Programme

The main events of the Conferment Ceremony are spread over three days, starting from Thursday the 23rd and lasting until Saturday the 25th of May. These days will be intensive, and they include several different kinds of events and countless emotional and memorable moments. However, the first steps of the Conferment Ceremony are taken already with the Flower’s Day celebration on the 13th of May when all promovendi gather together for the first time. Preparations for the Conferment Ceremony also include a briefing and dance rehearsals for all promovendi in April.

Before the Conferment Ceremony

Traditionally, before the Conferment Ceremony and starting from the beginning of April, a press conference, dance rehearsals, the inspection of the conferment register and pre-wreath-weaving events are being held. A details and specific timetables are published later on.

DANCE REHEARSALS

Before the Conferment Ceremony there will be dance rehearsals for the Conferment Ball. The rehearsals are especially important for master promovendi (and their companions) who want to participate the masters’ contredanse française. The contredanse française is a 7-part figure dance which is performed in the Conferment Ball. In addition, there will be a general dance rehearsal for those not taking part in the contredanse française. The first rehearsals are in April. The schedule is available below. One must commit to rehearsals.

Sunday 14th of April  3.00-5.00 pm. Francaise (Unisport Kumpula, Väinö Auerin katu 11)

Wednesday 17th of April 6.00-8.00 pm. Franseesi (Berghyddan, Vanhankaupungintie 3)

Wednesday 24th of April 6.00-8.00 pm.  Franseesi (Berghyddan)

Sunday 28th of April 3.00-5.00 pm.   General dance rehearsals (Unisport Kumpula)

Monday 29th of April 6.00-8.00 pm.    Franseesi (Berghyddan)

Monday 6th of May 6.00-8.00 pm.   Franseesi (Berghyddan)

Wednesday 8th of May 6.00-8.00 pm.   Franseesi (Berghyddan)

Monday 13th of May 6.00-8.00 pm.    Franseesi (Berghyddan)

Wednesday 15th of May 6.00-8.00 pm.   Franseesi (Berghyddan)

Sunday 19th of May 3.00-5.00 pm.   Yleiset tanssiharjoitukset (Unisport Kumpula)

GENERAL DANCE REHEARSAL 21.5.

The mandatory final rehearsal is held at the Old Student house on Tuesday 21st of May at 17–21. The schedule of the rehearsal is following: at 17.15–18.15, the masters’ contredanse française, at 18.15–19.15, the final rehearsal of the academic dances, and at 19.15–20.30 the guest and doctoral polonaise.

Academic dances are the following: Krakowiak, Mignon, Cicapo, Pompadour, Pas d’Espange and Grande Valse

 

BRIEFING OF THE PROMOVENDI 16.4.

A public briefing session will be held on Tue 16th of April at 18.00 in the Great Hall of the Main Building of the University of Helsinki (Unioninkatu 34, entrance from the Senaatintori side). The briefing contains the exact schedule of the ceremony as well as practical instructions. After the presentation, the audience has a possibility to ask anything from the Conferment Committee.

 

In case you have questions or any special preferences for example about moving around during the Ceremony, please contact the Committee as soon as possible.  It is our task to make the Ceremony a joyful celebration for all the participants.

Flower’s Day, Monday 13th of May

Flower’s Day is a joyful and light-hearted spring day when the master promovendi gather to select the Official Wreath-weaver, whose duties include watching over the tying of the Masters’ wreaths. When the selection has been done, the promovendi form a procession and go together to propose the selected Wreath-weaver. It is presumed that the person accepts the proposal, after which the procession brings him/her to be presented to the rest of the promovendi.

Master promovendi
At 10.00, the master promovendi gather at the Old Student House for a meeting where the Official Wreath-weaver is elected. After the meeting, the participants form a procession to go and propose the selected person at the university’s Main Building Press Hall.

All promovendi and their companions

At 11.15, the Official Wreath-weaver will be presented at the Old Student House, after which

the participants continue in a procession to the Flower’s Day picnic which is held at the Kaisaniemi Park. The picnic includes speeches, the traditional Maamme anthem and raising a glass to the spring.

At 13, for those registered for the Lunch, the Flower’s Day continues with a tram ride to the Clarion Hotel (Tyynenmerenkatu 2) where the meal is served.

