Doctoral Conferment Ceremony brings academic joy to Oulu
Doctors who have argued at the promotion in recent years are ceremonially admitted as full members of the academic community. There are 229 of these doctors enrolled at the festivities, 198 of which are promoted in attendance.
At the same time, a total of 21 honorary doctors elected by the faculties will be conferred. At the same time, a total of 21 honorary doctors elected by the faculties will be conferred. Honorary doctors includes journalist and non-fiction writer Helena Petäistö, Professor Aarno Palotie and chief executive Risto Murto, and in 2019 Nobel Prize winner Sir Peter Ratcliffe and Reid Hoffman, who is among the founders of LinkedIn. The names of honorary doctors were announced as early as spring 2020, when the promotion was originally scheduled to take place.
Honorary doctor is the highest honour that the University can confer to a person. Honorary doctors have significant scientific merits or important social merits for the University of Oulu.
For the first time, the University of Oulu is also celebrating jubilee doctors, who were conferted at the first Doctoral Conferment Ceremony of the University of Oulu 50 years ago. The jubilee doctors include Paavo Uronen, the long-time rector of the Helsinki University of Technology, and space physicist and pioneer of Finnish space studies Pekka Tanskanen.
The festivities of the doctoral conferment are scheduled to last three days. On the evening of the first day, we gather for a sword whetting. The main celebration, the initiation of the doctors in the conferment act, is held the next day. It is possible to follow the main celebration through a live webcast from 12pm on Saturday 28 May. The link to the stream is posted on the university's website.
During the day, participants and invited guests participate in a procession in the centre of Oulu and a festive ecumenical service. Townspeople are very welcome to follow the conferment procession from Mannerheim Park to Oulu Cathedral on Saturday 28 May from around 3.30pm. The procession proceeds from Mannerheim Park directly down Kirkkokatu to the Oulu Cathedral.
The evening of the conferment day includes conferment dinners and proms. The third day is used for what is known as a confermential sailing, a pleasure trip to the water's edge. Except for the procession to be seen in the city, the occasions are invitation-guest events.
The tradition of Doctoral Conferment Ceremony for European universities goes back to the 12th century and began to take shape, especially at the University of Bologna. In Finland, the first Conferment Ceremony was held in 1643 at the Turku Academy. The doctors’ hallmarks, doctoral hat, sword and diploma are handed to the doctors upon initiation.
150—200 persons write their doctoral thesis annually at the University of Oulu.