Countdown to Radboud100

In 2023, we will celebrate Radboud University's 100th anniversary. That's why we will take a trip down memory lane with 100 quotes: one quote from each year. Dive into the archives of the university to find out what happened during the past 100 years of Radboud University. Will you join the exploration?

What was it like to study or work at Radboud University? Who were the important, or perhaps forgotten, names in the history of the university? And which events changed their lives?

The #Radboud100 quotes tell you these stories. About then and now, about the beautiful and less pretty moments in history, and about the similarities and the differences. About 100 years of Radboud University.


“I think the Radboud University logo is beautiful. I decided to celebrate my tenure by getting this tattoo. I feel very well at home here at Radboud University (...) Moving to the Netherlands (...) marked an important change for me. This tattoo represents more than just my place of work.”

  • Ivan Boldyrev, assistant professor in Economic Theory and Policy, had a tattoo of the logo of the university on his arm to express his gratitude and enthusiasm for Radboud University (Radboud University social media channels).


“It is a characteristic of Radboud University that there must always be an additional message, that engaging in science is not enough, and this has always been the case. Idealism is at the very roots of this University, and societal impact is even its raison d’être.”

  • University historian Jan Brabers responds to Radboud Impact Day (18 November), an initiative by the University to bring attention to its sustainability profile (Radboud Magazine).
Intromarkt tijdens corona - mondkapjes (2020)


“I choose isolation, where others have been scared witless by it. But it is possible to give meaning to things that are beyond your control. (…) Instead of resisting, we could also embrace the situation.”

  • Professor of Liturgical and Monastic Spirituality Thomas Quartier, who entered the Keizersberg Abbey in Leuven as a monk, reflects on the COVID-19 pandemic (Radboud Magazine). The introduction market in August 2020 faced corona restrictions from the government, such as social distance and maximum group sizes.


“We find the idea of human extinction so unimaginable, that even this doesn’t touch us.”

  • Professor of Philosophy René ten Bos, at the time Thinker Laureate, on his book Extinction, sounding the alarm concerning the loss of biodiversity (Vox).


“Invigilator Henk (86) has been put on non-active for not being irritating enough. (…) ‘Henk is always perfectly prepared, he manages to eat his dry crackers without making a sound, and he walks around the exam hall without loudly ticking heels, the way a real invigilator should do.’”

  • Quote from De Pipet, a satirical news outlet for Nijmegen students (included in ANS).


“What did happen in our kitchen is that you would walk in one morning and find six girls on sleeping mats, because someone had celebrated their birthday and it had gotten to be a late night. It was really a time in which I enjoyed being surprised. (…) Let’s just see what life will bring, that was my motto when I lived in Bromstraat.”

  • Former student of Pedagogical Sciences Hanneke Wijkhuis looks back in Radboud Magazine at the student days 1977-1982, and her experiences in student housing Hoogeveldt. “I made friends for life in my corridor; I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it for the world. Also not the parties; I believe we were the last generation to hold extensive parties in the corridor. Not in our corridor, because too many people had voted against it, but in nearby corridors, where we often stayed up until 6 a.m. What did happen in our kitchen is that you would walk in one morning and find six girls on sleeping mats, because someone had celebrated their birthday and it had gotten to be a late night. It was really a time in which I enjoyed being surprised. (…) Let’s just see what life will bring, that was my motto when I lived in Bromstraat.”


“Vitesse did their best to become the ideal enemy of NEC and De Graafschap.”

  • Historian Jon Verriet on the shifting rivalry, described in Verriet’s historical writing, between the Gelderland football clubs (Vox).


“I had absolutely no hope of getting a permanent job without much experience (...) As a psychologist with no specialisation, you don't get very far. There is always someone with more experience.”

  • Newly graduated psychologist Roxanne Hummel is noticing the effects of a tight labour market. Due to a lack of jobs, many graduates seek work experience placements so they can gain some experience in their field. The downside: they are paid little to nothing for a full-time position. Recent graduate Naida Djuheric was also offered a work experience position: “Working full-time for six months as a full-fledged policy advisor for an internship allowance of € 200 plus a start-up grant of € 500 a month is not what you hope for.”


“One woman is no woman. You need at least three women to prevent one of them from adjusting to the male-dominated culture.”

  • Professor of Women’s Cardiology Angela Maas (‘Heart for women’) in Vox.


“Science is not a sprint – and certainly not a sprint in an ever-changing direction – but an endurance sport according to a fixed compass.”

  • President of the Executive Board Professor Gerard Meijer in his speech on Thursday, 23 May during the 90th Dies Natalis.


