History of the Aula

The Aula on the Comeniuslaan, in use since 1988, is where many academic ceremonies take place: promotions, orations and farewell lectures. Because of the heritage on display here - portraits, the rector's chain and beadle's staff, objects from older buildings - it is also a place where the history of Radboud University can be felt. Previously, the auditorium was located on the Bijleveldsingel/Wilhelminasingel.


The Aula is often the only building visited by guests from outside Radboud University. With its glass front, floating building volumes and large hall, the building exudes transparency and hospitality, exactly as intended when it was built in the late 1980s.

View of the entrance to the auditorium from the inside, 1988
View of the entrance to the Aula from the inside, 1988

The rector's chain

Traditionally, like other universities, Radboud University has had a rector magnificus: a professor who functions as the first among equals by being the face of the university to the outside world and 'the conscience' of education and research to the inside. The position is surrounded by academic traditions and symbolism. Of these, the rector's chain is a telling example.

More on symbols and rituals

See also