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Spring Graduation

The Spring Graduation Ceremony conferring jubilee doctors and new doctors and celebrating award recipients is held in 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 – the diploma, ring, hat or laurel wreath.

The 2022 Winter Graduation has been postponed for doctors to the Spring Graduation on 13–14 May

The extra celebration, the Winter Graduation, intended to replace the cancelled Spring Graduations in 2020 and 2021, has been postponed for doctors to the 2022 Spring Graduation held on 13-14 May. The concept for the Spring Graduation will also be slightly adjusted.

The conferment of doctors

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 level of higher education. A doctoral degree is the highest level of academic credential one can attain.

The conferment ceremony at Umeå University takes place in front of a small leaf-covered bridge, called a parnassus, where the new doctor is greeted by the conferrer (in Swedish: promotor) with a handshake. The conferrer, who is a doctor, is the one who bestows or promotes to the new doctors the insignia, the doctoral hat or laurel wreath, the ring and the diploma. After receiving the insignia, the doctor is bidden farewell and walks through the parnassus.

Jubilee doctors

50 years after the confirmation, a doctor can be awarded jubilee doctor. The act resembles the conferment of the doctors, but the jubilee doctors do not pass the parnassus. Jubilee doctors receive a diploma and where applicable a new laurel wreath. 

An jubilee doctor can be conferred in his or her absence. The promoter then holds up the dimploma and says the name of the jubilee doctor followed by the expression "absens".

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 doctors of the Faculty of Medicine are conferred with doctoral hat. Doctors of the other faculties can order a hat to use in other festive settings. Jubilee doctors at the Faculty of Medicine will bring their old doctoral hats to the ceremony.

The laurel wreath also symbolizes the academic freedom. 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 jubilee doctors of the faculties above also receive new laurel wreaths.

The golden ring symbolizes loyalty to science. The pattern on the ring is especially designed for the university and its faculties. At the ceremony, those who bought the ring 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 all doctors and jubilee doctors.

Award recipients

Academic and scientific awards are distributed at the Spring Graduation Ceremony. A popular scientific programme featuring short lectures by the award recipients is presented on campus the day before the ceremony.

The ceremony

The ceremony in Aula Nordica is open to the public and lasts for about two hours. The ceremony starts with a procession for the participants to enter the auditorium. The jubilee doctors, new doktors and award recipient take their places on the stage. The programme 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, first to each jubilee doctor and then to each doctor. Thereafter, the awards are distributed. The jubilee doctors, doctors and the award recipients do not give speeches. The ceremony programme is highlighted by songs and music and ends with a recession 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 chairs, push chairs etc. Visitors must take their seats 10 minutes before the ceremony begins.

The banquet

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

Dress code - ceremony and banquet

For guests
Guests, who are audience at the ceremony and then attend the banquet, must wear formal or informal evening dress: White tie and tails and white waistcoat, long or short evening gowns, national costumes, dark business suits or academic gown.

Guests who are only audience at the ceremony can wear clothing of their own choice.

For participants
All new doctors, jubilee doctors and award recipients and others participating in the procession, have to wear formal dress on stage, i.e. white tie and tails and white waistcoat or long evening gown. National costume may be worn.

Ribbons and doctoral hats

The ribbon of an order may be worn. Only the promotor, the jubilee doctors and the new doctors at the faculty of Medicine will wear doctoral hats.

Renting

It is possible to rent ceremonial attire at stores in Umeå. For list of companies, see eniro.se or hitta.se.

History

The first conferment ceremony took place in Umeå in 1958, but the participating doctors 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 after the University was established in 1965. In 1966, the first conferment ceremony at Umeå University was held.

Previous Spring Graduations

2019

The 2019 Spring graduation ceremony took place on 18 May at 16:00 at the Aula Nordica auditorium where 74 doctors and 7 jubilee doctors received their doctoral insignia and 9 awards were distributed.

Information about the doctors and award winners (in Swedish)

2018

The 2018 Spring graduation ceremony took place on 19 May at 16:00 at the Aula Nordica auditorium where 86 doctors and 2 jubilee doctors received their doctoral insignia and 9 awards were distributed.

Information about the doctors and award winners (in Swedish)

2017

The 2017 Spring graduation ceremony took place on 20 May at 16:00 at the Aula Nordica auditorium where 111 doctors received their doctoral insignia and 11 awards were distributed.

Information about the doctors and award winners (in Swedish)

2016

The 2016 Spring graduation ceremony took place on 21 May at 16:00 at the Aula Nordica auditorium where 66 doctors received their doctoral insignia and 10 awards were distributed.

Information about the doctors and the award winners (in Swedish)

2015

The 2015 Spring graduation ceremony took place on 30 May at 16:00 at the Aula Nordica auditorium. 75 doctors received their doctoral insignia and 11 award winners were presented.

Information about the doctors and the award winners (in Swedish)

Contact us

Reach the staff behind the Academic Ceremonies – the Annual Celebration and Spring Graduation – on akademiskhogtid@umu.se.

Peter Sköld, +4690-786 63 47, Master of ceremonies
Marika Wahlberg, +46 90-786 64 64, Communications Officer,

Videos of previous ceremonies

Spring graduation 2019
Spring graduation 2018