Universiteit Leiden

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A flying start to the academic year

The academic year has officially begun! Hundreds of colleagues and students came together on 6 September to see each other again after the quiet summer months. A truly festive gathering, with live music and an evening lecture by Ignas Snellen.

It is 16.00 hrs. when the first music sounds through the atrium. Slowly, the hall fills up with colleagues and students. A video message by Dean Jasper Knoester is played on the brand-new video wall: 'I hope that you are as happy as I am to be here again, because we are looking forward to a special academic year'.

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The first live opening since 2019 is an immediate and resounding success: both the reception and lecture are well-attended. Of course, there is nothing like being able to meet each other in real-life. Especially if that can be done to the accompaniment of student band Bronsch, who flood the atrium with hits like What a wonderful world by Louis Armstrong and Valerie by Amy Winehouse.

The evening lecture by Spinoza laureate Ignas Snellen is also popular. In the Sitterzaal the audience listens attentively to his story about the search for extra-terrestrial life. ‘This is a bit of an experiment for me’, Snellen states, ‘I have never given a lecture before where in the two hours leading up to the event free drinks were handed out.’ We can conclude that his experiment was a great success.

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