Honorary doctorate recipients

Each year Hasselt University grants honorary degrees to individuals for outstanding contributions made to a specific field and/or to society in general. Over time, dozens of highly committed and internationally renowned scientists, thinkers, journalists, architects, artists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, etc., have joined our academic community.

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Inauguration Data Science Institute - October 22, 2021

  • Dipak Kalra
    University College London
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Liesbet Peeters
    Honorary Co-Promotors: Prof. Paul Dendale and Prof. Pieter Vandervoort

  • Jan Rabaey
    University of California, Berkeley
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Engineering Technology and the Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Luc Claesen
    Honorary Co-Promotor: Prof. Ronald Thoelen

  • William Cleveland
    Purdue University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Jan Aerts
    Honorary Co-Promotor: Prof. Niel Hens

Foundation Day - November 12, 2020

  • Jane Goodall
    Ethologist, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, and UN Messenger of Peace
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Bernard Vanheusden

20th Anniversary BIOMED - June 14, 2019

  • Arne Akbar
    University College London
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Biomedical Research Institute
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Niels Hellings

Foundation Day (‘Inclusive Excellence’) - May 28, 2019

  • Patricia Moore
    MooreDesign Associates
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Architecture and Arts 
    Honorary Promotors: Prof. Stefan Devoldere and Dr Jasmien Herssens

  • Alarcos Cieza
    World Health Organization (WHO)
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Peter Feys

  • Franklin A. Tuitt
    University of Denver
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Luc De Schepper

20th Anniversary VLIR-UOS - May 15, 2019

  • Clarice Garcia Borges Demétrio
    University of São Paulo
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Luc De Schepper
    Honorary Co-Promotor: Prof. Geert Molenberghs

50 Years of Business Economics Teaching in Limburg's Higher Education - February 28, 2019

  • Ronnie Leten
    Top Manager
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Business Economics
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Piet Pauwels

10th Anniversary Law Faculty - January 15, 2019

  • Bruno Vanobbergen
    Children's Rights Commissioner
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Law 
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Charlotte Declerck

Foundation Day (45th Anniversary UHasselt) - May 30, 2018 

  • Joëlle Tuerlinckx 
    Artist
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Architecture and Arts
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Bert Willems

  • Yehuda Shoenfeld 
    Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Veerle Somers

  • Ayodhya Tiwari 
    Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt (EMPA)
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Engineering Technology
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Bart Vermang

  • Harry Timmermans 
    Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the School of Transportation Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Geert Wets

  • Susanne Baer 
    Bundesverfassungsgericht
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Law
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Petra Foubert

  • Serge Abiteboul 
    Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA)
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Jan Van den Bussche
    Honorary Co-Promotor: Prof. Niel Hens

  • John Goddard, OBE
    Newcastle University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Luc De Schepper

10th Anniversary I-BioStat | 20th Anniversary CenStat | 25th Anniversary ICP Programme | 30th Anniversary Master of Statistics - May 18, 2018

  • Thomas A. Louis
    Johns Hopkins University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of I-BioStat
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Geert Molenberghs

20th Anniversary Centre for Environmental Sciences - November 24, 2017

  • Jos Delbeke
    Head, Directorate-General for Climate Action of the European Commission
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences and the Centre for Environmental Sciences
    Honorary Promotors: Prof. Jaco Vangronsveld and Prof. Bernard Vanheusden

Foundation Day (‘Changemakers in Innovation’) - May 30, 2017

  • Morten Bennedsen
    INSEAD Business School
    Honorary Promotor: Vice-Rector for Research Jean-Michel Rigo

  • Mariana Mazzucato
    University College London
    Honorary Promotor: Vice-Rector for Education Karin Coninx

  • Stijn Bijnens
    Investment company LRM
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Luc De Schepper

Foundation Day (‘Resilient Society’) - May 24, 2016 

  • Kunlé Adeyemi
    NLÉ Architects
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Architecture and Arts
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Jo Berben

