In pictures: The Conferment Ceremony was a celebration of academic achievements
The festivities set off on Friday 12 August with the rehearsal of the Conferment Ceremony at Tampere Hall, followed by Pre-Conferment Ceremony at Tullikamari, arranged together with the City of Tampere. The highlight of the evening was a sword-whetting performance carried out by promovendis Jussi Hernesniemi and Sonja Lahtinen. The evening ended with the final rehearsal of ballroom dances, accompanied by Sivuääni, the Medical Orchestra of Tampere.
The main event, the Ceremonial Conferment of Doctoral Degrees, took place on Saturday 13 August at Tampere Hall. The ceremony started with an Academic Procession of the University’s management and professors, Conferrers of Degrees Riittakerttu Kaltiala and Esa Räsänen, and the honorary doctors and doctors to be conferred, lead by Chief Herald Marjaana Niemi and Chair of the Conferment Committee Minna Kellomäki.
At the Conferment Ceremony, doctors and honorary doctors received the doctoral hat as a symbol of academic freedom and – with the exception of Doctors of Science in Technology or Architecture, Doctors of Philosophy representing the field of technology, and honorary doctors – the doctoral sword. The hat and sword practices as well as the programme of the events represented a combination of the traditions of the previous universities.
14 persons from Finland and abroad were awarded honorary doctorates in recognition of excellence in fields represented at the University and other exceptional scientific, artistic or social merits. In the invitations of Honorary Doctors to the new University’s first doctoral conferment, the focus had also been on work conducted at the interfaces of scientific disciplines. Read more about the new honorary doctors and their achievements.
Speech by the representative of the honorary doctors was given by Professor Sabeth Verpoorte.
The hats of the first honorary doctors of the new University feature the University’s own emblem designed by Harri Rantanen, a Tampere-based heraldist. The new emblem combines the most frequently used elements of the former universities: wreath, torch, and cogwheel. New elements in the emblem are a surging stream and a bridge across it. The bridge symbolises the merger of universities and fields of science and the water running beneath it the flow of knowledge. Surging water and bridges across it are also traditional symbols of Tampere, a city founded on the shores of the Tammerkoski rapids.
A total of 235 doctors, who have earned their degree at the new Tampere University or its predecessors, were conferred at the Conferment Ceremony.
After the Ceremony, the Conferrers of Degrees honorary doctors, doctors, the University’s management and professors formed a procession, lead by Master of Ceremonies Arto Haveri, to walk to Tampere Cathedral for a service. While the day’s sunny and warm weather conditions pampered the audience, the heat encouraged the participants in the procession to walk at a leisurely pace.
Saturday ended with a Conferment Banquet at Tampere Hall for the conferred honorary doctors and doctors and invited guests. The Banquet programme included excellent dining accompanied by speeches and music.
Old dances set off with undoubtedly the largest scale Polonaise in the history of universities in Tampere, filling the entire lobby area of Tampere Hall. At midnight, the heralds were freed from their duties and the engineering student song Teekkarihymni was sung. The Ann Lake orchestra set the pace for the rest of the night’s festivity.
On Sunday 14 August, doctoral hats were swapped to student or technology student caps for the Garden Party, which ended the celebrations. Arranged at the Finlayson Palace and Park, the Garden Part was the most informal of the Conferment Ceremony events.
Organising the new University’s first Conferment Ceremony was a hefty task for the Conferment Committee and all those who took part in the arrangements.
“Of course there were some heart-stopping moments, but in the end everything went smoothly and the atmosphere was superb. Thank you very much to all organizers, and warmest congratulations to the honorary doctors and doctors! says Chair of the Conferment Committee, Professor Minna Kellomäki.
Tampere University’s next Conferment Ceremony will be arranged in June 2025.
A recording of the Ceremonial Conferment of Doctoral Degrees on 13 August is available for watching until 28 August.
Text: Katja Ayres
Photographs: Jonne Renvall and Sari Laapotti