An unparalleled gallery of honour
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of our university, we created unique portraits of fifty of our honorary doctorates through the years. It is an excellent cross-section of all our honorary doctors. Take a look, it's worth your time.
A Rich Tradition
Initially, the honorary doctorates were awarded only every four years, always on the 28th of May. This was always in recognition of brilliant scientific achievements. In 1984, for the first time, a person with societal merit entered the stage to accept the title: Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Secretary-General of the United Nations. Two years prior, an honorary doctorate was awarded for the first time to a woman, Deborah Doniach, Professor Emeritus of Clinical Immunology at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School of London. In 2013, all honorary doctorates were women. In the meantime, honorary doctorates are awarded every year, and actors, photographers, writers, singers, and illustrators have also been given the ribbon of honorary doctor. The honorary doctorates of VUB: a tradition that is only getting richer.
A collection of international names
Ilya Prigogine, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1977. Biologist and ethologist Richard Dawkins, author of, among others, the bestseller The Selfish Gene and a convinced atheist. Composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, a giant of 20th century classical music. Nawal El Saadawi, the Egyptian feminist writer, doctor and psychiatrist who co-founded the Arab Society for Human Rights. Deirdre McCoskey, who as an economist and transgender person tears down the walls between different disciplines as well as between different genders. The list of all honorary doctorates of VUB is not only nearly two hundred names long, it is full of individuals who - driven by the same humanist values as those of VUB - have changed and continue to change the world.