Academic ceremonies

Umeå University holds two academic ceremonies to appoint doctors, honorary doctors, and new professors – the spring graduation ceremony and the annual celebration ceremony.

Annual Celebration Ceremony

The annual celebration ceremony takes place every year in late October and is the larger of the two ceremonies. During the annual celebration ceremony, honorary doctorates are conferred, new professors are installed and academic prizes are awarded in a ceremony that ends with a banquet.

The annual celebration ceremony is first and foremost the university's way of recognising outstanding individuals, but it also acts as a method of providing information about research, in that it draws attention to a range of subject areas. During the week leading up to the annual celebration ceremony, the professors, honorary doctors and award recipients hold open lectures for the general public in their subjects. The professors, honorary doctors and award recipients are also presented in a ceremony publication.

Honorary Doctors

Honorary doctor, doctor honoris causa, is a title which the faculties themselves can award to a person as a mark of distinction. The honorary doctor may, for example, be considered to have significant involvement with the university, have achieved something extraordinary for the university, be an academic from another country or be someone whom the university wants to connect to the research community.

The conferment of an honorary doctorate is much the same as for a doctorate. If a degree is conferred in absentia, the name is read out, followed by the word "absens".

Installation of a professor

The installation of a professor is an important academic practice that takes place at all universities in Sweden, when the new professor is solemnly installed in office. All new professors (installandi) are also given the opportunity to give a lecture to the general public on their research on the occasion of the annual celebration ceremony.

Have you been appointed professor during the last year? See under the heading "For new professors" to find out more about your role before and during the annual celebration ceremony.

Spring Graduation Ceremony

The spring graduation ceremony takes place in late May or early June, with the conferment of doctorates and the distribution of academic and scientific awards.

At the spring graduation ceremony, those doctoral students who have researched, written and published a thesis in a research area are honoured. The thesis must have been defended publicly through the public defence of a doctoral thesis. Following the public defence of the doctoral thesis, the new doctor is eligible for conferment and can then wear the doctoral insignia. The conferment ceremony symbolises the fact that the new doctor has earned the right to assume academic teaching responsibilities.

The conferment ceremony at Umeå University takes place in front of a small leaf-covered bridge, called a parnass, where the new doctor is greeted with a handshake by the conferrer, themselves a doctor, who bestows the insignia: the pleated hat/laurel wreath, the ring and the diploma. Once the doctor has received the insignia, he/she walks through the parnass and is bid farewell.

Academic and scientific awards are also distributed at the spring graduation ceremony. A popular scientific programme featuring short lectures by the award winners is presented on campus in connection with the ceremony.

Charlotte Wiberg
5/2/2017