“This University has been around for 90 years, and the highest position ever occupied by a woman is that of Dean. We are behind.”

  • Arthur Willemsen, Secretary of the Donders Institute, on the search for a new President of the Executive Board (Vox).


“Most cases of fraud result from sheer stupidity. [...] Where they learned in secondary school that they can download anything they want from the Internet and use it for their essay, some students apparently fail to understand that things work differently in an academic study programme.” 

  • Lettica Hustinx, Assistant Professor of Fluency and Chair of the Board of Examiners for Dutch Language and Culture, on the increase in cases of fraud among students (especially first-year students).


“Dear Annelien, as a toddler you once told me that when you later became a mother, you would not work, but instead stay at home with your children. This cut right through my mother’s heart, but it did not keep me at home. And luckily so, since you have since changed your mind about it.”

  • Judith Prins addresses her daughter in her inaugural speech as Professor of Medical Psychology.


“And finally, to my darling Romana. We are sailing together on a boat on the ocean of life, but at the same time, you are also the lighthouse guiding me on my journey.”

  • Mihai Netea, raised and educated in Communist Rumania, dedicates his inaugural lecture as professor to his wife. His teaching and research remit: Experimental Internal Medicine.


“Most of us will look back on a chaotic, but also a passionate and inspiring time. Maybe even with a certain degree of pride.”

  • Speaker (former student) during the presentation of the exhibition entitled ‘Seventies in Nijmegen’ of Museum het Valkhof The 1970s were marked by major student protests.


“What I fear most is the moment when I’m mentally not good enough anymore. When the will is no longer stronger than the pain. That’s when it’s time to stop.”

  • Cyclist Marianne Vos, the then first-year student in Biomedical Sciences, is nowadays still cycling at the highest level (Vox).


“Having been back in the Netherlands for over a month (after a study stay abroad, Eds.), I still found myself crying in the toilets of the institute every single day.”

  • PhD candidate talks about the workload and psychological suffering among PhD candidates (Vox).


“Last June, one of our cultural anthropologists in training was actually diagnosed with open TBC. (…) We are now advised to only enter the buildings on Thomas van Aquinostraat wearing a face mask. This lovely mouth and nose cover (with Radboud print) can now be purchased from the campus shop, but be quick for supplies are limited!”

  • Also in 2005 there was a call to wear a mouth mask in university buildings, as there was in 2020 during the first year of the corona pandemic (ANS).


“Also, none of the band members had it in them to lead an entirely new band on their own. So they kept finding each other time and again.”

  • Professor of Modern Languages and Culture (Spanish) Maarten SteenmeijerPop music is his first passion, and here he talks about his new book, Golden Earring, Rock die niet roest (Golden Earring, Rock that doesn’t rust) (Vox).


“On the Internet, they are once again warning for a loud-mouthed Marijnissen.”

  • Former student Lilian Marijnissen in Vox. The 18-year old Radboud student of Political Science Lilian Marijnissen remembers her father Jan, founder of the Socialist Party. Marijnissen – since 2017 a member of the House of Representatives - was at the time making her entry in the Municipal Council of Oss.


“For me, a university education is a form of self-development; you must use all opportunities to also engage in other things than your studies.”

  • Seventh-year student in a report entitled ‘The eternal student is still around’; a seventh-year student sketches his study days as a pretext for starting all sorts of other projects (Vox).


“Today, we want to once again mention their names, and with them the names of many others who continue to live on in our hearts, although no longer tangibly in our midst. All humans have value in God’s eyes, that is what we practice and confess to together here, even if we sometimes find it hard to imagine.”

  • Student Chaplain John Hacking on the tradition that he launched that year of commemorating the deceased on campus on All Souls Day. This year, Professor of Archaeology Jos de Waele and the students Boukje Niewold and Roos de Jong died in a car accident on their way to an excavation site in Pompeii (from the commemorative speech, All Souls Day).


“It is when at home that I am most keenly aware of how much I still have to learn.”

  • Inaugural lecture by Professor of Tumour Pathology Han van Krieken, now Rector Magnificus of Radboud University.


“I personally do not tend towards pie-throwing. I think it’s simply childish.”

Erik Hendriks, Secretary of the Nijmegen student union AKKU about a pie that was thrown in his face. The throwing of the pie was a reaction from V.L.A.A.I. (Vervelende Linkse Anti Autoritaire Individuen) (Annoying Leftist Anti-authoritarian Individuals) following an incident in which a pie was thrown in the face of then VVD minister Zalm. “The first victim of activist group V.L.A.A.I. was Erik Hendriks. On Tuesday 26 January, the Secretary of the Nijmegen student union AKKU was attacked with a pie. The sad thing about this attack is that in this issue of ANS, Hendriks actually distances himself from pie-throwers. ‘I personally do not tend towards pie-throwing. I think it’s simply childish.’”

