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BREAKING - Ton Roosendaal to receive honorary doctorate today


ton-honorary-doctorate-of-technologyTon Roosendaal will be receiving an honorary doctorate at the Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK later today for his work on Blender. A streaming video of the entire ceremony (direct link for Windows Media Player here) will start at 11am UK time (GMT+1) and is expected to last for two hours. As it will cover multiple persons, we can't predict when Ton will be on.

More details and photographs will follow later today.

Update: Ton was the first graduant to speak. His part is over now.

Update: 07-16-09 4:11PM CEST: Added pictures - Tim

Update: 07-17-09: More pictures added. Video registration of the entire event. Ton makes his appearance around 22:30.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. tyrant monkey on

    gee wow super congratulations, the only give those out to bigwigs or if you are in africa (where I am) to politicans and presidents. So DR. Roonsendaal is now an offical bigwig. But perharps the title should be reworded to "Breaking News...." because when I saw the partial link at blenderartists I thought 'what! who just broke Ton how dare they'

  2. Rouven Markovic on

    Hey Ton big Congratulations to your title. That was long overdue.

    That worth a tripple:


  3. Superb! We should all insist on calling him Dr Ton from now on! And by the way, wouldn't that be a brilliant name for the villain in the new Durian Project?

  4. Did you listen to what Ton said?
    He said this degree is for the Blender community as a whole!
    I love you Ton!

  5. Congrats! You really deserve a funny hat!

    btw. Dr. Ton sound like the name of a supervillain (especially if you say with a dutch accent) ;)

  6. Wow, a big congrats to you DR. Ton! This is amazing - I have been watching Blender grow and expand since 1998 all because of your positive vibe and of course, with programmers and artists' contribution. It is indeed a honour for me to know somebody who received a honorary doctorate! Now that's mind-boogling! Do keep this up and pull up a revolution in our present society with open content ideas, I'm all in with you! I love you Dr. Ton and once again a big congratulations from me!

  7. Cool! Congrats!....Dr. Roosendaal!.....Dr?!?!?!?....may by he can take a look on my arm, he hurts since yesterday.........

  8. That's how this world should operate as a whole. Honour to the ones who really deserve it.
    Congratulations Dr. Ton and many many more years of dedication to your work.

  9. as from the audience:

    lol and btw congratulations you deserve it.

  10. Fantastic!

    Well deserved Ton (and co-devs), you have indeed worked for it - hard - without any exceptions.
    This piece of opensource software have changed peoples lives all over the world, including mine.

    Once again - congratulations!

    Tommy Helgevold

  11. Jimmie L Simpson on

    Wow!! Congratulations Ton!! You tha man! I have been observing the growth of blender from a weee baby - all the way up to it's mature stage of development. And I am amazed at the transformation. I mean, this 3D suite has functions that are up there with 3D max and the like. And it is still growing. I enjoy downloading and testing the new functionalities and any improved stability. All the bug tracking, fixing & constant updating is phenomenal. Keep the passion, and may God bless you above anything you can imagine. Also big ups to the blender community. You guys are like a family. Keep hope alive. Long live blender!

  12. Dear Doctor Ton, congratulations! Well done, well deserved.

    And thank you for your incredible leadership.

    When do you start seeing patients?

    Quintuple Cheers!!

  13. I'm not sure if Blender is worth a doctorate, but Ton is surely a beacon and an icon for the open-source community, no question about it.

  14. Congratulations Dr. Rooseendal
    It is more tan well deserved, thank you for all your work on such an amazing application as Blender is.

  15. CongratuLLLLLLLLationS DOCTOR TON !!!!!!!!
    YEPEEE!!!!!! now where're all doctors Blenderheads!! Let's show the world how can we feed culture!
    Big round of applause for THE DOC

  16. Dr. Ton, You are a hero to all of us and now a Doctor too! I am so happy that you have been recognized for your great gifts to the world. Thank you.

  17. thinkinmonkey on

    Congratulations, Ton!
    That event, and the reaction of Blender community, reminds me you're not just a "simple" programmer or a dreamer, but you are mainly a good symbol of endurance and belief!

  18. Congratulations, Dr. Ton! I think you should get a Nobel Prize next... you've given more to humanity than many yet realize, and we're all in your debt. Democratizing the tools with which the future will be built, providing opportunities for millions of folks who otherwise would be locked out, truly empowering people to create - it's difficult to overstate your accomplishments, and you're just getting warm. You're an inspiration. Thank you!

  19. Did anyone record it? This would be another one of those things that deserves multi-lingual subtitles so everyone in the whole blending world can enjoy it. :) I'm proud to be a Blender-head today. Wow.

  20. AH!!! Well done Ton!!!!

    if I had known I would have paid a visit to congratulate you!

    My brother lives in Leeds.

    as everyone else already said, you deserved it!

  21. Lief broertje; ik hoop dat je dit kunt lezen want ik schrijf natuurlijk gewoon in het Nederlands:
    Super gefeliciteerd. We zijn vreselijk trots op zo'n geweldige broer.
    En; dr. Ton klinkt best wel goed hoor!!!
    Groetjes, Hans en Cunera uut Azum.

  22. And he damned well deserves that honor! That man is a prime example of a modern role model. Of course, the clothes in those pictures do not exactly flatter him, or anyone, LOL!

