The ‘Vereniging van Echtgenoten en Partners van Hoogleraren aan de Universiteit Leiden’ (Society of University Professor’s wifes), also known as Vrolec, was established in 1913 by the women of professors of Leiden University.
Through this association they could meet each other and organise activities together. It started out as a tea society, but not long until there where also dinners and other activities to take part of for the members. Women of all ages would gather for lectures, parties and club activities. A special occasion became the Dies Natalis dinners, to celebrate the anniversary of Leiden University. Vrolec organised a dinner that day, which was accompanied by music. These dinners were so much fun, that the men of Holec, the association for professors, often stopped by and lingered after the women’s dinner. This led to the men being invited too after 1975.
Thanks to these gatherings, the women didn’t only grow close to each other, but also with Leiden University. They also met the students of the VVSL often since 1919, and often drank tea together and celebrated other festivities.
After the Second World War, the membership of Vrolec grew extensively. Therefore, several clubs were created which allowed the women to meet each other in smaller groups based on common interests. There was a theatreclub, a gymclub and a gardening club. Furthermore, women could meet each other during the annual lectures, which were organised together with Holec.
In the Hortus Botanicus you can find a sculpture made by Ans van Haersolte, a member of Vrolec. The sculpture, called The Four Centuries, was donated by the association to the Hortus Botanicus in 1975 in honor of the 400th anniversary of Leiden University.