Anne van den Ban has passed away

Published on
May 9, 2016

Anne van den Ban, the founder and first chair of the Extension Education group that was established in 1964, has passed away over the weekend at the age of 88.

Anne van den Ban has passed away over the weekend at the age of 88. He slipped away peacefully during his sleep in the night from Friday May 6 to Saturday May 7. He was the founder and first chair of the Extension Education group that was established in 1964. The Strategic Communication group and - in part - the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation group and the Health and Society group evolved from this group. Anne van den Ban has had enormous influence internationally in the fields of both agricultural extension and health promotion. Many international students have been able to study in Wageningen due to the fund that he initiated.

Anne van den Ban was a living monument, and has contributed immensely to Wageningen University. We will remember him with respect and gratitude. More information about Anne van den Ban can be found at Wikipedia:

Anne will be cremated on Thursday May 12 at 16.00 in Beuningen (Crematorium Rijk van Nijmegen, Schoenaker 12, 6641 SZ Beuningen).
An In Memoriam will be added later.

In Memoriam Prof. Dr. Ir. Anne van den Ban, emeritus professor of Extension Education

Earlier this week Prof. Dr. Ir. Anne van den Ban - founding father of several academic groups in our University- passed away at the age of 88. Anne van den Ban studied in Wageningen and graduated in Agricultural Economics in 1953. He inherited his interest in academia and agricultural extension from an early age. His father was professor in Agricultural Engineering and Soil Preparation in Wageningen, and both his parents had worked as extension agents. Under the influence of Prof. Evert Willem Hofstee and Prof. Everett Rogers he became interested in the adoption and diffusion of innovations. In his dissertation (1963) entitled  ‘Farmer and agricultural extension: the communication of new farming practices’ he already stressed the importance of anticipating diverse farmer realities, and the significance of horizontal knowledge exchange among farmers. In 1964 Anne van den Ban was appointed chair of the newly established Extension Education group (Vakgroep Voorlichtingskunde).

Under his leadership, the group flourished and appointed specialists for different sectors (e.g. agriculture, health, environment) and methodical approaches (e.g. inter-personal communication, mass-communication). In 1974, he published his classic book ‘Inleiding tot de Voorlichtingskunde’ which was revised several times, and translated into 13 languages. In 1983, at the age of 55, he took the unusual step of resigning from his position at Wageningen University. He wanted to become more practically engaged, and apply his expertise to international development work. With the purpose of supporting international students aspiring to study in Wageningen, he co-established a foundation (Stichting Redelijk Studeren) in 1992 which later evolved into the Anne van den Ban fund. This organisation has supported more than 250 students to date. Today his academic heritage is built upon by three groups that have roots in the old Extension Education group: Strategic Communication, Knowledge, Technology and Innovation and Health and Society. Until a few weeks ago, he remained a weekly visitor to these groups. We will remember him with deep respect and are grateful for his generosity as an academic and as a person.

Cees Leeuwis, on behalf of many staff and students in and outside Wageningen