Dies Natalis 1998


“The final chord of an inaugural lecture is applause. As far as I’m concerned, it should be addressed not to me, but to you.”

  • Inaugural Lecture by Professor of Otology C.W.R.J. Cremers, addressing the final words to his partnerCremers thanks his wife for her ‘cheerfulness, unconditional commitment, and remarkable creativity.’ He further says: "Together with our three children, I feel privileged to have been chosen by you. In our family, we are both aware of the very happy years we have lived through together, not least thanks to your central role.”


“We need to put our affairs in order. That is what we need to do. So that researchers can do research, physicians can cure, students can study and lecturers can lecture. Then and only then will the sun shine on Heijendaal and shall there be prosperity, a sense of camaraderie, and flags on the façades and friendship in our hearts.”

  • Author and lecturer at the Faculty of Law Frans Kusters (1949-2012). Excerpt from a column in ‘s Avonds op het Galgenveld (A night on the Galgenveld), a collection of the columns that Kusters wrote for university magazine KUnieuws. This excerpt is one of the literary landmarks on campus, appearing as it does on the façade of the Lecture Hall Complex.


“The young people of today are the bearers of the University of tomorrow.”

  • Dr Paul Sars, Head of Studium Generale and organiser of sessions on the Image and Identity of the Catholic University Nijmegen. Sars later became Secretary of the Executive Board and Professor of Modern Languages and Culture (Arts) (Jeroen Gradener in KUZIEN).


“The department was the last protective layer but one. The last layer consisted of those who stood closer to me still. This layer was shield and refuge, shelter and screen, but above all filled with shoots of love and trust, Madeleine, Clarine, Hadewych, Veerle. For this too, I thank God.”

  • Farewell lecture by Professor of Penal and Criminal Procedures G.J.M. Corstens, in which he addresses his final words to his family/home haven.


“You can have an amazing treasure-trove of documentation, but if no one is interested, it’s a worthless treasure.”

  • Jan Roes, Director of KDC at the establishment of KDC in 1969, in his inaugural lecture on the occasion of the Lustrum (25 years of KDC) (in alumni magazine KUZIEN).


“I thought science was much harder, but it’s actually quite simple.”

  • Attendee of a lecture programme organised by the University, on location in the region (by Studium Generale, comparable to today’s Radboud Reflects) (KUnieuws).


“We do not need a national minorities debate. What we need are concrete initiatives at local and regional level, in which the autochthonous and allochthonous population can work together to develop and try out new practices.”

  • Professor of Cultural Psychology V. Welten in a farewell interview (KUnieuws).


“All of this shouting on the part of associations is just part of the deal. They have done nothing else since 1300.”

  • Cultural Psychologist Richard Graat on his research into the participation of Nijmegen students in social associations (KUnieuws).


“I’m sure there is a nice film showing in Filmhuis Mariënburg or at the Filmcafé. Or you can choose from one of the sixteen channels on your TV.”

  • About the orientation weeks of 1990, part of the alternative programme in addition to the fixed components (ANS; Algemeen Nijmeegs Studentenblad).


“The Executive Board offered its own highly original interpretation of a motion for the abolition of the predicate ‘Catholic’. ‘We do not intend to start a University-wide discussion,’ answered the Board in response to an unasked question on whether Emperor Charles or Saint Radboud should give content to the University’s identity.”

  • Johan van de Woestijne, Editor-in-Chief of KUnieuws, in his editorial commentary, September. In the end, it would take another 15 years for the ‘C’ to disappear from the University’s name: since 2004, the University goes by the name of Radboud University Nijmegen, with the ‘Nijmegen’ also slowly disappearing from the name.


“When I read a beautiful poem, I think: Yes, this is how it is. And I also think: How amazingly beautiful. (…) It’s the same as with a scientific discovery: a confrontation with truth. As if the world of beauty is opening its doors to you.”

  • Professor in Groningen Rudi van den Hoofdakker, better known under his poet’s pseudonym, Rutger Kopland (KUnieuws).


“There are enough opportunities, as far as I am concerned, to give the University a Catholic face. However, one condition for this is that these activities should never be compulsory for anyone. Freedom is of paramount importance, and a distinction should never be made between those who do and those who do not take part.”