  23. timothy_truckle on

    Congratulations Dr. Ton ! You really deserve it, as does everyone involved in the development of this great app Blender !

  24. Brilliant stuff! Fully deserved, Dr. Ton!

    Your efforts with Blender are an inspiration. We're so proud of you and all that you have done for each and every one of us.

    Keep up the champion effort! We're all cheering you on!

  25. Wow, I was vegging out watching "So you think you can dance" on TV and they said that one of the judges was not present because he was getting his Honorary Doctorate in the UK, then I look at BN and this!

    Congratulations, It really means something when it is given in recognition hard work, and not just because of fame. Absolutely brilliant!!

  26. This is epic. I remember my C key license and the story of the self invented code at the studio and every detail I always followed because I loved this 3d software that followed practical human use rather than sheep marketing data leading up to what he turned into a gift to the world that keeps on giving. So deserved, congratulations! Awesome.

  27. Alex Delderfield (AD-Edge) on

    Congrats to Dr. Roosendaal, this is massive!

    Its great to see him getting some appreciation like this for all the work hes done.

    Looks to me like a scene from harry potter though ;)

  28. Congratz Dr. Ton ;-)
    This video moment is great, and it was a pleasure to see it.
    Your advice at the end is very very inspiring ( and more as a concept artist ) !

  29. I cant believe I'm sheading tears of joy for your achivement Dr, Ton. *sob*.

    Blender have given me soo much hope and streght for the pass few years that help me carry on living my life believing that it is never too late to learn.

    Blender has open so many doors and enlighten the path that I truly believe could be achived with greater height.

    The greatest reason would be having something to believe in that I thought could never be possible, even with the condition of the world today that we live that is full of greed and suffering.

    If it wasnt for you and this whole communion, I dont know where I'll be.

    Thank you Dr, Ton. for this gift you've give us, and to the whole community of blender heads that worked
    effortly to support this great fenomenon.

    ** seeing you standing side by side with all the messiah of our time... Linus , Stallman etc ...

    May peace be with you...

  30. Congratulations Ton!

    And kudos to Leeds Metropolitan University for being the first to recognize Ton's contributions with an honorary degree!

  31. what the hell? was he getting an honorary doctorate at HOGWARTS?!


    AWESOME DR. ROOSENDAAL! you deserve that and more. congratulations and rock on!


  32. Jonathan Merritt on

    Congratulations Dr Roosendaal,

    Your contributions to both scientific and artistic pursuits with Blender have been astonishing, and have built a wonderful community that encourages participation and diversity. A very well-deserved honor!

  33. I was there!!. It was my first time in meeting Ton and I was struck by his humility and gentleness as well as his passion for Blender. It is a long and complex process to select people worthy of this award and Dr Nick Cope Associate Dean for Innovation North and user of Blender chose and put forward a persuasive and winning argument for Ton's selection. I have sat through a number of these ceremonies, but for me Ton (and the Blender community) are a well deserved and excellent choice for this honour

  34. Congrats Dr. Ton, you deserve more than this. Wish to know if there is a way to contact him directly ..., an email?

  35. I was at the ceremony too!!. I was fortunate enough to spend an hour or so chatting to Ton after the ceremony. It was an honour meeting you Ton. Congratulations to you and the blender community for this well deserved honour.

  36. Hi all,

    Thanks for all the great reactions! It's been a tremendous day there in Leeds. The Brits love to do things with decorum and style, which was a wonderful experience to take part in. It indeed was all very Harry Potterish, but that's only illustrating where Rowling comes from in the first place. :)

    Special thanks to Nick Cope and Mike Joslin (posted above!) for putting this forward. It was great meeting with them, and - for those who wondered - we've not had contact before ever... to me it was a totally unexpected honor, and was so great to see their enthusiasm embracing Blender there on the Innovation North faculty.

    The picture of me holding up the scroll is when I said: "Thank you Blender developers, website admins and website makers, documenters, and all the Blender artists world-wide... this one is for you!". And I mean that, we're all honorable now!


  37. congratulation, hope god help you beat all of obstacles.
    I honestly think this award is just small for you MAN.

    You really deserved this honor for all the work and heart you put into blender and its evolution!!
    I also feel think of this as big honor for the whole community of developers and supporters wich keep this 1337 3D tool state of the art, you all do a great job!!!!

    Gotta say thank you to Ton, the DEV's and all the people who share their blender expertise with tutorials, scripts and .blends.
    So this also goes out to everyone at blendernation, -artists, artist-mag, cg-cookie, -guru, cg-guerilla, and everyone I couldn't get into this text.
    You all make the world of 3d suites a better place:)


  39. Well deserved. It's nice to see Ton get reconsigned for his accomplishments.
    I agree that the headline is a bit misleading. I also thought that Ton was Broken :)

  40. Congratulations-I have been a Blender user for years! Blender is great because I was "locked out" due to the high price of software. The Blender UI is easy! I have severe dyslexia and was able to complete the Tony Mullen tutorials.
    (look at my youtube page-I modeled, animated and rigged it all!) Currently I am making my own short.


    Congratulations Ton! I am so happy for you. This is the fruit of your labor and generosity to all of us blenderians. Just one reward of many more to come. God bless you and works of your hands my brother. Blenderrific! Blender BombFest Baby!

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