From the comfort of their homes or campus locations, graduates will be able to experience a mix of pre-recorded videos and real-time moments which include a virtual academic procession through Middelburg, a farewell address by Dean Bert van den Brink, speeches, and choir and poetry performances. You are also able to join this special online graduation. It will be available at 16:00 on Friday January 29th here. Two of the speakers during graduation have Zeeuwse roots:

Commencement Speaker

Sarah-Jane Koulen, Class of 2007, will give the Commencement Address. Though born in New York, her family comes from Terneuzen. Her grandfather, Frank Koulen, is the founder of the legendary nightclub Porgy and Bess in Terneuzen. Sarah-Jane is an assistant professor of peace, justice, and human rights at Haverford College, Pennsylvania, USA. She is currently completing her PhD in Anthropology at Princeton University, an ethnographic study of the community of experts involved in the development of international criminal law. Sarah-Jane earned her bachelor’s degree at University College Roosevelt in 2007, and then pursued a LL.M. degree at SOAS University of London. She worked for several years with NGOs involved with humanitarian assistance and international criminal law in The Hague. She went on to pursue a master’s degree at Radboud University’s Centre for International Development Issues in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and began graduate work at Princeton in 2015. In March 2018, Sarah-Jane was appointed by the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science as a commissioner to the Dutch National Commission for UNESCO, where she advises on the international legal implications of the Netherlands’ UNESCO membership.

Class Speaker

UCR Graduations in Winter feature a Class Speaker. The Class Speaker is a member of the graduating class with great academic results and strong social involvement in the community. They are chosen by the Dean with input from the Student Association RASA and have a unique opportunity to address the graduating class and guests during the ceremony.

This year’s Class Speak, Ruben Riemens, is from Middelburg. His love for the city and the province made the choice to study at UCR an easy one. Living on campus in Middelburg gave him a new appreciation for the city, and the opportunities it has. During his studies, he specialized in Law and Micro-economics, and also took a keen interest in Politics. He is now volunteering on the campaign team of Prof. Barbara Oomen. Next to his studies, Ruben has been actively involved in the UCR and Middelburg community. Ruben has taken on roles as SportsCo General Board Member 2018 – 2019, Hockey Coordinator 2018 – 2019, RASA Treasurer 2019 – 2020, member of the Orientation taskforce 2019, Lustrum Team Treasurer, Ski Trip Team Treasurer 2019 – 2020, End of Term Party team chair 2019 – 2020, Summer Graduation Team Chair 2019 – 2020, Member of the Nassaulaan foundation board 2019 – 2020, University College Student Representatives of the Netherlands delegate 2019 – 2020, BartyTeam Music General Board Member 2020, Ski Trip Team Secretary 2020 – 2021, , Elliott Head Bartender, Elliott Mensa Volunteer, and AAC Mentor.