  • Professor B.M.F. van Iersel, upon accepting the position of Rector Magnificus of the Catholic University Nijmegen (KUnieuws).
Computer_informatica Radboud100 (1984)


“The goal of SURF is to make sure that we have one terminal or personal computer available per ten students in higher education by 1990.”

  • On the new technological opportunities of the computer within higher education (KUnieuws).


“The NS introducing the 60+ pass for men will in the foreseeable future probably save the universities a substantial amount of money in commuting expenses for the senior academic staff.”

  • Y.E.F.M. Jeuken, spouse of Quax (1985), in Hora Est: gepromoveerde vrouwen aan de Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen 1923 – 1988 (Hora Est: Women with a PhD at Catholic University Nijmegen 1923 – 1988).


“Studying is increasingly starting to look like an expensive journey to an unknown destination.”

  • Article on the introduction of a punch card that entitled the holder to maximum 30 hours of guidance and coaching in the thesis writing process (KUnieuws).


“Living on a student budget: glue on your bus ticket, free trial subscriptions, and proletarian shopping.”

  • Title of an article by Marcel Metze, Jos Speekman, Wim Huberts, and Gert Bielderman on ‘hacks’ for living as cheaply as possible (KUnieuws). 


“The current approach to the delivery of coffee and tea will be reorganised as of 1 March 1982, such that coffee and tea will no longer be brought to people’s rooms. Instead, distribution will take the form of (…) fixed and mobile distribution points.”

  • Letter from the Executive Board (President W.C.M. van Lieshout and Acting Secretary Professor J.C.F. Nuchelmans) to the directors, deputy secretary of the Executive Board and Director of the University Catering Service.


“A PhD defence these days is nothing more than an honourable discharge, minus the golden handshake.”

  • M.A.M. Hulsbosch, spouse of Bolkestein (1981), in Hora Est: gepromoveerde vrouwen aan de Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen 1923 – 1988 (Hora Est: Women with a PhD at Catholic University Nijmegen 1923 – 1988). 


“You are actually De Balie, Frascati, De Melkweg, Bimhuis and the Tropeninstituut rolled into one, and all of that in this small villa.”

  • PvdA politician Felix Rottenberg, in a response during a debate night in political and cultural centre O42 in memory of O42 programmer Joy Arpots, in the historical volume Oranjesingel 42 by Wilfried Uitterhoeve.


“We were opposed to all rules of conduct, fixed patterns, views and opinions on any topic, varying from the clothing precepts of the old Nijmegen student circles all the way through K.V.P politics. We fiercely opposed it all.”

  • Ton Regtien in an interview included in Moet dit een wereldbeeld verbeelden? (Is this supposed to represent a worldview?), published to commemorate Pé Hawinkels, who passed away in 1977 (SUN, 1979). Ton Regtien (Amsterdam, 1938 - Amsterdam, 1989) was a student of psychology, activist and one of the founders of the Dutch student union in 1963. In the 1960s, he was a member of the Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad (NUB) editorial board for a few years, together with Hawinkels and others.


“Female professors are struggling, but we should also remember that their presence is incredibly important for the female students, (…) to ensure that they need not face endless rows of doors sporting only names of male graduates and then, profoundly discouraged, make their way to the Women’s Centre to relieve some of this – academic – discontent.”

  • Submitted response in the discussion on ‘Women’s academia at the University', in Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad.


“And still, the Catholic crème de la crème bristles at the mere notion of the C in this University’s name being in danger.”

  • On the Nijmegen academic supporters of the Katholieke Volkspartij (Catholic Popular Party, KVP) and the Catholic University Nijmegen (in Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad). The same issue also speaks of Dries van Agt, alumnus, politician and Professor of Criminal Law from 1968 to 1971. Van Agt was later to become Prime Minister. About Van Agt, the issue said: “Dries is an intellectual who seeks a scientific approach; he has no inclination for hands-on work. He is a man of Pure Scientific Research.”


“For many who live in rooms, the landlady as an institute is associated with deficient accommodation (no cooking, showers once a week, etc.) and remarkably little privacy (boyfriend or girlfriend required to leave on time, if allowed in at all.”

  • On the housing crisis and the room shortage in Nijmegen (Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad).


“For some years now, Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad has teetered on the brink of financial disaster. To ensure more stable ground beneath our feet, we need, now more than ever, subscribers.”

  • Application form for a subscription to the Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad (NUB), in an appendix.


“First of all, we are nowhere near having succeeded in making it clear to the Nijmegen population that our involvement in their problems is not an interfering fad; it’s fantastic that at the peak of the actions, more than 1500 took to the streets to communicate this fact, but the people on the streets did not applaud, far from it.”

