On 13 December 1990 Prof. Dr. Cornelis (Kees) Kalkman retired from the positions of Professor of Plant Systematics and Scientific Director of the Rijksherbarium/ Hortus Botanicus by presenting his valedictory lecture to the academic community of Leiden University and the assembled Dutch Botanical world. The day after, circa 170 staff members and partners joined in the research institute for a memorable farewell party, culminating in a show around the personality of the parting Director. Bom in Delft on 5 May 1928, Kalkman used the opportunity of early retirement at the age of 62, after a long term as an active and successful administrator and coordinator of research and teaching in plant taxonomy in Leiden. This now offers him the possibility to return to taxonomic work on Rosaceae and on writing a textbook on economic botany. He also continues for a couple of years as Chairman of the Flora Malesiana Foundation, and is as such active in further internationalisation and speeding up of the Flora project.