Ceremonial Conferment of Faculty of Medicine Celebrates 152 Doctors and 5 Honorary Doctors – Participate in Honorary Doctors’ Public Lectures and Follow the Academic Procession


The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Turku is organising a ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees on 26 May 2023. The Conferment Ceremony starts at noon at the Turku Concert Hall. The Academic Procession to the Cathedral can be followed starting from 3.30pm (if weather permits).

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Turku celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. In May, the Faculty celebrates its doctors and honorary doctors by organising a traditional ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees. 

The two-day celebration starts already on Thursday, 25 May with the honorary doctors’ Studia Generalia lectures and the promovendi prepare for the following day’s Conferment Ceremony by sharpening their swords at the University's Main Building.

On Friday, 26 May, the Conferment Ceremony is held at 12am, featuring handing out the doctoral hats and swords to the promovendi as they are conferred doctoral degrees. After the Conferment Ceremony, the Academic Procession makes its way along Aninkaistenkatu to the Cathedral for the ceremonial service.

152 doctors are conferred in the Faculty’s ceremonial conferment, including the jubilee doctors whose first ceremonial conferment was held at least 50 years ago. In addition, the Faculty confers 5 honorary doctors. The honorary doctors, chosen by the departments and the Faculty, will receive their title as a recognition for their scientific merits, collaboration with the University of Turku, or for their impact on society.

Professor Juha Peltonen is the Master of Ceremonies and Professor Paulina Salminen is the Head Marshal.

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.

Programme of the Ceremonial Conferment

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

At 1.30pm, Finding a way – The Scientist's Career Path: Finnish Medical Foundation Symposium

A career seminar for early career researchers.

Thursday, 25 May 2023

At 9.15am, the Studia Generalia lectures of the honorary doctors at the Alhopuro lecture hall in the Medisiina D building (Kiinamyllynkatu 10)

9.15 Welcome by Dean Pekka Hänninen
9.20 Professor Emeritus Mikael Knip: The unsolved puzzle of type 1 diabetes
9.40 Professor Emeritus Björn Klinge: The link between oral and systemic health
10.00 Professor Manuel Tena-Sempere: Connecting body weight and reproduction: Physiological basis and pathological implications
10.20 Professor Adelaida Zabalegui: Implementation of Advanced Practice Nursing in Spain
10.40 Chief Physician Hanna Nohynek: What did the covid-19 pandemic teach us about vaccines?
11.00 Closing by Dean Pekka Hänninen

At 6pm, Sword Sharpening Ceremony at the University of Turku Main Building

The sword sharpening ceremony is a more informal event organised by the promovendi to each other. In the event, the doctoral swords are symbolically sharpened with grindstones which are wetted with sparkling wine instead of water. The grindstone is rotated by the doctor’s companion and the heralds assist in e.g. wetting the grindstone. The programme also includes a dance performance and a speech to the sword as the participants prepare for the next day’s ceremony.

Friday, 26 May

At 12pm, Conferment Ceremony at Turku Concert Hall

The Ceremony begins with the Academic Procession, where the rectors, university professors, conferrers, and the honorary doctors and doctors to be conferred enter the hall. Next, the Dean of the Faculty gives a speech and the jubilee doctors get their diploma. After the speech given by the conferrer, the honorary doctors and promovendi are conferred as doctors and receive the doctoral hat, sword, and diploma.

The Turku Philharmonic Orchestra plays at the Ceremony with Kaapo Iljas as the conductor and Essi Luttinen as soloist.

Academic Procession starting approximately at 3.30pm (if weather permits).

After the Conferment Ceremony, the promovendi and honorary doctors proceed to the Turku Cathedral along Aninkaistenkatu street. The public can follow the procession along its route.

NB! The schedule of the Academic Procession and the service are dependent on how the Conferment Ceremony proceeds and the Procession is organised. If it rains, the procession is driven to the Cathedral with buses.

At 4–5pm, Conferment Service at the Cathedral

Participating in the ecumenical service is optional.  The service lasts about 45 minutes.

At 7pm, Ceremonial Conferment Banquet at Turku Castle

The festivities end with the Ceremonial Conferment Banquet at Turku Castle. Several speeches will be held at the Banquet. After dinner, the night continues with a dance and Finland’s oldest party band Dallapé will play at the after party. The celebration ends with a speech to the rising sun in the early hours.

Saturday, 27 May

At 11am, sailing trip to Naantali with m/s Lily

On Saturday morning, the doctors, honorary doctors and jubilee doctors and their companions can participate on an informal cruise as well as a brunch where the Sohon Torwet band will play music. Instead of the doctoral hat, the participants will wear the student cap.

Created 17.05.2023 | Updated 26.05.2023