  • On the history of the student protests (Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad).


“The University Council, shocked by the violent murder of President Allende and many Chileans (…) requests the Executive Board to push for a joint statement from the Dutch universities and bring the above to the attention to the Chilean university authorities.” 

  • Fragment from a resolution by the University Council on 4 December, accepted by a ‘large majority’. The former Chilean president died in a military coup in 1973.
Studentenprotest 1968


“The mass element of the student movement fades into the background for a little while, and students gather in small groups to ponder the contribution they can make to creating a better society.”

  • Editorial piece on student politics in NijmegenNijmeegs Universiteitsblad.


“Any institution that does not reflect on a regular basis on its own name and objective will quietly be made obsolete by the living reality of the progress of history.” 

  • From a report entitled Katholieke universiteit? by the Schillebeeckx Committee.


“What should you do if you are one of the 400 first-year students who currently have no place to live. Accept a refurbished toilet as a room?”

  • Peter Kooij on the housing shortage in Nijmegen, Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad.


“The use of the pronoun ‘he’ in the official PhD defence application form of this University exemplifies as remarkable a lack of realism as would the use of the pronoun ‘she’; although the latter personal pronoun would probably be more likely to arouse protest.”

  • PhD candidate A.C.M. Pieck, Mathematics and Science, in Hora Est: gepromoveerde vrouwen aan de Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen 1923 – 1988 (Hora Est: Women with a PhD at Catholic University Nijmegen 1923 – 1988). Centrum voor vrouwenstudies (Centre for Women’s Studies).


“The eleven thousand pricks.”

  • Title of a notorious article in Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad, which, due in part to the accompanying obscene illustration by Willemen, led to questions being asked in the House of Representatives, and a break between the magazine and the University authorities


“The days are over when the university was part of a static society, in which it educated people who were predestined by their background to maintain the social order.”

  • Statement of Principles of the Kritiese Universiteit (protest movement), published in Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad.
Opening sportcentrum RSC 1966


“And now, thanks to the establishment of our very own University Sports Centre in Nijmegen, words will be transformed into actions. (…) A sports centre, where the much-needed counterweight to studying and studying only will soon become a reality.”

  • A.W. Reitsma in the Nijmeegs Studentenblad about the opening of the sports centre. Reitsma was the first director of the sports centre.


“At no other university has the struggle for new forms of student life been fiercer and more principled than in Nijmegen.”

  • Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad.


“The rumour of the past weeks, arising from the words of Minister Bot to the effect ‘that the maximum amount of government allowance will have to be raised as of the 1964/1965 academic year’ (…), turns out to be true. Starting from 1 September 1964 the maximum government study grant will increase from 2800 to 3400 guilders.”

  • Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad.


“The seven, eight, nine hundred students who form the 1963 generation have already been introduced to an existing problem: room shortage. Whereas back in July, there were some who turned down a room further than ten minutes cycling from the centre as being ‘too far’, now people are gladly accepting a cupboard in Beek, or Mook, or even Arnhem.”

  • Hans Hermans on the room shortage in NijmegenNijmeegs Universiteitsblad.


“It is precisely because of the absence of tradition that we are free, at this still young department, after a start, and rightly so, along more traditional lines, to pursue new avenues.”

  • Inaugural lecture by Professor of Experimental Physics Dr A. Dymanus. He further argued that “The blurring of boundaries between academic disciplines is perhaps most clearly apparent in the field of science.” & “I hope that the exceptionally fruitful collaboration in the spirit of our old friendship will contribute to a great leap forward and the blossoming of physics at this University.”


‘The japanese uncle sam
also have – though one might not think so –
women child and girls
whom they – be it in a japanese manner
also love great uncle’

  • Opening lines of the poem ‘hi-ro-shi-ma’ by Pé Hawinkels, in his debut year at Nijmeegs UniversiteitsbladPé Hawinkels (Hoensbroek, 1942 - Nijmegen, 1977) was a student of Dutch Language and Literature, author, poet, songwriter, translator, and much more. Thanks in part to his contributions – including countless columns – NUB grew to become the leading university magazine in the Netherlands.


“I ask for your understanding concerning the impossibility, even for an Anaesthetist, of dividing himself into three or four parts.”

  • Inaugural lecture of Lector in Anaesthesiology Dr J.F. Crul, who founded the anaesthesiology department in Nijmegen.


