VU celebrates 140th birthday

Kuyper Year at VU Amsterdam

It is now 140 years since Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) founded Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The university will be celebrating this anniversary throughout the 2020/2021 academic year with a host of activities inspired by Kuyper’s extraordinary legacy. 

Kuyper was a social entrepreneur, a champion of diversity and a fighter for democracy. These three themes will therefore be at the heart of all the activities taking place. Kuyper’s seemingly tireless activism in reshaping society through politics, education, the church, academic endeavour and the press remains a source of inspiration to this day. Not only within VU Amsterdam but also far beyond.

In the first week of November, there will be an extra festive touch to the celebrations. The third of November has been dubbed Kuyper Night: the university will be open until late with all kinds of special events on campus. The week will end with the Dies Natalis, where a very famous and distinguished guest speaker will take to the stage to mark the founding of the university. This year’s Dies Natalis has been moved from 20 October to Friday, 6 November to be closer to the 100th anniversary of Kuyper’s death (8 November), in honour of his status as a figure who continues to inspire us today. 

More information about Kuyper Week and the year’s other special anniversary activities – including the Opening of the Academic Year – will soon be available on this page.