If you look at the age of the currently active study associations at the Wageningen University, you can see that Semper Florens is one of the youngest study associations in town, but appearances can be deceiving.

The history of our study association is actually a very rich and tumultuous one. Around the time of the Second World War there were actually five plant related studies: Agriculture (Land en Weidebouw), Horticulture (Tuinbouw), Plant Breeding (Plantenveredeling), Phytopathology (Plantenziektekunde) and Tropical Agriculture (Tropische Plantenteelt) with four study associations in total. These were our association its grandparents; ‘Arvense’, ‘VWTS’, ‘Kompatibelle’ and ‘Vereniging van Studenten in de Plantenziektenkunde’. In the 90’s these associations were forced to merge into our association its parents; WSV Navantus and Optima Flora. These associations did survive the millenium, but had to merge soon after into our more familiar Semper Florens. Around a decade later StEL (Studentenoverleg Ecologische Landbouw) from the BSc and MSc Organic Agriculture gave its tasks to Semper Florens, which leaves us at the present.

VWTS founded

On the 15th of November 1945 the first plant related study association and the second study association in all of Wageningen was founded. 

15 Nov 1945


First BuitEx

The first BuitEx (foreign excursion) was organised in 1947, with England as destination!

Arvense founded

Jan Smeding founded Arvense on the 15th of April 1947 in cooperation with his friends and professor Dewez.

15 Apr 1947

Dec 1949

Focus shift of Tropical Agriculture

In December 1949 the Dutch government distanced themselves from the Indonesian colony. This resulted in a focus shift of tropical agriculture towards developing countries.

Sicco Mansholt theme evening

In 1951, Arvense organised a theme evening where they managed to get the minister of Agriculture (Sicco Mansholt) to explain his agricultural policy.



Associations seperating from Arvense

In the ‘60s the university was obligated by the government to enforce student-teacher interaction. Studies also became more distinct. That mix of circumstances was the reason that many studies left our agricultural association this decade. 

'Vereniging van Studenten in de Plantenziektenkunde' founded

The 'Vereniging van Studenten in de Plantenziektenkunde' (Association of Students in Crop Protection), also known as 'Vergifmenietje', was founded by several students in 1964. 



Biostimulance of 'Vergifmenietje'

Four years after the foundation of 'Vergifmenietje' regular activities like drinks, sporting activities and coffee tables started being organized, morphing it into an association more like we know them nowadays.

Kompatibelle founded

Kompatibelle was one of the study associations that split off of Arvense and was formed on the 13th of February 1969.

13 Feb 1969


Tropical Agriculture discontinued

In 1988, after more than 70 years of education, the study ceased to exist, because: “A relatively small amount of graduates in a time of scarcity has huge consequences”. While most studies had experienced enormous growth that decade, tropical agriculture did not share that. 

'Vergifmenietje' becoming official

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, members wanted to write an almanac, but they lacked the money and needed sponsors. To ask for sponsoring legally the association had to become a registered organization.



Budget cuts agriculture and education

In the 90's there were some large budget cuts in agriculture and education, forcing the university to restructure. This ultimately led to the merging of our former associations.

Optima Flora founded

On the 25th of September 1992 Optima Flora was formed from the merge between Kompatibelle and the Vereniging van Studenten in de Plantenziektenkunde. 

25 Sep 1992

27 Sep 1997

WSV Navantus founded

WSV Navantus, meaning ‘Wageningse StudieVereniging NAzaten Van Arvense eN TUinbouwkundige Studenten’ or ‘Wageningen Study Association Descendants of Arvense and VWTS’,  was formed on the 27th of November 1997 after the study associations Arvense and VWTS merged. Both associations had their last General Meeting that same day.

Bert van Marrewijk becomes honorary member

Just before merging, Optima flora wanted to put someone in the spotlight. Bert van Marrewijk had helped students as a study advisor since Kompatibelle still existed. But apart from his normal tasks he also helped students get internships and jobs in a time where this was a big challenge. Therefore Optima Flora made him an honorary member on the 23rd of september 2000.

23 Sep 2000

31 Oct 2000

Semper Florens founded

In 1999 the boards of WSV Navantus and Optima Flora met. They had been informed that in a few years their studies would merge again, because of a lack of students. Both WSV Navantus and Optima Flora had their last General Meeting on the 31st of October and was followed by the first general meeting of Semper Florens that same day.

Moving to the new campus

In 2009, the association moved from their old location at the Binnenhaven to the brand new Radix building.

9 Jun 2009

Oct 2010

StEL merges with Semper Florens

StEL found it hard to fill the board with only the MSc students and thus the association ceased its activities. The tasks of the association were given to Semper Florens in 2010 and MOA students first started being introduced to Semper Florens from the Winter-AID 2011 even though StEL was officially dismantled a few years later in 2016.

Current logo of Semper Florens introduced

Comic Sans was seen as an unprofessional font more and more. After the organisation of several international Comic Sans days the board decided that it was time to design a new logo. In October 2013 the new logo was presented and only one member voted against it

Oct 2013

Semper Florens definitely does not have a simple history, but it does have a very interesting one. The almost 75 year history shows that Semper Florens, ‘plantenziekers’, ‘O.F. members’, ‘SF members’, ‘nazaten’, ‘optimaal floristen’, ‘plantjes’, or any other word people used to describe our members, have a dedication to keep this association blooming even when facing adversity. That is why this association will truly be Semper Florens!

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