“More than to anyone, I should like to extend a humble apology to the students of this University, who have not had the opportunity to express their opinion of the desirability of my presence amongst them. And yet it is their ears, undoubtedly sensitive to the beauty of their mother tongue, that will frequently be pained by my barbarisms and my unusual accent.”

  • Inaugural lecture by Professor of History and Philosophy of Religion Dr E.M.J.M. Cornélis O.P. The Flemish professor apologizes for his accent.


“It sometimes happens that students, once away from the watchful gaze of their parents in the university town, devote less attention to their physical wellbeing than desirable.”

  • On the establishment of the Student Health Care Centre (Studentengezondheidszorg), in Vox Carolina.


“Eleven years ago – when World War II ended – student life began anew, characterised primarily by an atmosphere of restoration, restoration of that which the pre-War student generation had built, but also by a search for new directions in student life.”

  • On the Catholic student days of 1957, with the theme ‘Change’, in Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad.


“Freshers must be made to understand that membership is not primarily a matter of taking, but of giving, of making a contribution to the general wellbeing of the community. For every individual fresher, once inaugurated, is also the community itself.”

  • M. v. d. Borg, Vice President of the Ragging Committee ‘56, about ragging within the Women’s Club, in Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad.


“All those for whom NUB is more than an information channel (…) will no doubt have noticed that the magazine is rising to a different level in terms of content and spirit. The dignified respectability of the early years has been injected with an element of militancy.”

  • Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad reports that they will write and publish at a different level than they did in previous years.


“We will offer as a prize two bottles of champagne – offered by the wine committee – to whoever writes the best song. This is a serious request for a serious contribution to ensure the SUCCESS of the sixth Lustrum of OUR Student Fraternity.”

  • Call by Carolus Magnus for a Lustrum song to celebrate the Fraternity’s 30th anniversary, in Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad.
Christine Mohrmann (1953)


“I am aware, with a certain amount of trepidation, that by stepping into your circle I am bringing about more changes than those inherent in the appointment of a new professor. For example, I will henceforth be the only one among you to have the privilege to use the good old formula that I have just spoken: ‘Dear Gentlemen Professors’.”

  • The first female professor, Christine Mohrmann (Early Christian, Vulgar and Medieval Latin and Early Christian Greek) in her inaugural lecture.


“During the summer holidays, De Gelderlander published an announcement by the then Rector Magnificus denouncing an abuse – ‘consisting of female students entertaining male students, and male students entertaining female students, in their rooms for prolonged periods of time and for reasons entirely unrelated to their studies’ (…).”

  • In the Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad the 'University authorities' stated that they "would appreciate it if citizens who provide students with accommodation would agree to cooperate with the University to maintain the good traditions that are threatened by this abuse."


“This first issue of Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad fortunately coincides with an important event, the opening of the Faculty of Medicine, which brings our University to full maturity. This makes it an almost festive issue.”

  • Editorial note in the opening to the first issue of Nijmeegs Universiteitsblad (NUB).


“Studying is not a right that one can buy with money, but an assignment that one must dare to take on. In freedom, one must go in search of one’s original self. And that requires a healthy dose of egoism.”

  • A. Deenen in Vox Carolina.


“Many of my fellow students came to the university to find a marriage partner. Once they had succeeded in securing one, they abandoned their studies.”

  • Female student, 1940s, in Hora Est: gepromoveerde vrouwen aan de Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen 1923 – 1988. (Hora Est: Women with a PhD at Catholic University Nijmegen 1923 – 1988)


“And then finally, Nijmegen, my much afflicted hometown, where I spent my youth, where I was baptised in the ancient Saint Stephanus Church, (...) the city where my parents and sister have already found their eternal rest. (…) It is here that I hope to be privileged to witness a fresh revival of Town and Gown.”

  • Professor W. van de Pol addresses the last words of his inaugural lecture specifically to the city of Nijmegen. His teaching and research remit: Phenomenology of Protestantism.
Eerste lustrum Phocas 1952


“Furthermore, the student finds himself in a circumstance that is particularly propitious for rowing, namely that he is free to distribute his leisure hours as he sees fit throughout the day (…) although there is also always the danger of time being wasted! (…) But the Nijmegen student can proudly boast of being in all things the equal of other universities. So there…!”

  • Student moderator Bernard van Ogtrop on the establishment of Phocas, Vox Carolina.


“Help! CAROLUS Magnus is in danger, and with it the entire Nijmegen Operation! A university without a strong and well-functioning student life is a dangerous non-entity, one that would only serve science while neglecting education. (…) The Sociëteit, which should at all times be a bastion for the soaring of individual spirit, has degenerated to a third-rate coffee house.”