  • Paul Stoffels
    Johnson & Johnson
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Veerle Somers

  • Jean-Marie Tarascon
    Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Marlies Van Bael

  • Martha C. Nussbaum
    University of Chicago
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Luc De Schepper

Foundation Day (‘Sustainable World, Smart Entrepreneurship’) - May 28, 2015

  • John Lloyd Provis
    University of Sheffield
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Engineering Technology
    Honorary Promotors: Prof. Wouter Schroeyers and Prof. Hervé Degée

  • Emmanuel de Merode
    Directeur Virunga National Park
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Law
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Johan Ackaert

  • Richard D. Bardgett
    University of Manchester
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Jan Colpaert

  • Jeremy Rifkin
    Economist, author, columnist
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Luc De Schepper

Dies Natalis (‘Think Global, Connect Local’) - May 28, 2014 

  • Bijoy Jain
    Architect, Studio Mumbai
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Architecture and Arts
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Koenraad Van Cleempoel

  • S. Tamer Cavusgil
    Georgia State University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Business Economics
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Piet Pauwels

  • Christine Van Broeckhoven
    UAntwerpen and VIB
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Piet Stinissen

  • Thomas L. Friedman
    Author, journalist, columnist The New York Times
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Luc De Schepper

5th Anniversary I-BioStat | 15th Anniversary CenStat | 20th Anniversary ICP Programme | 25th Anniversary Master of Statistics - November 15, 2013

  • Anastasios Tsiatis
    North Carolina State University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of I-BioStat
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Geert Molenberghs

40th Anniversary UHasselt - September 27, 2013

  • Martin Cooper
    Inventor
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the UHasselt Student Council
    Honorary Promotor: Joren Janssen, President of the Student Council

Foundation Day (‘Shaping the Future’) - May 28, 2013 

  • Luc Deleu
    Architect
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Architecture and Arts
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Rob Cuyvers

  • Henry Chesbrough
    Haas School of Management, University of California
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Business Economics
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Wim Vanhaverbeke

  • Lieven Maesschalck
    Physiotherapist
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences & the Associated Faculty of Physiotherapy
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Bert Op ‘t Eijnde

  • Michael Braungart
    Leuphana University of Lüneburg 
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Engineering Technology
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Marc D’Olieslaeger

  • Heinz Klug
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Law
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Alexander De Becker

  • Richard Friend
    University of Cambridge 
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Jean Manca

  • Jean-Jacques Cassiman
    Human genetics expert, KU Leuven
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Luc De Schepper

Foundation Day (‘Managing the Information Overload’) - May 30, 2012 

  • Wil van der Aalst
    Eindhoven University of Technology
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Business Economics
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Koen Vanhoof

  • John G. F. Cleland
    University of Hull
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences
    Honorary Promotors: Prof. Pieter Vandervoort, MD and Prof. Paul Dendale, MD

  • Silvana Sciarra
    Universita degli Studi Firenze
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Law
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Annemie Draye

  • Ramesh Raskar
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Frank Van Reeth

  • Johny Vansevenant
    Journalist Flemish Public Broadcasting Company VRT
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Luc De Schepper

Foundation Day (‘Diversity’) - May 30, 2011

  • Bernardo Secchi († September 2014)
    Architect 
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Associated Faculty of Architecture and Interior Architecture
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Oswald Devisch

  • Monder Ram
    Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Business Economics
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Patrizia Zanoni

  • Mahmoud F. Fathalla
    Assiut University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine
    Honorary Promotors: Prof.Piet Stinissen and Prof. Willem Ombelet, MD

  • Marc Bossuyt
    President of the Constitutional Court of the Kingdom of Belgium
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Law 
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Gunter Maes

  • Ignace Schops
    Director Regionaal Landschap Kempen & Maasland
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Luc De Schepper
    Honorary Co-Promotor: Prof. Jaco Vangronsveld

20th Anniversary Institute for Materials Research - November 19, 2010

  • Andrew B. Holmes
    University of Melbourne
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Institute for Materials Research
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Dirk Vanderzande

