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Honorary doctorates for Belgian virologist Marc van Ranst and German Arabist Beatrice Gründler

Leiden University is awarding an honorary doctorate to virologist Marc van Ranst. Van Ranst has been one of the main advisers of the Belgian government during the Covid pandemic. German Arabist Beatrice Gründler will also receive an honorary doctorate for her work in the field of Oriental Manuscript Studies. The honorary doctorates will be awarded during Leiden University’s Dies Natalis.

Marc van Ranst

Van Ranst, a professor at KU Leuven, will receive an honorary doctorate for his significant contribution to epidemiology and virology. ‘During various epidemics, including most recently Covid-19, you have advised the government alongside your scientific work. You have been an indefatigable communicator who has been the steadfast voice of reason on the television, radio and newspapers as well as on social media,’ Rector Magnificus Hester Bijl writes to Van Ranst.

Marc van Ranst. Foto: ANP

Beatrice Gründler

Beatrice Gründler, Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at Freie Universität, will receive an honorary doctorate in Oriental Manuscript Studies in recognition of her career-long contributions to the understanding of classical Arabic language, its history, literature and sociology, and in particular her ground-breaking role in illuminating the dynamics of the Arabic-Persian literary practice, its expression in the manuscript tradition, and its transformations across religious, linguistic and cultural boundaries.

Beatrice Gründler
Beatrice Gründler. Foto: DFG/David Ausserhofer/Freie Universität Berlin

Van Ranst was nominated for the honorary doctorate by the deans of three faculties together: Pancras Hogendoorn (Medicine), Paul Wouters (Social and Behavioural Sciences) and Erwin Muller (Governance and Global Affairs). His honorary supervisor is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology Frits Rosendaal from the LUMC. 

Gründler was nominated by the Faculty of Humanities with the support of Leiden University Libraries. She will receive her honorary doctorate from Professor of Arabic Petra Sijpesteijn.

Both honorary doctorates will be awarded on 8 February 2023, during Leiden University’s 448th Dies Natalis.

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