Science - November 1, 2007

First, but certainly not last, PhD party

The first PhD party in Wageningen history took place at Ceres on Friday 19 October. All cultures present at doctoral level turned up, and there was even a swinging, singing dean.

Students at the PhD party at Ceres
A number of PhD students in Wageningen felt that there was too little contact between PhD students individually and between the graduate schools. It was time for a party, according to Simone de Bruin, one of the organisers: ‘This way we can get to know each other less formally than at work.’ Fellow organiser Guido Bosch continues: ‘The idea caught on quickly – the day we announced it, 60 people signed up.’ Bosch reckons that more than 300 PhD students turned up for the event which must have reminded them more of their undergraduate days.
The evening started with an international buffet including curry, stamppot and noodles. De Bruin: ‘There was more demand for the supper than we could deal with: we had 150 places and they were all taken really quickly. Next time we’ll make sure there’s room for more eaters.'
Also present was the dean of the graduate schools Frans Kok: ‘We should show our PhD students more often that we are proud of them, because they are doing very well. PhD students are our showpiece and management does not always give them the recognition they deserve. ’
The evening continued with a cabaret act. Judging from the sweat on the artistes’ brows, it was the first time they had performed for such an international and science-oriented audience, probably not the easiest public for beginners. If the laughter was anything to go by though, they didn’t do badly. Then it was the turn of the dean and onetime disc jockey Frans Kok to sing a few golden oldies, after which the serious party animals got down to partying until the small hours.

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