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 Middelburg and UCR

November 1:

Celebrating 800 years of city rights

For centuries, a giant eagle sat in a cage next to the magnificent town hall that is now UCRs main building. It symbolized the ambitions of Middelburg as a city. It also forms one of the many anecdotes, facts and insights offered by “Middelburg: face of the city” that was presented on the 1st of November. Tobias van Gent, one of UCRs history professors, contributed with a chapter on military history. In an interview, however, he also emphasized the town’s long academic history. “There were the royal academy of sciences, the athenaeum illustre and many other research and teaching activities”. In this sense, the development of Middelburg’s city campus, and as a college town, is an example of continuity in a city that celebrates its 800th anniversary this year.

September 9: 

Outdoor classroom officially opened

What better place to ‘open the mind’ than via an outdoor classroom? On the 9th of September, the Metamorphosis public space was formally opened by the Middelburg municipality. The Metamorphosis space is situated on UCRs central square, and will be a place for outdoor classes, debates, reflections and for connecting with the city at large. It was designed by Sophie Krier, who leads UCRs Arts & Design track, and is made out of old wooden beams shaped like an old anatomical theatre. The classroom was inspired by Johannes Goedaert, the expert observer whose detailed paintings of butterflies were so accurate that they form the basis of the Metamorphosis theory. During an opening lecture on Metamorphosis in philosophy, Dean Van den Brink emphasized how many aspects of UCRs educational philosophy come together in its newest classroom – Aristotle’s ideas on ‘opening the mind’ via education, Heraclitus’ focus on dialectics and the Roosevelts’ ideals of public engagement. Next to ‘liberating the mind’, the highly acclaimed Metamorphosis public space also stands for a next aspect of UCRs: a love of the arts, and of sheer beauty.​