Workplace: Hora est

A last look in the mirror, touch up the lipstick and off she goes. Leading the professors into the great hall at the Aula in dignified procession. A beadle’s job means performing. Acting, if you like
Roelof Kleis

photo Margriet van Vianen

After doing it for three years, it has become second nature for Lily Kroon. Together with two other beadles, she makes sure PhD graduations and other ceremonies run smoothly. She must be one of the most frequently photographed people in Wageningen. ‘Yes, now you come to mention it, it is quite funny.’ Especially for someone who doesn’t like being the centre of attention. But that applies to the civilian Lily Kroon. It’s another matter for a beadle. ‘Suddenly people see you quite differently. There is something festive about being a beadle.’ Kroon has experience in the hospitality industry: she used to run a hotel in Amsterdam and organize conferences. And now she is beadle and host at the Aula. At the moment she does this part-time when called but from next September she will have a permanent post. She loves the job. Welcoming guests, guiding PhD candidates, and of course all the etiquette. Leading the troops as master of ceremonies. And then, once the PhD candidate has been put through their paces for precisely 45 minutes by the doctoral committee, speaking the words: Hora est. The time has come. And it always goes like clockwork. ‘You just have to use a digital clock and be alert. The times are in my system.’

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