The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Turku marked its 80th anniversary this year and celebrated its doctors and honorary doctors with a traditional ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees on 25–27 May 2023.
The celebration started on Thursday, 25 May, when the honorary doctors held their Studia Generalia lectures and the promovendi prepared for the Conferment Ceremony by sharpening their swords in the Sword Sharpening Ceremony.
On Friday, 26 May, the doctors were conferred in the Conferment Ceremony and received their hat and sword.
The Ceremonial Conferment festivities represent the continuity of the academic traditions. The traditions of this most prestigious academic event can be traced back centuries to old European academic ceremonies. In Turku, the first ceremonial conferment was held in 1643 at the Academy of Turku.
The first ceremonial conferment of all faculties of the University of Turku was held in 1927. The Faculty of Medicine organised its own ceremonial conferment in 1993 when the Faculty celebrated its 50th anniversary.
At the Conferment Ceremony, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Pekka Hänninen highlighted the importance of research-based knowledge and the significance of the research conducted at the Faculty for the success and future challenges of Finnish society.
“Today, the value of research-based knowledge is in a spotlight. Our population is growing older and the Finnish social and health care system is amidst a great change, both from the viewpoint of available workforce and economic sustainability. I see no other solutions to this equation than actions based on scientific information.”
“The mission of the Faculty of Medicine is exceptionally important from society’s perspective. We educate and conduct research in a field that is one the most important ones for the success of society. Finland's success and the happiness of its people are dependent on our work and how it is implemented in the everyday professional life.”
152 doctors were conferred in the Ceremonial Conferment, including the jubilee doctors whose first ceremonial conferment was held at least 50 years ago.
“The University of Turku and the Faculty of Medicine are proud of you and your work. I wish that you can also be proud of your Faculty and University both now and in the future. Carry the symbols of doctors that will shortly be conferred to you with humility and pride,” Dean Hänninen encouraged.
In addition, five honorary doctors were conferred as a recognition for their scientific merits, collaboration with the University of Turku, or for their impact on society.
“I believe that the results of your work will encourage and inspire our current and future students in their work as the future teachers, researchers, and servants of society,” Dean Hänninen thanked the honorary doctors.
After the Conferment Ceremony, the Academic Procession made its way along Aninkaistenkatu to the Cathedral for the ceremonial service.
The celebration ends with a banquet and a speech to the rising sun in the early hours.
On Saturday morning, the conferred doctors and honorary doctors as well as the jubilee doctors will participate on an informal cruise and brunch.