  • Call to ‘Return the spirit of fraternity to the Nijmegen Fraternity’, Vox Carolina.


“Especially we, as Catholics, must realise what a powerful tool in the struggle for good is a pedagogy that is social, and practical, and rooted in the unfaltering tenets of the Gospel.”

  • Inaugural lecture in Pedagogical Science and Didactics by Dr A. Chorus, who advocates more focus on pedagogy. “In the field of pedagogy, many still experiment on their own, and while they would not hesitate to seek advice from an engineer before building a bridge, they leave it up to some favourable circumstance or other to lead the education of the youth in the right direction.”


“Now that circumstances have slowed down newspaper circulation in the past months, and even in the liberated parts of our country, communication remains difficult, our old Vox is luckily once again ready to stand up and do its bit.”

  • Vox Carolina about the distribution of the paper during World War II.
Sluiting universiteit tijdens WOII 1943


“First of all, I would like to thank you for this card, or better yet for your solidarity with us (…) which is clear from the fact that you sent us a card in the first place. (…) Every day again we eagerly awaited the postal delivery at 6 p.m. Even the shortest message from the homeland made us happy, every single one brought joy to our barracks.”

  • Letter from student of Law Corten to Rector Magnificus Bernard Hermesdorf. Hermesdorf had closed the doors of the Radboud University in April because he refused to meet the demands of the German occupiers. Corten was one of a legion of students who were called up for forced labour in Germany.


“No cell had been prepared for me. Then again, there was not much to prepare. I was given a jug of water, a towel, and another piece of cloth, perhaps for cleaning or to be used as a napkin, I don’t know. (...) While in other cells, the lights go off at 8 p.m., they let me keep mine on a little longer, for half-an-hour.”

  • Titus Brandsma about his first day in prison in Scheveningen, in January. The professor and resistance hero was murdered at the Dachau concentration camp later that year, on 26 July. About his first day in prison, he also said: “Because someone had called saying that I still needed to eat, I was given a small sandwich that was supposed to be breakfast too, and a tin cup with skim milk. On the table, there was a tin washbowl with water, on the bed, a straw bag and two blankets. I had to manage with what there was" (Writings of Titus Brandsma).


“Already as early as in 1939, ideas had emerged in your midst on how to systematically and powerfully engage students in physical exercise and sports.”

  • Student moderator Louis Regout announces the new University sports organisation in Vox Carolina. Regout stated that university students should be at the forefront of promoting sport and exercise. “These ideas were probably rooted in the dawning understanding that among the general population, a severe deficit was to be observed with respect to physical education, and that academic youth had an important role to play in combatting this deficit.”


“Like all of us, you too have felt the suffering that has befallen us, like all of us, more perhaps than many, you have borne the hardship of this war (…) These circumstances are harsh, and from a human perspective, depressing. And yet, we need not feel gloomy and sad. For we always have the shining light of our faith in God’s providence and guidance.”

  • Rector Magnificus Willem Duynstee’s opening words in a new volume of Vox Carolina.


“'Question 1: What is the main reason you came to Nijmegen?' (…) Particularly striking in its unintended humour was the following answer: ‘To become a Master in Law, and also to get some education.’”

  • Vox Carolina, in an explanation accompanying the ‘Initiation test’ for first-year students.


“Chorus (professors): ‘You see before you heroes of the mind. / In all our claims / No error has ever been found.’
Counter chorus (students): ‘As you were taking your first steps, / Learned Gentlemen, you were already / The cream of the crop of academia.’
Concluding Chorus (professors): ‘As long as we live, / Our pen will defend itself, / Until it too grows drowsy and goes to sleep.”

  • Vox Carolina. A few ‘lines for an unwritten comedy’ on the occasion of the University’s third Lustrum 


“After all, you can all still hear the heavy chiming of the bronze tower clocks on 7 January, so festively accompanied and traversed by the clapping and tinkling of one hundred silver bells. The Universities faithfully responded to the call, and the Women’s Student Club, of which Princess Juliana was a member in her Leiden student days, sent out a dapper riding Amazon delegation that took up a special place of honour near the church.”

  • Professor of Dutch Literature Jac. van Ginneken in a festive speech on the occasion of the marriage of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernard
Waalbrug 1936


“Because just as the bridge is linked to Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen (…) so we also believe, perhaps rightly so, that students and the new bridge also deserve a metaphorical rapprochement.”

