In 2014, our University will be 400 years old! Naturally, this is a cause for celebration. A month long celebration! From 15 May until 15 June 2014 Groningen will be immersed in a festive program with the theme For Infinity (4∞). We are going to celebrate, do sports, share knowledge, and experience culture with everyone who cares about the university: Alumni, students, residents of the city and the surrounding area, guests of fellow institutions (domestic and international), business, industry and government representatives and everyone else who is interested.
The first celebration of the university anniversary took place in 1814, when the university is 200 years young. Students were very active in this jubilee. They organized a masquerade through the centre of Groningen, to great public appeal. This was the birth of a tradition, as at every next lustrum celebration in the 19th century, masquerades were being held. These processions were the highlight of each lustrum celebration,but at the end of the 19th century, these masquerades were in decline, as the increasingly grandiose setup made them prohibitively expensive. Besides, people started to think of this form of celebration as slightly dated. Following the example of other universities, the student masquerade made way for an open air theatre.
After 1945 the anniversary celebrations took on a different character. From then on, there's an extensive festive programme, aimed at promoting the university and involving the city and the surrounding areas. Since then, each lustrum celebration ends with a big closing party, that is open to everyone.
This will be no different in 2014, as visitors will be treated to lots of activities. This year will also hallmark the return of the student masquerade, albeit with a modern twist.