Law of the Sea at the word’s northernmost university in Tromsø (Northern Norway). I will always look back on my time at LUC and remember the great friendships I made, the very interesting courses I was able to take, and the small-scaled community of LUC. I really look forward to developing Evolucio into a thriving, flourishing community, that can keep the LUC family together, and promote LUC spirit all over the world.

Contact Hilde via: hildewoker[at]evolucio.nl

Jake van Baarsel Jake van Baarsel

My name is Jake van Baarsel, or more commonly known as Jake van Geyser, and was a student in the LUC graduating class of 2014. At LUC, I majored in World Politics and minored in Entrepreneurship. My fondest memories at LUC consist of having a good time with the students around me, whether it be sharing stories about past experiences, or partying at Club Van Geyser. Post-LUC, I am planning on getting some work experience before doing an MBA somewhere abroad, but of course how everything will turn out eventually remains to be seen.

Contact Jake via: jakevanbaarsel[at]evolucio.nl

Luc van der Stegen Luc van der Stegen

My name is Luc van der Stegen and I am the Class Representative of the Class of 2014. During my time at LUC I majored in World Politics and this coming year I will be doing some internships to supplement my theoretical knowledge from LUC with some practical experience. One of the things I liked most during my years at LUC was being involved in the Dies Fatalis as well as being part of the Fortuna Board of 2012-2013. I enjoyed the LUC community and hope to be able to continue to be part of it as an alumnus. Within Evolucio I hope to be able to help our expanding body of alumni to take shape and help each other wherever we might end up.

Contact Luc via: lucvanderstegen[at]evolucio.nl

Odette Vriese Odette Vriese

My name is Odette Vriese and I graduated from LUC on the 28th of June 2014 with a Major in World Politics. Next year, I will continue to study at Leiden University, starting in September with the Master’s program Public Administration with a specialisation in Public Management. I enjoyed my past three years at LUC and its student community. Favourite memories include having dinner with amazing friends and the first two incredible Dies Fatalis events. In between course work and capstone, I slowly started to realise how in one semester our time at LUC would be over. Since LUC is such a close community and I have made many friends here in the last three years, I find it important to stay connected with my fellow graduates, but also with the alumni of the class of 2013 and the alumni to come. Therefore I joined Evolucio, to organise events which will bring together our alumni, continue on the foundations made last year and to help build a thriving community for the future.

Contact Odette via: odettevriese[at]evolucio.nl

Pieter Goethart Pieter Goethart

How you doing? You can call me PJ, 啤酒,Pedro, Pietro, Petrus, Piotr or whatever alternative your language has for Pieter. As part of the first cohort, the OG Class of 2013, I graduated in the Summer of 2013. My major looked at World Politics and my minor at International Law. Last February I started with the MSc in Political Science at Leiden University and I plan to graduate in December of 2014. The past years have allowed me to meet an immense variety of incredible, beautiful and hilarious people that have studied, partied and bonded at LUC and I want to ensure that crowd continues to form a community for decades to come. As such Evolucio intends to return the favor to those that have made our experience in The Hague so amazing.

Contact Pieter via: pietergoethart[at]evolucio.nl

Welcome to the alumni community, Class of 2014!

The Graduation of the Class of 2014 took place this past Saturday at the Koninklijke Schouwburg . Below is the speech that Georgina Kuipers, board member of Evolucio, performed during the ceremony.


Dear fellow alumni, ladies and gentlemen,

As some of you may remember, there was a similar sort of ceremony about a year ago. Lots of things have changed since then — for one, my hair is a whole lot shorter. But in all seriousness, a lot of things have also stayed the same. As Hilde said last year, we might’ve left LUC, but LUC hasn’t left us. One way through which that happened was through our alumni community Evolucio. We hosted events and kept in touch with the alumni both in real life and online.

You see, the Class of 2013 were always the guinea pigs, testing the waters. And although we grew very close in our first year at LUC, it was pretty nice to have the Class of 2014 join us. It really felt like a natural progression for LUC to expand. And that’s why we’re so happy that, after having been alumni guinea pigs for a year, we will be joined once again by the Class of 2014. From all of us, a huge congratulations to all the graduates.

The growth of our alumni community is also reflected in the composition of the new board of Evolucio. The new board consists of Christine, Danny, Eline, Hilde, Jake, Luc, Odette, Pieter and myself! With this board, we will enter a new phase in the development of LUC’s alumni community, and I’m very confident that the board is ready to organize more events and further develop our virtual and physical presence.

And finally, to show you that life after LUC is diverse and you can end up in many different places, we compiled some footage. 

Enjoy and welcome to our community!



PS: You’ll soon be able to read more about the new Board here!

Where in the World: Jules van der Sneppen, Class of 2013

As can be seen from our map, LUC alumni can be found all over the world. Today’s post was written by Jules van der Sneppen, World Politics Major, Class of 2013.

World Politics Major, Class of 2013


You have probably heard this a thousand times before, but that doesn’t make it less true: China is a country of opposites, a country of contrast. And nowhere but in Shanghai do these opposites become so vivid. From the neon skyscrapers of Pudong to the crowded markets in the city’s backstreets, and from brand new Ferraris to chickens running in the street, Shanghai never fails to fascinate me. It is this long-lasting fascination with the city, and China as a whole, that brought me to pursue my graduate studies at Fudan University. With financial support from both the Dutch and Chinese governments, I am currently enrolled in a two-year programme in Chinese Philosophy and Culture. Whether I see myself in a career as a university professor lecturing and writing about Chinese philosophy? Probably not, but I do believe that understanding modern China begins with looking at the country’s past, and at the intellectual forces that have shaped that past: Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism and Communism. The journey China went through before it ascended the global stage and became an economic powerhouse is one of great splendour and drastic upheavals, and has produced many inspiring thinkers that are well worth studying. Sometimes I can’t help but ask myself what use it is to study what Zhu Xi, a famous Song dynasty philosopher, once wrote about the way that bamboo grows… But then again, I am convinced that it is all adding to a bigger picture.

Living here in Shanghai, and studying at this university, has also made me realise what a great time I’ve had at LUC The Hague. During the first weeks of my program here, I expected all students to get along great, go out together and all that. My expectations turned out to be false: everyone went their own way, and no real tight bonds were forged. Unlike at LUC, where within days we managed to forge bonds that will last for our whole lives. Forget about how crappy Global Challenges: System Earth was, or what you learned in Disciplinarity and Beyond (if you hadn’t already). What, in hindsight, was most important about my time in LUC was being able to live, laugh and get crunk (insert Lil’ Jon’s voice) together with such great people.

As to what the future holds? As I can imagine many of us are, with our liberal arts & sciences background, I’m constantly doubting and debating what I should actually do with my life. For now, I’m set on pursuing a PhD in East Asian Studies/International Relations in New York. However, if you ask me the same question again next year, I’ll probably give you a completely different answer. Working at KFC, maybe…