Behind the scenes at our 444th anniversary celebrations
Published on 03 February 2020
With Dies Natalis (Foundation Day) approaching, our year-long 444th birthday celebrations are coming to an end. We ran numerous activities, from a manhunt to an exhibition, and all our doctoral defences were given a 444 twist. A peek behind the scenes at the creatives and makers who helped make our 444 year possible.
Art academy student Clara Lezla won the design prize for the 444 logo.
Her handwritten variations of ‘444’, all in different lettering styles, symbolise the many people who helped shape the University’s history.
Our doctoral defences were also given a 444 twist.
The tube that new doctors receive their degree certificate in was embellished with the 444 logo.
The ‘atmosphere engineers’ at Doorgedraaid, known for their festival decor, made a special 444 cargo bike.
With a game about the University and a giant Connect 4.
Naturalist Freek Vonk, Albert Einstein and our present king of course: actors donned fantastic costumes for our manhunt.
Children could hunt them down throughout the centre of Leiden. All the characters had links to Leiden University.
William of Orange, the University’s founder, launched the manhunt and rewarded all the participating children with a small gift afterwards
Leiden University joined in the celebration of the Relief of Leiden on 3 October – the day that Leiden celebrates it liberation from the Spanish in 1574. Over 130 staff, students, professors and children represented the University in the Grand Parade.
A big float, on top of which the dome of the Leiden Observatory turned back and forth, was the crowning glory of the University’s entry.
On the front of the float was the university of the past; on the back a show with the latest technological gizmos.
There was also an exhibition at a symbolic location: Leiden City Hall. The exhibition consisted of 24 large poster panels and two display cabinets. Entrance was free to all visitors to the City Hall.
The topics covered included the Royal Family in Leiden, the Leiden Bio Science Park, sport, Leiden museums, 3 October, student houses and the Academy Building.
Text: Melissa Schriek
Photography: Marc de Haan
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