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UvA Honorary Medallion

To honour individuals who have demonstrated exceptional service to the University, the University of Amsterdam presents them with the so-called Stapenning honorary medallion. There are two awards: the Distinguished and the Exceptional Stapenning honorary medallion.

The Executive Board presents the Exceptional Stapenning honorary medallion to individuals for exceptional service to the UvA. The Distinguished Stapenning honorary medallion is presented to individuals for exceptional service of a very distinguished nature to the UvA. These honorary medallions have in recent years been awarded to rectors and presidents of foreign universities, honorary doctors and professors and staff members of the University of Amsterdam.


UvA staff members may submit substantiated nominations for the award of a Stapenning honorary medallion by means of the nomination form (below). Nominations must be submitted no later than 2 months before the envisaged presentation date. The UvA Stapenningen Committee assesses the nomination and advises the Executive Board as to whether or not the honorary medallion should be awarded. The members of the Committee are Agneta Fischer, Gerard Nijsten, Michel Haring, Laura Erdsieck and Davinia Dekker.

Read more about the procedure behind the award of a Stapenning honorary medallion in the Regulations for the Award of UvA Stapenning honorary medallions (Reglement toekenning UvA Stapenningen).

Following the presentation, the names of recipients of the honorary medallions are entered into the Stapenning Honorary Medallion Register (Register Stapenningen).

History of the honorary medallion

The Stapenning honorary medallion was instituted in 1989 in three grades: distinguished, exceptional and the small medallion. The latter was conceived as a corporate gift and is no longer in use. The design of the Stapenning honorary medallions was adapted in 2001. Between 1967 and 2003, the incidental silver Honorary Medallion was also awarded.

Design of the honorary medallion

The Stapenning honorary medallions were designed by Eric Claus and are made of bronze. The face shows the University logo and its Latin name, Universitas Amstelodamensis. Since 2001, the garland around the medallion has shown seven books symbolising the seven faculties of the UvA. To show how closely interwoven the University and the city are, the reverse shows the logo of the City of Amsterdam, with the silhouette of an Amsterdam canalside house in the background. It also shows the University’s original name, Athenaeum Illustre.

UvA Honorary Medallion