The conferral of the University of Antwerp’s honorary degrees went ahead as planned on Wednesday 23 March 2016.

“Science will and must not submit to terror”, declared Rector Alain Verschoren. The university did adjust the ceremony, however, and held a moment of silence for the victims of the attacks in the capital.

The event was held to recognise four eminent scientists and renowned dancer and choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

Scientific merit

Professor Katharina Boele-Woelki

Professor Katharina Boele-Woelki
The Faculty of Law will be honouring Professor Katharina Boele-Woelki, rector of the Bucerius Law School in Hamburg (Germany). She is Europe’s most prominent professor of international family law and is among the best in the world in her field. Boele-Woelki was the first to demonstrate that family law – traditionally studied from a national point of view – could also be approached from an international perspective.

Supervisor: Professor Frederik Swennen
Masterclass: Research into family law: some methodological reflections


Professor Michael Camilleri

Professor Michael Camilleri

Professor Michael Camilleri of Mayo Clinic (USA) will receive an honorary degree from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Camilleri is president of the American Gastroenterological Association and is renowned for his work on gastrointestinal motility in physiological and pathophysiological circumstances. His research topics include post-surgical complications and the effects of stress and anorexia.

Supervisor: Professor Benedicte De Winter
Masterclass: From fundamental and clinical research to individualized treatment in neurogastroenterology



Professor Olaf Drummer

Professor Olaf Drummer
The Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences has chosen to honour Professor Olaf Drummer of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (Australia). A forensic pharmacologist and toxicologist, Drummer has conducted important research into opiates and sudden death, the toxicology of benzodiazepines, drug driving and the causes of drug-related deaths.

Supervisor: Professor Hugo Neels
Masterclass: The forensic pharmacology of drugs abuse

Olaf Drummer


Professor Jan Vermunt

Jan Vermunt

The Faculty of Social Sciences wishes to pay tribute to Professor Jan Vermunt of the University of Cambridge (UK). Vermunt, a Dutch educational psychologist, is a leading researcher investigating student learning, teacher learning and the relationship between the two.

Supervisor:  Professor Peter Van Petegem
Masterclass: Understanding the puzzling relation between student learning and teacher learning

General merit

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Dancer-choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui having studied under Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. He went on to work at Les Ballets C de la B and Toneelhuis before founding his own company, Eastman, in 2010. He is now artistic director of the Ballet of Flanders. “Cherkaoui is one of the most original and productive contemporary choreographers”, says Rector Alain Verschoren. “He has produced an impressive body of work which investigates and interrogates the traditions of the major cultures in its own specific way. “

Supervisor: Professor Alain Verschoren, rector of the University of Antwerp
Masterclass: Artist, organization and the society