On 3 October emeritus professor doctor Henri Vander Eecken celebrated his one-hundredth birthday. What a wonderful reason to celebrate! Ghent University is keen to put him in the spotlight on this special occasion.
Henri Marie Hector Vander Eecken was born in Ghent on 3 October 1920. After completing his secondary education at Sint-Barbaracollege, he went on to study at Ghent University, which at the time was still called the state university of Ghent. He was awarded his doctorate there shortly after the Second World War, on 3 July 1946. In those days, the department was still known as medicine, surgery and midwifery. He then spent several years working at KU Leuven, in the psychiatric department, and later in the neurological departments at Université de Paris and then Harvard University.
In 1951, he returned to his roots: Ghent. His first job here was as assistant in the laboratory for human anatomy. In 1955 his master’s dissertation entitled De anastomosen tussen de leptomeningiale slagaders van het encephalon: hun morphologische, pathologische en klinische betekenis (The anastomoses between the leptomeningeal arteries in the encephalon: their morphological, pathological and clinical significance) was published as a book.
On 24 February 1958, he was appointed assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Here he taught subjects such as ’overview of philosophy: psychology section’ in the faculty’s former ’kandidatuur’ (basic study) programme. On 1 January 1967 he was appointed senior full professor in the same faculty, and from 1965 until his emirate in 1986 he ran the neurology clinic as director-head. His successor was em. Jacques De Reuck. His former colleagues describe him as "a very sincere and friendly man".