 

Pre-wreath-weaving Workshop, Sunday 19th of May

Before the actual Conferment days, an event will be held for those master promovendi attending without a wreath-weaver to produce their own wreaths with the help of the Official Wreath-weaver and the Conferment Committee.

The Pre-wreath-weaving Workshop will be held at Hämäläis-Osakunta (Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6D) at 13 onwards. One should count about two hours for producing a wreath.

The Day of wreath-weaving and sword-sharpening, Thursday, 23rd of May

In the afternoon, the promovendi assemble for the Conferment Act rehearsal which takes place at the Great Hall of the University. It is essential for all promovendi to take part in the rehearsal so that the Conferment Act and its choreography will go well. Promovendi cannot participate in the Conferment Act unless they have taken part in the rehearsal.

For the masters, the evening continues with the Wreath-weaving Dinner. For the doctors, a reception by the rector of the University is followed by the Sword-sharpening Dinner.

Master promovendi

At 16.30 a Conferment Act Rehearsal, mandatory for all the master promovendi, is held at the Main Building of the University. Entrance from the Aleksanterinkatu side (Aleksanterinkatu 5). The promovendi gather at the lobby in front of the Great Hall. Dress according to the Wreath-weaving Dinner’s dresscode, because there will be no time for changing clothes after the rehearsal!

At 18.15 after the rehearsal, the participants go to the Wreath-weaving Dinner at Koskenranta (Katariina Saksilaisen katu 9) by bus.

At 19.00, Wreath-weaving Dinner begins at Koskenranta. The event ends roughly at 23.

Wreath-weavers (the companions of the masters and jubilee masters)

At 15.00, the Wreath-weaving Workshop begins at Koskenranta.

The wreath-weavers must be accompanied with a sewing needle, strong black thread, scissors and a thimble if wanted. All the wreath-weavers will produce the wreaths by sewing the bay leaves to an existing frame. The Official Wreath-weaver and the previous ones are there to help producing the wreaths. Generally it takes about two hours to produce a master’s wreath.

The wreaths must not be taken home, but they need to be given to the conferment heralds.

Doctor promovendi

At 15.00 a Conferment Act Rehearsal mandatory for all the doctor promovendi (separate from the masters’ rehearsal) is held at the Main Building of the University. Entrance from the Aleksanterinkatu side (Aleksanterinkatu 5). The promovendi will gather at the lobby in front of the Great Hall. The doctors must be accompanied with their doctoral hats and swords, labeled with the promovendus’ name. The insignia will be left at the Great Hall for the night, thus the hat and the sword must not be taken home!  Dress according to the Sword-whetting Dinner’s dresscode, because there will be no time for changing clothes after the rehearsal!

At 17.00 the rector of the University holds a reception for the honorary doctors, jubilee doctors and the doctor promovendi as well as their companions at the Press Hall (Lehtisali) of the Main Building. After the reception, the participants move by foot to the Sword-whetting Dinner at restaurant Bank (Unioninkatu 20).

At 18.30, the Sword-whetting Dinner is held at restaurant Bank. The event ends roughly at 23.

Loan sword

All the doctoral promovendi, who in the registration informed that they need to loan a doctoral sword, will receive a sword. The swords will be distributed before the doctors Conferment Act rehearsal on Thursday, 23rd May at 2.45 p.m. in the main hall of the university. If you have already found yourself a sword, please inform the conferment office by email  (fil-promootio@helsinki.fi).

 

Sword-whetters (the companions of the doctor and jubilee promovendi)

At 15.00 begins the Act Rehearsal for the doctor promovendi. The companions are not required to attend the rehearsal, but are welcome to observe from the audience.

At 17.00 rector’s reception at the Press Hall of the Main Building.

At 18.30 the Sword-whetting Dinner at restaurant Bank.

The Day of the Conferment Act, Friday 24th of May

On Friday morning, it is finally time for the main celebration, the Conferment Act. It is a solemn and dignified ceremony, where the promovendi receive the symbols of their academic status. One after another they go up to the Conferrer, who grants them their academic insignia: either the Master’s wreath or the Doctoral hat and sword.

After the act, the attendees form a procession and move either to the ecumenical service held at the Helsinki Cathedral or alternatively to a secular service held in the House of Nobility.

Conferment Act

It is extremely important that everyone arrives to the event in time! Take a taxi if you are unsure about reaching the university by public transport!

