Ceremonial Conferment Ball

The following took place in the Ceremonial Conferment Ball in 1955:

The Ceremonial Conferment Ball ended the splendid academic celebration and it started in the hall of the Student House at 8pm.

At 3am, the guests gathered on the yard in the light summer night and M.A. Olli Virtanen appeared on one of the balconies in the hall of residence wing of the Student House and gave a speech to the rising sun.

However, the sunrise did not reduce the guests’ enthusiasm to dance. Although some went home, all the rest returned to hall and continued the celebration with vigour.

Still, in the end, the party had to be concluded. Bright morning sun shone gently on the faces of the last guests when they stepped into the fresh morning air. The great academic celebration in Turku Anno Domini 1955 had ended.

The current Ceremonial Conferment has been simplified from the 1955 version; the Banquet and the Ball have been combined into one event. On the other hand, the old traditions can be brought back to life and used again. This happened in 2000, when the ball was held at the old fire brigade house. It was also the scene of the evening celebration in the first Ceremonial Conferment of the University of Turku.

Ceremonial Conferment is the most distinguished academic celebration, but it is also a jubilee where humour has an important part. In the Ceremonial Conferment 2000, M.D. Timo Veromaa included in his speech to the honorary doctors a few facts of which the international researchers know they have been in Finland too long. According to Veromaa, Finland might be a little too familiar if

  • You know that 80 degrees C in a sauna is chilly, but 20 degrees C outside is freaking hot.
  • You actually enjoy salmiakki
  • You know the words to "Den Glider In"
  • You are always on time
  • You know how to fix herring in 105 different ways
  • You eat herring in 105 different ways
  • You know that silence is fun.

Even though the conferment traditions date back hundreds of years, the tradition lives on and is renewed with each new academic generation.

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