  • Richard E. Palmer
    University of Birmingham
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Institute for Materials Research
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Hans-Gerhard Boyen

Foundation Day (‘Art Meets Science’) - May 28, 2010 

  • Michael Rowe
    Royal College of Art
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Associated Faculty of the Arts
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Bert Willems

  • Koen Vanmechelen
    Artist
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Piet Stinissen

  • Panamarenko († December 2019)
    Artist
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Luc De Schepper
    Honorary Co-Promotor: Prof. Freddy Dumortier

Foundation Day (‘Technology for a Sustainable Society’) - May 28, 2009

  • Robert Mendelsohn
    Yale University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Business Economics
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Theo Thewys

  • Michaël Grätzel
    Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Dirk Vanderzande

  • Susan Trumbore
    University of California
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Jan Colpaert

  • Alain Hubert
    Explorer and Founder President of the International Polar Foundation
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Luc De Schepper

Foundation Day (35th Anniversary UHasselt) - May 28, 2008

  • Christopher Alexander († March 2022)
    University of California, Berkeley
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Associated Faculty of Architecture and Interior Architecture
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Sylvain De Bleeckere
    Honorary Co-Promotor: Prof. Hubert Froyen

  • Gerard Unger († November 2018)
    Leiden University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Associated Faculty of the Arts
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Aagje Swinnen

  • Lawrence Steinman
    Stanford University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Piet Stinissen

  • Pieter Jan Lemstra
    Eindhoven University of Technology
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Associated Faculty of Industrial Sciences and Technology
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Roos Peeters

  • Alan Thompson
    University College London
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Associated Faculty of Physiotherapy
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Eddy Neerincxk
    Honorary Co-Promotor: Prof. Bert Op ’t Eijnde

  • Baruch Lev
    Stern School of Business, New York University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Applied Economics
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Wim Voordeckers
    Honorary Co-Promotor: Prof. Philip Vergauwen

  • Shalom Hakkert
    Israel Institute of Technology Haifa 
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Interfaculty Transportation Institute 
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Geert Wets

  • Ingrid Daubechies
    Princeton University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Freddy Dumortier

  • Axelle Red
    Artist
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Luc De Schepper

Foundation Day (30th Anniversary LUC/UHasselt) - May 28, 2003

  • Polly Matzinger
    National Institutes of Health Bethesda
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Jef Raus

  • Kathleen Eisenhardt
    Stanford University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Applied Economics
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Wim Vanhaverbeke

  • Cees Dekker
    Delft University of Technology
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Luc De Schepper

  • Frank De Winne
    Astronaut
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of Hasselt University
    Honorary Promotor: Rector Harry Martens

Foundation Day (25th Anniversary LUC/UHasselt) - May 28, 1998

  • Tom Jovin
    Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Marcel Ameloot

  • David Montgomery
    Stanford University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Applied Economics
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Gilbert Swinnen

  • Yuri Gurevich
    University of Michigan
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Jan Van den Bussche

Foundation Day (20th Anniversary LUC/UHasselt) - May 28, 1993

  • Michael J. Berridge
    University of Cambridge
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Emmy Van Kerkhove

  • Roger Langenaken
    Honorary Director-General ALZ Company
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Applied Economics
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Wim Van Looy

  • Sir Harold W. Kroto († April 2016)
    University of Sussex
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Jean-Pierre François

Foundation Day (15th Anniversary LUC/UHasselt) - May 28, 1988

  • Erwin Neher
    Max Planck Institut für biophysikalische Chemie Göttingen
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Paul Steels

  • Sir David Cox
    Oxford University
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Paul Embrechts

Foundation Day (10th Anniversary LUC/UHasselt) - May 28, 1983

  • Georges Köhler († March 1995)
    Institüt für Immunologie Basel,
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Jef Raus
  • Hans Mohr († December 2016)
    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
    Honorary doctorate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Sciences
    Honorary Promotor: Prof. Marcel Van Poucke