One year ago, Willem Witteveen, the founder of the Liberal Arts and Sciences program in Tilburg, deceased in the MH17 accident. The liberal arts community in in mourning.
Extra Muros uploaded his Last Lecture on youtube to commemorate him. The Last Lecture was his initiative and he was also the first to give the Last Lecture.
Every two to four times a year, Extra Muros asks speakers one single question; If this was your very last lecture, what would you tell your students?
Inspired by Dr. Randy Pausch, who gave one after being diagnosed with cancer, guests as Herman de Regt and Erica Terpstra tried to answer the question.
On the 17th of July, the tragic news reached our LAS community that among the 297 passengers of flight MH17 were Professor Willem Witteveen, Lidwien Heerkens and their daughter Marit Witteveen.
Willem Witteveen was a legal scholar and a politician. He was a law professor at Tilburg University, he founded the Liberal Arts and Sciences program and was a dean of the program for several years. Liberal Arts students will remember him as an author and a lecturer of Rhetoric and Introduction to Law & Humanities courses: his teaching was engaging, passionate and so talented. Be it constitutional law or antic literature, he has always made the subject accessible and, in the meantime, he made us appreciate and admire richness and complexity of what he was teaching. Willem Witteveen inspired many of us and he could have changed lives of so many more people.
Lidwien Heerkens was an employee of Tilburg School of Humanities. LAS students did not have a chance to meet her in their student life, but she was a dear friend to her colleagues and an irreplaceable professional for the faculty.
Marit Witteveen was a second year LAS student majoring in Law. We will remember her as a discreet but honest, kind and a girl, whose intelligence and talents were outstanding. Marit had an excellent academic record, and with even greater passion and enthusiasm she worked for the Last Lecture & Academic committees of Extra Muros.
She was a supportive member of our study association, in this academic year she was planning to continue working for Extra Muros to realize her creative ideas and to make our student life full of inspiration, intellectual challenge and spiritual fulfillment.
The tragedy has taken Marit from us in the very beginning of her bright and full life that promised many achievements, adventures and happiness.
The core staff of the Liberal Arts program decided to memorate him by putting up a painting in our common room (a special room on campus, made for Liberal Arts students).