Honorary member Drs. J.B.R. Dekker
Honorary member since the 18th of May 2004
Our third honorary member, Jan Dekker (1940), retired from working at our faculty in 2004. As a lecturer, his excursions and his vast amount of readily available knowledge were an enormous source of inspiration to many students. He became well known in the field of geography, due to his contributions to the journal ´Geografie´. Even though he had provided many services to our faculty and our association, his honorary membership still came as a surprise to him. It was awarded to him after he gave a lecture in May 2004.
Throughout the years, Jan Dekker has contributed a lot to the faculty and Ibn Battuta. He was a student at the faculty in the earliest years of the existence of our association and became a student assistant in the seventies. Since his graduation, Dekker has always remained a donor for Ibn Battuta, which isn’t a very common practice. Jan Dekker was often willing to lead excursions or give lectures. He even helped out the boards with choosing destinations for foreign excursions and actually joined one in Istanbul in 1976. For many years, Dekker was one of the first people new students would encounter. He became well known due to his yearly slideshow during the introductory period.
He was always glad to give solicited and unsolicited advice. He helped Ibn Battuta when it was needed. He was extremely supportive and very approachable. Dekker inspired generations of geographers with his stories, incredible amount of knowledge, and unparalleled stamina during excursions. He taught students how to act like proper geographers; that we should always keep our heads up and that, when possible, a good geographer never takes the same route twice.