News - January 11, 2018

Fit for the Walk of Fame

Between the Atlas and Orion buildings on campus runs a WUR Walk of Fame. A place where extraordinary achievements or moments in our history can be immortalized. Anyone can submit a suggestion, and the celebratory paving stone is paid for by the nominator. There are about ten of them so far, the latest being for Petra Naber, WUR ambassador to secondary schools. Who else deserves a paving stone, and why?

Petra Naber (in red) was given a paving stone in the Walk of Fame when she left her job on 13 December. © Guy Ackermans

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Ferry Leenstra and Monice van Dongen, project manager and business development manager van of Wageningen Livestock Research

Ferry: ‘The Walk of Fame is a nice idea. Who should be included? Sicco Mansholt. He did a lot for agriculture. Even if that meant the intensive agriculture that is problematic for us now, it was needed at the time.’
Monice: ‘Frank Westerman comes to mind. He wrote very readable books about agricultural politics, and he is an alumnus. And Cees Veerman, as the prime mover in One Wageningen.’
Ferry: ‘And what about Anne Vondeling and Jeroen Dijsselbloem? Both Wageningen graduates who have been minister of Finance.’


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Johan van den Hoven, servicedesk IT

‘Do you know who deserves a stone? The lady who brings us chocolate letters every year at Sinterklaas. She’s a senior researcher at Wageningen Environmental Research. People usually come to us with complaints, and this is something positive for a change. And Anne van den Ban; I’ve got a lot of respect for him. Years after he retired he still kept up his efforts on behalf of students from Africa, so they could study here.’


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Imke de Man, masterstudent Geo-information Science

‘I expected to see the previous rector there, Martin Kropff. After all, he was an important person for the university. And the coming GNSK deserves a paving stone. This Great Dutch Student Championship is special because it will be held in Wageningen. It’s the 60th tournament and the second time it’s been held in Wageningen. So we should start collecting to pay for a stone.’


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Vesna Prsic, Programme Coordinator VLAG Graduate School

‘It would be nice if people from all the different echelons were represented in the Walk of fame, because they all contribute to the success of the organization. But if it’s about figureheads, Louise Fresco comes to mind straightaway, as director, writer and visionary. For the same reason, Louise Vet deserves a paving stone. And then there is Wageningen’s first woman professor. Let’s see (…), that was Clara Willige Prins-Visser. Only in 1952? Sometimes I’m shocked at the underuse of women’s talents in the Netherlands. Someone else who comes to mind is Margreet van den Burg, the Wageningen researcher who mounted the barricades for women in the sciences. And nature calendar man Arnold van Vliet, because he reaches a big audience.’


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Robbert Jak, researcher at Wageningen Marine Research, Den Helder

Willem Brandenburg is the first name that comes to mind for me. He was the pioneer of seaweed research, he was way ahead of his time with his initiatives and managed to generate a lot of publicity. Thanks to his work, seaweed developed into one of Wageningen’s research fields.’


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Pippi-Lotte Maessen, BSc student of Food Technology

‘Yes, the Walk of Fame is still a bit empty. The people I think deserve a place there are good teachers who make Wageningen what it is. Microbiology teacher Gosse Schraa. He’s been Teacher of the Year as well. But to have a separate stone for every Teacher of the Year would be going a bit far, I think, and setting them on a pedestal. I also think WUR’s centenary celebration deserves a stone of its own.’


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Kees Hoogendoorn, head of the finance department at Facilities and Services

‘A man who has been working here for a very long time, gets involved all over the place and therefore knows a lot of people and details, is Peter Booman. He is now director of Facilities and Services, and he was involved in the merger of WU and DLO, and more recently in the development of the campus, including the creation of Plus Ultra and the arrival of Unilever. He is trusted by the board of directors and he knows how to link up government, the market and the organization. But he is generally less visible to the outside world. It is a pleasure to collaborate with him, and I’ve been doing so for 10 years now. I can imagine you might lay a stone for someone like that when they retire, but if you ask me, you can do it now too.’


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Robin Dukker, BSc student of Soil, Water and Atmosphere

‘A teacher I had in my first year, Gert Peek, deserves a place in the Walk of Fame, in my view. He’s good at getting people enthusiastic about soil science, and it is obvious that he enjoys teaching. His enthusiasm and the examples he gives and comparisons he makes help you remember the material. Gert Peek really is an outstanding teacher.’


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Marlou Lasschuijt, PhD research in Human Nutrition

‘We, the PhD researchers from room 1.030 in Helix, nominate Henriette Fick and Els Siebelink from Human Nutrition. Henriette is our head nurse, and Els is our research dietician for things like controlled nutrition interventions. We couldn’t run a single human study without them. For years they have been the lynchpins of the research, and they are always ready to help. So to us, they deserve a paving stone in the Walk of Fame.’


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Arianne van Ballegooij, University Fund Wageningen, betrokken bij de Walk of Fame

“Het idee achter de Walk of Fame was dat bijzondere prestaties of gebeurtenissen die verbonden zijn met WUR zichtbaar zouden blijven. Dat iets wat gevierd is, ook een zichtbare plek in de historie kreeg. Zo ligt er een tegel ter viering van vijftig jaar Voorlichtingskunde. Vanuit het UFW pakken we de handschoen op als het gaat om de Teachers of the Year. Ik nodig iedereen met ideeën voor een tegel uit om het initiatief te nemen om er een te leggen.”