Opening academic year moved to Friday because of new rector

The UG traditionally celebrates the start of a new academic year on the first Monday in September. But this year, the university will change that. The stately procession of professors to and the speeches in the Martini church will this year be held on Friday, September 1.

The UG says it’s decided to change the date because the new rector will be sworn in on the same day as the opening of the academic year. Rector magnificus Cisca Wijmenga, who earlier announced she wouldn’t be taking on a second term, will be handing over the reins to her successor.

As is tradition, this event is attended by the rectors from every single Dutch university. To enable them to travel to Groningen, the ceremony will be moved to a different day. As the UG says, the rectors have their own events celebrating the start of the academic year to attend.

Third Tuesday

As far as UKrant is aware, this is the first time in over fifty years that the ceremony will not be held on a September Monday. Until 1971, it was held on the third Tuesday in September, the same day as the throne speech. But the Groningen opening ceremony always took place on a Monday after that.

Cisca Wijmenga, professor of genetics, is the first female rector magnificus since the UG was founded in 1614. She was handed the reins by her predecessor Elmer Sterken in 2019. Her predecessor hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s highly likely to be another woman.

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