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Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 15 April 2021)


Annual Celebration

The Annual Celebration ceremony for newly appointed professors, honorary doctors, and scientific award recipients takes place in October.

The Annual Celebration ceremony (in Swedish: Årshögtiden) has become a tradition on campus in which new professors, honorary doctors and award recipients hold open lectures for the general public just prior to the official ceremony.

The 2021 Annual Celebration  

The Annual Celebration 22–23 October 2021 will be adjusted to accommodate both the 2020 and 2021 Professors, Honorary Doctors, and scientific award recipients.

Honorary doctors

Honorary doctor, doctor honoris causa, is a doctoral degree that the faculty can assign a person as an honour. The honorary doctor can, for example, be considered having significant contact with the University, having achieved something extraordinary for the University, be a scientist from another country or be someone who, through their accomplishments, the University wants to tie to its research community.

Complete list of honorary doctors at Umeå University

Conferment of honorary doctorates

The conferment of honorary doctorates is similar to that for doctors. The promotor, a person appointed by the faculty to confer the degrees, asks the honorary doctor to receive the pleated hat or laurel wreath, the golden ring and the diploma. An honorary doctor can be promoted in his or her absence. The promoter then holds up the dimploma and says the name followed by the expression "absens".


The installation of newly appointed professors means that the professor is ceremoniously placed into office. The installation of professors is an important academic custom that exists at all universities in Sweden. It is also an opportunity to spread information on research as the professors' areas of research are highlighted.

Award recipients

Awards are given to a person or a group of people to recognise and reward actions or achievements. The award recipents are given a diploma and a sum of money.


The medal is the University's finest award and is handed out every three years to people have made particularly important efforts for the University.

Open lectures

It is a long tradition at Umeå University that the new professors, honorary doctors and the award recipients are given the opportunity to hold a 20 minute long popular science lecture about their research. The lectures are held on the same day as the ceremony.

The ceremony

Umeå University's Annual Awards Ceremony is open for the public and it lasts for about two hours.

At the start of the ceremony the honorary doctors, the new professors, the award recipients and medallist (every third year) will enter the auditorium in procession and take their seats on the stage. The chairperson of the University Board, the Vice-Chancellor, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellors and the faculty deans are seated in the first row of the mezzanine.

The opening addresses will be followed by the conferment of honorary doctorates, the installation of new professors, and finally by the presentation of awards for scientific achievement and the medals (every third year).

The guests of honour make no speeches, but each presentation is followed by applause.

Seating for the audience

Aula Nordica can accommodate almost a thousand people, if you count the balcony. For the public, there are usually vacancies at the back of the auditorium and on the balcony.


After the ceremony, a three-course dinner banquet is held for invited guests with speeches, song and dance to celebrate the honorary doctors, new professors, award recipients and medalists.

Dress code – ceremony and banquet

All guests, attending the banquet after the ceremony, must wear formal dress, i.e.

  • white tie and tails (in Swedish: svart frack med vit väst och vit fluga)
  • long evening gown or long skirt with separate top in the colour of your choice (the length should be to the floor)
  • academic gown
  • national costume.

The ribbon of an order may be worn.

Only the dean and the honorary doctors of the Faculty of Medicine on stage will wear the doctoral hat.

Guests only attending the ceremony may dress as they please.

Doctoral insignia

The insignias at the conferment ceremony are doctoral hat or laurel wreath, doctoral ring and diploma.

The doctoral hat symbolizes both freedom and power. It is a black pleated hat equipped with an emblem especially designed for the University, different for the various faculties. Only honorary doctors of the Faculty of Medicine are conferred with doctoral hat. Honorary doctors of the other faculties can order a hat to use in other festive settings.

The laurel wreath also symbolizes the academic freedom. Honorary doctors of the Faculty of Science and Technology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Arts are conferred with a laurel wreath, a very old tradition.

The golden ring symbolizes loyalty to science. The patterna on the ring is especially designed for the the university and its faculties. At the ceremony, the honorary doctors have already put them on, to avoid delays. The handover is therefore merely symbolic.

The diploma - the written proof of dignity - are given at the ceremony to the honorary doctors.

Upcoming ceremonies

Saturday 22-23 October 2021 | Saturday 22 October 2022 | Saturday 21 October 2023
Saturday 29 October 2024 | Saturday 18 October 2025

Film: Film from the ceremony 2019
Film from the ceremony 2019

Contact us

Reach the staff behind the the Annual Celebration on

Elena Lindholm: Marshal, +46 90-786 52 44
Marika Wahlberg: Communications Officer, +46 90-786 64 64