The Master’s Ring
The origin of the Master’s ring dates back to the 19th century. The golden Master’s ring is worn on the index finger of the left hand. During the Conferment Act it is worn on top of a pair of white gloves, and in all other events after the Conferment Act it is worn under the gloves. The ring is not worn in any of the events before the Conferment Act. Other rings (except for engagement or wedding rings) should not be worn, in order to give the Master’s the attention it deserves.
A plain gold ring without gemstones, engravings on the outside, or other embellishments can be used as a substitute for the Master’s ring. The ring can also be worn above the knuckle so that the glove does not have to be considered in its measurement.
The Doctoral Hat
The colour of the doctoral hat for the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Helsinki is black. The hat is decorated with the golden insignia of the faculty. Doctor promovendi cannot use a doctoral hat of any other university or faculty in the Conferment Ceremony without changing the insignia to represent the Faculty of Philosophy. However, the hat must still be black.
Doctor promovendi and the Jubilee Doctors wear the hat in the Conferment Act and afterwards at the Conferment Dinner and the Conferment Ball. The hat is not worn on the wreath-weaving or the sword-whetting day, or during the excursion. The hat should be taken off during the church service, whereas at the Conferment Dinner and at the Conferment Ball it is not taken off even while eating. A general rule for all participants carrying a doctoral hat during the event is that it should be worn whenever the Conferrer is wearing their hat.
Any Doctors who have been conferred in previous ceremonies and are now attending as guests may bring their doctoral hats to the Conferment Act, the Conferment Dinner and the Conferment Ball, but the sword is not a part of their dress. During the Conferment Act, the hat is carried into the Great Hall on the left forearm and put on when the Conferrer puts their hat on. Foreign doctoral hats may also be worn. However, any sword-whetters who are also previously conferred Doctors, should refrain from wearing their doctoral hat during the Conferment Act, and any wreath-weavers who are also previously conferred Doctors do not wear their doctoral hat at all during the Conferment Ceremony.
The Doctoral Sword
The only doctoral sword used in Finland is the state’s sole official civilian sword designed by Akseli Gallen-Kallela. It is also possible to borrow a sword for the Conferment Act from the university. If you are interested in borrowing a sword, please write it in the registration form so that a sword will be reserved for you. It is also acceptable to use another faculty’s or Finnish university’s doctoral sword, as long as it is an official civilian sword. Military swords, foreign doctoral swords or swords made for other purposes may not be used. It is possible to have the sword engraved with one’s name and the date of the Conferment Act (26th May 2023).
Doctor promovendi and the Jubilee Doctors carry the sword in the Conferment Act and afterwards at the Conferment Dinner and the Conferment Ball. The sword is not carried on the wreath-weaving or the sword-whetting day, or during the excursion.
The sword is attached at the left hip. Those who are wearing a dress suit should attach the sword to the waistband of their trousers. Those promovendi who are wearing a dress or a skirt and a top at the Conferment Ceremony should take the weight of the sword into account when selecting or commissioning their dress(es) for the Conferment Ceremony. Most dresses can’t bear the weight of the sword at the hip, so a good option is to wear a modest-width black silk sash over the right shoulder, or a belt hidden under the dress and have the sword attached to it. In the latter option, the side seam of the dress should have a small gap so that the sword can be attached through. The sword can either be attached to a decorative golden clip, or to a more discreet black one.
In addition, the Masters and the Jubilee Masters who will have their ranks conferred on them in the Conferment Act wear a laurel wreath during the Conferment Act as well as at the Conferment Dinner and the Conferment Ball. Contrary to all other academic insignia of the promovendi, you do not have to obtain the wreath beforehand since it is made for you by your companion, the so-called wreath-weaver, at the wreath-weaving workshop. The official wreath-weaver and their assistants will make the wreaths for the promovendi who are participating in the Conferment Ceremony without a companion. The wreath is not worn on the wreath-weaving or the sword-whetting day, or during the excursion.
The Conferment Committee will supply the materials for the wreaths. The wreaths are constructed on a pre-made ribbon base, which is why the Master promovendi are asked to fill in their hat size in the registration form. It is advised to take the hairstyle you are going to have into account when filling in the measurement to avoid the wreath being too tight or uncomfortable.
The wreath is best kept fresh throughout the festivities by spraying it with water and storing it in a refrigerator wrapped in a damp towel. Once the festivities are over, the wreath can be dried and stored in a similar manner to e.g. a wedding bouquet.