The Spring Graduation Ceremony takes place in late May.
At the Spring Graduation Ceremony (in Swedish: Vårpromotion), the doctoral students who have written, published and successfully defended a thesis are honoured with a conferment ceremony. Following the public defence of the thesis, the new doctor is entitled to be conferred and receive the doctoral insignia - a ring, hat and laurel wreath.
The conferment (in Swedish: promotion - from the Latin word promovere, which means to push forward, advance or promote) symbolises that the new doctoral degree recipient (doctor) has earned the right to assume academic teaching responsibilities at the higher educational level. A doctoral degree is the highest level of academic credential one can attain.
The conferment ceremony at Umeå University takes part in front of a small leaf-covered bridge called a parnass, where the new doctor is greeted by the conferrer (in Swedish: promotor) with a handshake. The conferrer, who is himself/herself a doctor, is the one who bestows or promotes the insignia to the new doctors. The hat, laurel wreath, ring and the diploma are examples of the insignia. When the doctor has received the insignia, he/she walks through the parnass and is bidden farewell.
50 years after the confimation a doctor can can be awarded jubilee doctor. Jubilee doctors will not get new rings but they will get new diplomas. The jubilee doctors at the faculty of Medicine will not get new doctoral hats, but the jubilee doctors at the faculty of Science and Technolgy, the faculty of Social Science and the faculty of Art will get new laurel wreaths.
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 annual ritual.
The ceremony in Aula Nordica is open for the public and it lasts for about two hours. The ceremony starts with a procession participants enter the auditorium. The doctors and award recipient take their places on the stage. The program starts with a speech by the Vice-Chancellor. The promotor from each faculty (usually the pro dean or vice dean) then begins to confer the degrees. Thereafter, the awards are distributed. The doctors and the award recipients do not give speeches. The ceremony programme is highlighted by songs and music and ends with a recessional of the participants.
Seating for the audience
Normally there is no need for tickets. Some rows are reserved for special guests and guests with special needs, i.e. wheel chair, baby stroller etc. The seats must be taken 10 minutes before the ceremony begins.
After the ceremony, a three-course dinner banquet is held for invited guests with speeches, song and dance to celebrate the new doctors and award recipients.
The first conferment ceremony took place in Umeå 1958, but the doctors participating belonged to the Dental school in Stockholm. Four doctors were conferred in 1961 and they belonged to the Medical school in Umeå, which later became a part of Umeå University. In 1966 the first conferment ceremony was held since the founding of Umeå University.