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140-year-old VU awards honorary doctorates

17 November 2020
It's a party! Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is 140 years old. The Dies Natalis, or foundation day, was held on 6 November. In this ‘Kuyper Year’, VU Amsterdam is celebrating its anniversary with activities and themes that reflect the character of the university and our founder Abraham Kuyper: democracy, diversity and social entrepreneurship.

Her Majesty Queen Máxima delivered this year’s Dies speech on the theme of entrepreneurship, one of the university’s spearheads. Additionally, honorary doctorates were awarded to Speaker of the House of Representatives Khadija Arib, professor and behavioural economist Ernst Fehr and professor of International Relations and Political Science Anne-Marie Slaughter.

Khadija Arib: open dialogue between people with different views and backgrounds

Khadija Arib was nominated for her contribution to the position of migrant groups in our society and her commitment to democratic values, with a special focus on minority voices.

Khadija Arib has been Speaker of the House of Representatives since January 2016. Apart from a brief hiatus, she has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1998. As a parliamentarian she previously served on the Committee for Health, Welfare & Sport and the Committee for Security & Justice. 

Ernst Fehr: trust and cooperation between people

The Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences and the School of Business and Economics (SBE) nominated professor and behavioural economist Ernst Fehr for his interdisciplinary and experimental economic research focused on important societal phenomena, such as equality, reciprocity and social norms.

Anne-Marie Slaughter: non-governmental networks

Professor of International Relations and Political Science and director of the New America think tank Anne-Marie Slaughter received an honorary doctorate from VU Amsterdam in 2019. As the ceremony had to be postponed due to the corona crisis, she received the award during the 140th Dies Natalis. A former adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Slaughter was honoured for her academic work at the intersection of law and political science, particularly her research into the role that non-governmental networks play alongside traditional state relations in international politics.