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Same procedure as last year...? No, because unlike Miss Sophie in Dinner for One, AU doesn’t turn 90 every year. Omnibus is celebrating the university’s 90th with a series of short interviews with employees about their relationship to the university.

2018.12.04 | Miriam Brems

Grete Flarup with her back to the the view from the physics balcony – the same view she can see from her office window. She enjoys working at what she calls possibly the most beautiful university in the world, and in a milieu with employees from all over the world. Photo: Ida Marie Jensen.

AU’s 90th

  • “In the hope that that the scientific and scholarly research which shall take place here may take place in spirit and truth, I hereby inaugurate Aarhus University.”
  • King Christian X inaugurated the first university in Jutland with these words, on 11 September 1933. The very university where you work – or study: Aarhus University.
  • Omnibus is celebrating AU’s 90th birthday with a series of short interviews: we asked AU employees to answer three questions about their relationship to the university. And about their birthday wishes for the guest of honor.
  • Together with university historian Palle Lykke, we’ve also delved into the archives to find photos from the first nine decades at AU. They’re accompanied by a short text by Palle that illuminates the high points (and low points) documented by the photographer’s lens over the years.
  • And we’ve asked the photographers from AU Photo to revisit the same spots to show you what they look like today. The anniversary series ‘AU’s 90th’ will run throughout the autumn.

Grete Flarup, academic linguist at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Employed at AU since 1984; at the then Department of Classical and Medieval Studies for the first seventeen and half years of her career here.

Why are you still here?

“Because I like being here. Otherwise I’d have left a long time ago. I’m extremely happy to be here at the physics department. I have good co-workers, and there are a lot different kinds of people on staff here. In addition to the secretary group, we have a mechanical workshop, electrical workshop and all the scientists. And we have employees from almost all over the world. All of this makes for a lot of diversity, and that makes it exciting to be here.”

What’s your favorite spot at AU?

“Probably here in the office. This is where I spend most of my time, and I like being so close to the scientists I’m a secretary for. And then the view is nice, even though I sit with my back to it so I appear more welcoming when people come in the door. I also like the lakes. There’s a lot of wildlife – the heron, grebes, wrens and hares. And of course, I like our cafeteria, where there’s an even better view of the city than from the office here. It’s fantastic to work in a place that’s so beautiful. I believe this must be one of the most beautiful universities in the world – a lot of the international researchers are quite dumbfounded that it’s built in a park and so centralized. I think it can only get even better, now that we’re moving into the old municipal hospital.”

What is your birthday wish for AU?

“We hit a low point when so many people got fired in 2014, and I hope we won’t have mass layoffs again, because it was horrible. So many centers were established in 2011, and a lot of the employees at the centers had serious stress-related health issues. Since then, the centers have started running well, especially in the last few years since the new rector started – after all, he’s a physicist – and I hope this development will continue so that stress becomes a thing of the past.”

There’s a big bulletin board covered in baby photos in Grete Flarup’s office. All the PhD students and postdocs she works with sender her a photo when they become parents. Over time, she’s accumulated so many that she has to remove some of them to make room for the latest arrivals. Photo: Ida Marie Jensen.

AU’s 90th

  • “In the hope that that the scientific and scholarly research which shall take place here may take place in spirit and truth, I hereby inaugurate Aarhus University.”
  • King Christian X inaugurated the first university in Jutland with these words, on 11 September 1933. The very university where you work – or study: Aarhus University.
  • Omnibus is celebrating AU’s 90th birthday with a series of short interviews: we asked AU employees to answer three questions about their relationship to the university. And about their birthday wishes for the guest of honor.
  • Together with university historian Palle Lykke, we’ve also delved into the archives to find photos from the first nine decades at AU. They’re accompanied by a short text by Palle that illuminates the high points (and low points) documented by the photographer’s lens over the years.
  • And we’ve asked the photographers from AU Photo to revisit the same spots to show you what they look like today. The anniversary series ‘AU’s 90th’ will run throughout the autumn.
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Revised 12.12.2018