Last Friday 9 November the swinging sounds of the carillon filled the campus for the first time. The festive inauguration, including big band, coloured lights and flaming torches, marked the end of eight months of festivities as part of the organisations centennial.
A ceremony for invited guests preceded the official inauguration outside on campus. Rector Magnificus Arthur Mol looked back on the eight months of activities, followed by the display of the ‘after movie’, which generated lots of sounds of recognition and occasional laughter. After that, Louise Fresco, president of the Executive Board, took the stage and looked back on the bicentennial celebrations from the year 2118. In those 100 years, Wageningen University & Research, or GUBI (Gelderland Universities of Bio Informatics and Bio exchanges) as it is called, has 34 campuses all over the world and 500.000 students. Both the city of Wageningen and the current campus had undergone massive changes (including a highway over campus) but the carillon, though renovated using bioplastics, still remained.
Why the carillon is so special and might still be here in 100 years was explained by Jan Karel Mak, president of University Fund Wageningen, who donated the carillon. He illustrated how most of the last 100 years, students were cycling to class and heard the carillons of all the different churches from Wageningen. With the move from the University towards the campus those bell sounds are lost, but they are now restored by the carillon.
Guided by the big band Sound of Science, the crowd moved outside, where Rector Magnificus Arthur Mol and Ingrid van Engelshoven, minister of Education, Culture and Science, pressed a button to officially inaugurate the carillon. Together with Sound of Science the carillon played the composition CárCaSos, composed by conductor Guus Tangelder, which started modest, but soon developed into a true jazz spectacle. After the music, minister Van Engelshoven expressed her thanks for the recently founded relation between WUR and the Ministry of ECS, and congratulated WUR on the centennial: “Congratulations on all the great work you do, up to the next 100 years!”
The same evening, the official closing party for students took place: the Gala of the Century. Eleven study associations joined forces and turned the Junushoff into a fairy tale forest for the almost 1000 students. For those who wanted to improve on their dance skills, the dance workshop provided them with new moves. There was plenty of opportunity to try those out, because with three different stages showing a total of ten acts, it was an abundant programme on a festive night.