Conferment ceremonies originated in the famous medieval universities of Paris and Bologna. In Finland, the first conferment ceremony was arranged at the University of Turku in 1643. The conferment ceremony in honour of the 200th anniversary of the University of Helsinki in 1840 was a particularly solemn occasion. Helsinki University of Technology arranged its first conferment ceremony in 1934.
The first conferment ceremony at Tampere University of Technology was held in 1982. The ceremonies that followed took place in 1987, 1992, 1995, 1997, 2002 and 2007. Conferment ceremonies have been arranged every five years, except in 1995, when the ceremony was held to celebrate the University’s 30th anniversary.
Conferment ceremony proceedings
Universities follow their own customs and conventions when arranging conferment ceremonies. At TUT, the tradition is as follows:
A rehearsal is arranged on the day before the conferment ceremony. The main event – the ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees and honorary doctorates – takes place at noon on the day of the conferment ceremony. After the ceremony, the conferees walk in procession to a church service. The evening continues with a conferment dinner and ceremonial speeches. An informal lakeside picnic is arranged on the day after the conferment ceremony.