At 08.45 the young masters (those who are promoted for the first time) arrive at the Main Building of the University (Aleksanterinkatu 5) with their companions. The young doctors and their companions arrive at 09.15, after which the Jubilee masters and doctors arrive at 09.30.

At 10.00 the Conferment Act begins. It is extremely important that all the participants arrive to the Act on their specific time slots.

Note! The Conferment Act is a long event, where the promovendi need to stand up several hours straight. To cope with the event it is essential to eat a hearty breakfast. One can also for example reserve some sugar cubes in the concealed pocket of the dress. No items need to be carried during the Act as all the valuables can be stored in the guarded cloakroom in the lobby. Also handbags or purses are not allowed during the Act or the following Services. Professional photographers take care of photographing all the Conferment events, thus taking photos in the Act is restricted only for the official photographers.

The Ecumenical Church Service or an Alternative Secular Service

At 12.40 a procession takes the promovendi from the Main Building towards the Helsinki Cathedral and House of Nobility. Those who choose the Secular Service will be guided to the House of Nobility. Note that you are not allowed to use shoes with high heels in the House of the Nobility.

At 14.00 the Secular Service and church service ends. The procession heads back to the university.

At 14.30 The promovendi are given their Conferment Diplomas, the Matriculas and posters. Master promovendi will receive their diplomas in the left side lobby and doctors in the right side lobby from the main doors.  After this, the participants have some time to prepare for the Dinner.

 

The Conferment Dinner
At 17.45, the masters arrive at the Conferment Dinner, the doctors arrive at 18.00. The Dinner will be held at Dipoli (Otakaari 24, Espoo). The event ends roughly at midnight.

Relatives participating in the Conferment Act

Please instruct your relatives to arrive to university’s main building on Friday May 24th by 09.30 from Aleksanterinkatu. The relatives must leave their coats and purses in cloakroom. Cellphones and taking photos is forbidden in the main hall during the Conferment Act. Please note that the relatives are expected to follow the same dress code as the guests. The Conferment Act takes around three hours after which there will be church service and secular service. After that everybody returns to the main building in a procession.  

Those relatives arriving at the Great Hall need to dress along the code for the guests (see Dress Code). Taking photographs is not allowed during the Act.

The Conferment Act will be streamed to the Lecture Hall 1 at the Main Building. Any relatives are welcome to follow the ceremony there without a registration. Those relatives following the Act outside of the Great Hall are not expected to follow the dress code, but their dresses should still be formal and festive.

Probably the easiest way to get a glimpse of the festivities is to come and observe the procession between the University Main Building and the Helsinki Cathedral or the House of Nobility after the Act, around 14. The Conferment Act will be streamed and you can watch it here https://www.helsinki.fi/fi/unitube/video/21165 .

Because the Conferment Act lasts long, has a precise schedule, speeches and music, it is not a suitable event for babies or young children.

The Day of the Conferment Excursion and Ball,  Saturday 25th of May

The Conferment Excursion, The Conferment Ball, Nocturnal Procession and the Greeting of the Sun.

The Conferment Excursion

At 10.15, the participants arrive at Kauppatori (Market Square) to leave for the Conferment Excursion, which takes form of a marine cruise around the archipelago of Helsinki. The ships leave from platform 20 (you can check the location from here https://www.jt-line.fi/vesibussi-tilausristeilyt/laiturit/). The right ships can be found also by looking for heralds and other participants wearing white student caps. Remember also to bring your student cap if you have one! The ships cannot wait, so please arrive on time.

At 12.30 the cruise brings the promovendi to the Excursion Lunch at Kaivohuone (Iso Puistotie 1). The program at the lunch ends roughly at 14, after which the participants can leave to prepare for the evening’s Ball.

The Conferment Ball

At 17.30 the master promovendi arrive and photoraphy begins on the second floor.

At 18.00 doctoral promovendi arrive.

At 18.15. guests arrive.

A buffet dinner will be served after the ceremonial dances, around 21. The event ends at 2 in the morning.

The Nocturnal Procession
 At 2.15 after the Ball, the Conferment entourage heads to spread the conferment spirit in the form of the Nocturnal Procession. The Procession strolls around the city center finally ending up in front of the Main Building of the University, where a speech will be held to greet the rising sun, at 04.18.

Afterparty
 After the sun has risen, the ones willing to go on can continue to the Afterparty at Ostrobotnia (Töölönkatu 3A, 5th floor). Take some cash with you if you want to purchase refreshments.