Vice-Chancellor Lauritz Holm-Jensen, Distinguished Alumnus Award speech

Ladies and gentlemen
On the occasion of Aarhus University’s 80th birthday last year, we established a new award, the Aarhus University Distinguished Alumnus Award.

On the occasion of the annual celebration each year, this honour is bestowed on a distinguished graduate of Aarhus University who has made an outstanding contribution to society. The first alumnus to be awarded this honour was His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik.

I am extremely pleased to announce that the second Distinguished Alumnus Award goes to the Secretary General of NATO, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

My dear Anders Fogh Rasmussen

It is with great pride that I appoint you Distinguished Alumni. You are a fantastic roll model for the students of Aarhus University.

You became Master of Science (Economics) in 1978, and you are thus far the only graduate of the university to hold our country’s most prominent political position.

The university has also remarked your deep understanding of the role of the university in society and in relation to the development of our nation in the age of globalisation. When you were preparing to participate in the work of the Globalisation Council, you displayed great insight and intellectual curiosity when engaged in demanding scholarly discussions at the world’s most prominent think tanks and at universities in Boston and Washington.

When the then-private Aarhus University was still in its infancy, a newspaper wrote that this institution might fittingly develop into a school for local girls from the countryside. We can permit ourselves to laugh a bit, now that the Danish Crown Prince and the former Prime Minister are distinguished alumni.

The university would like to wish you the best of luck as Secretary General of NATO.

It is a great honour to appoint you Distinguished Alumnus of Aarhus University today.