Prof. Dr. B. (Bas) Denters
It is already more than ten years ago that on 14 December 2009 I had the honour to receive the Sirius Honorary Member Award Certificate from Bart van Oort (chairman 36th Sirius Board). Obviously, many things have changed since 2010.
The 2009 programmes, for example, were still traditional Public Administration curricula - taught exclusively in the Dutch language. Moreover, Sirius - in those years -- was a study-association for PA-students only.
But as in the “good old days” -- and fully in line with the new UT-mission (as a self-proclaimed “people first” university) -- our new study-programmes are aimed at training young academics to design solutions for thriving, sustainable and resilient communities, with a keen sensitivity to the needs of ordinary people. More than before, however, our contemporary programmes combine this traditional focus with an open eye for the opportunities offered by technological innovations, without resorting to blind techno-mania. I am confident that with this renewed profile, the Twente programmes are well-equipped for a bright future.
On a more personal note, of course, since 2010 all of us undeniably have also aged …
For me personally, as an unavoidable consequence of getting ever older-- after 40 years working for Twente’s PA-programme -- I went into retirement. A memorable farewell event on 27 August 2021 in De Grolsch Veste, marked the end of my professional career at the UT (for my farewell interview: https://www.utoday.nl/spotlight/68943/ik-heb-me-nooit-opgesloten-in-twente)
At the end of my career, I am still proud of this Honorary Membership. For one thing, I am honoured to be amongst the very few people who over the years - in the eyes of the General Assembly of Sirius - deserved this special status. An honour also bestowed upon two of my personal intellectual sources of inspiration: Andries Hoogerwerf and Peter Boorsma - my PhD supervisors and both founding fathers of Twente’s PA Programme. Moreover, I also cherish the memory of Bart van Oort’s award speech. He not only lauded the efforts I made as PA-programme-director -- together with the unsurpassed Martin de Nobel (who already then acted as PA’s programme coordinator) -- to modernize the bachelor and the master programmes in Public Administration and our initiatives to strengthen the programmes’ links with both Sirius and the PA Alumni Association. But, most of all, I was moved by his appreciation for my long years of dedication to the PA-Twente programme and especially my intensive, direct personal contacts with our students. Bart’s words of gratitude were echoed in additional personal messages (reprinted in: Sirius Sights (2010), volume 14-3, pp. 10-12) of the four young women and men who chaired the Board of Sirius during my programme-directorate.