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?!