Rutgers University Glee Club during a spring tour of Europe


Patrick Gardner, the longtime director and conductor of choral music at Rutgers, led the Rutgers University Glee Club during a spring tour of Europe, ending with a stirring performance at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Inset, Marjan J. Oudeman, left, the president of Utrecht University, receives a plaque featuring the Rutgers seal from Barbara A. Lee, senior vice president for academic affairs at Rutgers.

Marieke Verhoeven

When Rutgers was founded as Queen’s College in 1766, it was closely affiliated with the Dutch Reformed Church and drew inspiration and support from a university in the Netherlands—Utrecht University. Now, as Rutgers gears up for its 250th anniversary in 2016, the Rutgers University Glee Club is continuing a celebration of the relationship with Utrecht, one that’s been going on for decades.

In 1916, on the occasion of Rutgers’ 150th anniversary, a plaque to honor John Henry Livingston, Rutgers’ fourth president and a distinguished Utrecht graduate, was placed on the Utrecht campus. Fifty years later, as part of Rutgers’ 200th anniversary celebration in 1966, Utrecht awarded Rutgers degrees during its graduation ceremony to members of the Rutgers University Glee Club, who were visiting the school for the event.

Rutgers once again honored its relationship with Utrecht during the spring when 75 members of the glee club lent their powerful voices to a May 31  concert at Utrecht’s Academy Hall. Conducted by Patrick Gardner, the longtime director of choral activities at Rutgers,  the singers presented longstanding choral favorites and dramatic works from around the world and were joined by the choral group SV Hucbald to perform Fauré’s “Cantique de  Jean Racine.”

A delegation from Rutgers presented a plaque to the president of Utrecht, Marjan J. Oudeman, to reaffirm the two universities’ “common bonds and shared values.” The plaque features the Rutgers seal, which incorporates the symbols of the Utrecht University seal, namely its sunburst and an adaptation of its Latin motto.