  • Vox Carolina, about the Gedenkboek Opening Waalbrug Nijmegen (Commemorative Book on the Opening of the Waalbrug in Nijmegen) in which the editors sorely missed a chapter entitled ‘The Waalbrug and students’


“Let us not be intimidated by vociferating. The time has come to gird our swords and fight. We will not secure our safety by fleeing, but only by facing the attack. There shall be no entrenchment, only barricades.”

  • Vox Carolina in an article about author Menno Ter Braak, who warned in Forum magazine against the ‘resurgence of Huns in Germany.’ Ter Braak rejected the rise of national socialism: "We must be prepared to face the fact that intellectuals may soon be spoken of as professional criminals."


“And then there was the large middle group, the perpetuum immobile. More and more students vanished into their rooms to hide behind their books instead of diving into active student life. At the same time, public speeches increasingly focused on the notion of the intellectual, he who was supposed to be the future leader of the people, an idea that students were but all too quick to embrace.”

  • In Vox Carolina, editor Uri Nooteboom reflects on ten years of student life.


“Something has grown in Nijmegen, something stable, something calm,… ownership,…. tradition! This is an homage to the Alma Mater, for once without the usual whiff of criticism.”

  • From an issue of Vox Carolina devoted to the second Lustrum.


“Among the many questions I ponder, none keeps me busier than the mystery of how civilised humanity, boastful and proud of its progress, can, in such great numbers, turn its back on God.”

  • Rector Magnificus Titus Brandsma, opening of his inaugural lecture.


“A student is not a human being like any other. He is a privileged human being, privileged by his parents, and privileged by society. And anyone thus placed above others must be fully aware of this fact, and understand why he has been placed in such a privileged position, as well as what this asks of him.”

  • Willy Reuser in an article entitled ‘University, Student and Society’, in which he also states that “... For otherwise, he is at risk of grossly neglecting and failing to meet the expectations that others are justly entitled to have of him.”
  • Vox Carolina


“Singing, violin, cello, piano, and whatever else there may be. So that one can, as a change from Métropolo, where one can always go to hear atrocious music exquisitely performed, sometimes come to the student association to hear exquisite music performed, well…, more or less atrociously.”

  • On the opening of the Muziekclub.
  • Vox Carolina


“Our Academic ‘high days’, with their stately splendour of sober togas and berets, and the ever-renewed attraction of the granite Beadle, are garnering ever more attention.”

  • On the transferral of the rectorship, which took place on an annual basis, and attracted much curiosity and attention.
  • Editorial, Vox Carolina


“May a feeling of trust also grow between you and me, and may this feeling form an important first step towards fruitful labour.”

  • Professor of Roman Law Bernard Hermesdorf concludes his inaugural lecture with a word to his students (27 April)
  • During World War II, Hermesdorf was Rector Magnificus. He played an important role in the University’s closure in 1943.


“No criticism of professors, other lecturers, authorities, or the moderator. A solemn promise to not write or publish any articles aimed to discredit the established student association Carolus Magnus, unless expressly approved by the Rector Magnificus.”

  • Editorial piece in the first issue of the student magazine Vox Carolina.


“Whoever else obtains their doctorate degree here, now or in future, our first honorary doctor will always be Canisius, to whom we can trace the establishment of this University.”

  • Professor Gerard Brom on a monument in honour of Sint Petrus Canisius in the Hunnerpark, Nijmegen.
  • Jaarboek der R.K. Universiteit te Nijmegen (1926-1927).


“As soon as a shipment arrives, whatever is immediately needed is set aside, while the rest is temporarily moved to the storage rooms (…) These rooms are now filled with veritable pyramids of books.”

  • Librarian Herman de Vries de Heekelingen about the former university library.
  • Quoted in De Gelderlander.


“Another related phenomenon is the high percentage of female students who have enrolled (20%) (…) In this context, I would like to express a wish for happiness and a wish: a wish for the happiness of the young Catholic ladies (including the sisters) who have proved willing to make serious use of the opportunity for development granted to them by the Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen.”

  • Jos Schrijnen in his speech on the occasion of the transferral of the rectorship, a position that he would have liked to occupy for longer than one year.
Opening universiteit 1923


"We need brilliant people for our increasingly blossoming and thriving Catholic life, both economical and religious."

  • Daily newspaper De Maasbode in its special University edition, celebrating the launch of the first Catholic university in the Netherlands. Dutch Catholics were severely underrepresented within, for example, public administration, the legal profession and the medical sector. With their own university, they wanted to promote the emancipation of Catholics in The Netherlands. On 17 October 1923, Radboud University (then called Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen) was officially opened on the Keizer Karelplein in Nijmegen.