When the campus was built in the sixties, all buildings on campus Woudestein were indicated by letters. There was a method behind the assignation of the letters: A for aula (auditorium), B for bibliotheek (library) and C for collegezalenhal (lecture room building). Buildings that were erected later were assigned letters in alphabetical order. However, starting in 2012, the university gave some buildings a proper name as well. According to Roman Koot, the university’s heritage custodian, the names allow students, staff and visitors to learn a little more about EUR’s history and to give the campus a more personal feel.

When the decision was made, each of the university faculties were asked to submit the names of three people who had made a great contribution to their particular field. This resulted in a 27 names shortlist. “In the end, the buildings were named after prominent EUR professors and members of staff,” says Koot. Jan Tinbergen (H-building, Bernard Mandeville (T-building) and Willemien van der Goot (M-building) come to mind. “In addition, several buildings were named after Rotterdammers whose intellectual legacy is important to the university, such as Desiderius Erasmus (A-building) and Pierre Bayle (J-building).”

EM plattegrond campus map 2023_Closeup_3000__IkRotterdam

Read more

Know how to get there with this free map from EM

EM shows you the way! For first-year students, EM has created a beautiful map of the…

Two women

Most buildings were named after Western men, so Koot admits that the campus is a little short on diversity in that regard. The only building named after a non-Westerner is the Hatta building. Mohammad Hatta was a student attending the Netherlands School of Commerce. He was one of the founding fathers of the Republic of Indonesia. Koot says it is kind of a big deal that EUR chose to honour Hatta in this way, as Hatta fought the Dutch colonists in colonial Indonesia. He served as a high-ranking politician for many years after Indonesia gained its independence, among other things,  as Indonesia’s Prime Minister. “So it’s only right that EUR is proud of its former economics student,” says Koot.

There are two buildings on campus that were named after a woman: the Van der Goot and Langeveld. “Willemien van der Goot was awarded a doctorate by the Netherlands School of Commerce, EUR’s predecessor, in 1930, and was the first female PhD-student in economics in the Netherlands,” says Koot. Henny Langeveld, after whom the new education building is named, was professor of Emancipation Issues and the first female professor at EUR.

From independence fighter to Nobel laureate

These are the people (and the assigned letter) after whom nine buildings on campus Woudestein were named:

Bayle building (J-building)
Pierre Bayle (1647–1706) was one of the major philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment. He was a French Protestant who fled to Rotterdam in 1681 because he was being persecuted for his faith in France.

The Bayle building is home to the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management and the Erasmus School of Philosophy.

Erasmus building (A-building)

When Erasmus University was founded in 1973, it was the first university in the Netherlands to be named after a person. Desiderius Erasmus was born in Rotterdam in 1466. He is considered a major scholar of humanism and theology.

The Executive Board has its office in the Erasmus building. The Aula (auditorium) and the Erasmus Gallery are located inside the building as well.

Van der Goot building (M-building)
Willemijn van der Goot (1897–1989) attended the Netherlands School of Commerce, EUR’s predecessor, between 1919 and 1926. In 1930 she became the first woman to be awarded a doctorate by the school. She was the first female PhD candidate in the Netherlands to write a dissertation on a subject related to economics.

Lectures take place in the Van der Goot building. The examination rooms in the building have now moved to the S building.

Hatta building (U-building)
Mohammad Hatta (1902–1980) attended the Netherlands School of Commerce between 1921 and 1932. During his studies in Rotterdam he was the chairman of the association of Indonesian students in the Netherlands, a progressive, nationalist group who wanted Indonesia to break free from its coloniser, the Netherlands. Hatta was one of the founding fathers of the Republic of Indonesia. With Sukarno, he declared Indonesian independence on 17 August 1945.

The Hatta building is used as accommodation for first-year international students.

Mandeville building (T-building)
Bernard Mandeville (1670–1733) attended lectures by Pierre Bayle in Rotterdam, at the École Illustre. He studied philosophy and medicine at Leiden University. In 1691 he moved to London, where he became a famous doctor. Mandeville was a prolific writer, who wrote on such subjects as psychiatric disorders and slavery, which he felt should be abolished.

The Rotterdam School of Management is located inside the building, as is the Erasmus Sustainability Hub.

Polak building (Y-building)
Nico Polak (1887–1948) was a student, PhD student and professor at the Netherlands School of Commerce and the Netherlands School of Economics, EUR’s two predecessors. In 1913 he was among the first students to enrol in the new university. He obtained his doctorate in 1921 and the next year he was appointed professor of Business Studies, a subject that later came to be known as business economics. Thanks to Polak, the subject became a fully fledged part of the science of economics.

The Polak building has lecture theatres and study spots for students. Furthermore, the Community for Learning and Innovation (CLI) has its offices in this building.

Sanders building (L-building)
Piet Sanders (1912–2012) was appointed professor of Civil Law and International Private Law at the Netherlands School of Economics in 1959. One of his tasks was to prepare the establishment of a faculty of law (which is now called the Erasmus School of Law). Sanders was the faculty’s first dean and stayed at the faculty until he retired from academia in 1981.

The Erasmus School of Law is located in this building.

Theil building (C-building)
Henri Theil (1924–2000) was appointed professor of Econometrics at the Netherlands School of Economics in 1953. In 1956 he founded the Econometrics Institute and also served as its first director. Theil wrote a large number of books and articles. Three of his books became ‘citation classics’ as judged by the standards of the Social Sciences Citation Index. He is also known for his measure of income inequality: the Theil index.

The Theil building has large lecture halls.

Tinbergen building (H-building)
Jan Tinbergen (1903–1994) was a professor of Statistics, Mathematical Economics and Econometrics at the Netherlands School of Economics who engaged in ground-breaking work in many fields of economics. His most important contributions to science were in the fields of econometrics and the theory of economic policymaking, for which he was awarded the first Nobel Prize in Economics in 1969 (along with Norway’s Ragnar Frisch).

For now, the Tinbergen building is closed. First because of a legionella problem, then because the fire compartments do not meet safety standards.

Langeveld building

Henny Langeveld (1926-2004) was professor of Emancipation Issues and the first female professor at EUR. She conducted research, including on the culture of the welfare state, developments around marriage and family and women’s emancipation. The results of her research have been influential in the Netherlands.

The Langeveld Building is an educational building with lecture rooms and study areas. The Living Room, a student wellbeing initiative, is also housed in this building.