Flower’s Day, Saturday May 13th
Where and when: A.I. Virtasen aukio, 11:30, Helsinki City Hall 14:00
The conferment festivities begin before the actual conferment week starts, on Flower’s Day on Saturday, May 13th. On Flower’s Day, also known as Flora’s Day, the official wreath-weaver of the Conferment is introduced to the promovendi. After the festivities near Kumpula campus, the promovendi can head over to Helsinki City Hall for lunch. Note that the Flower’s Day lunch has a separate sign-up and fee.
Pre-wreath-weaving Workshop, Sunday May 21th
Where and when: A.I. Virtasen aukio, 11:30, Helsinki City Hall 14:00
Before the Conferment week, a Pre-wreath-weaving Workshop will be held for those master promovendi attending without a wreath-weaver (companion) to produce their own wreaths with the help of the Official Wreath-weaver and the Conferment Committee. We also welcome those wreath-weavers who cannot make it to the actual Wreath-weaving on Thursday, May 26th.
Thursday May 25th
Conferment act rehearsal
Where and when: University Main Building Great Hall, 15:00 for doctors and 16:30 for masters
The Conferment week starts for all promovendi on Thursday afternoon with a mandatory Conferment act rehearsal in the university’s Great Hall. The timetable of the following day’s Conferment act is rehearsed.
Where and when: Restaurant Domus, 14:00 (wreath-weavers only)
While the promovendi are rehearsing the Conferment act on Thursday afternoon, the wreath-weavers, i.e. the companions of the Master promovendi, will be weaving the laurel wreaths to be used the following day. The weaving will be done under the instruction of the official wreath-weaver, so no previous preparation is necessary.
The laurel wreath can also be woven on the previous Sunday, when the pre-wreath-weaving will be organised. This event can be attended by those wreath-weavers who will be unable to attend on Thursday. The Master promovendi who will be attending the Conferment without wreath-weavers can also attend the Sunday’s event to weave their own laurel wreaths.
Where and when: Tapahtumatalo Bank, 18:00
The actual festivites of the Conferment start for the Master promovendi at the wreath-weaving dinner on Thursday evening. The dinner is hosted by the honoured parent of the official wreath-weaver. The evening will feature speeches, musical numbers and festive anticipation of the following day’s Conferment act.
On Thursday afternoon, while the Master promovendi are rehearsing their part of the Conferment act, the Doctor promovendi and their companions (the sword-whetters) will have an audience with the rector at the main building, beginning approx. 17:00.
Where and when: Pörssitalo (The Stock Exhange House), 18:00
On Thursday evening, after the rector’s audience, the Doctor promovendi and the sword-whetters will attend a dinner honouring the companions of the doctoral promovendi. The evening will feature speeches, musical numbers and, of course, the seremonial sharpening of the Doctors’ swords. Since one night is not enough to sharpen all the swords of the promovendi, a handful of them will chosen to represent all the Doctor promovendi. The swords will be symbolically sharpened with a whetstone using Champagne.
Friday May 26th
Where and when: University Main Building Great Hall. Masters arrive at 8:45 and doctors arrive at 9:15. The Act begins at 10:00.
The conferment act is the most important and dignified event of the whole Conferment. The conferment of the academic degrees is perfomed in the act. In the Conferment act the promovendi also receive the right to bear the academic insignia associated with their degrees: the Master’s ring or the Doctoral hat and sword. The Master promovendi wll also receive their laurel wreaths in the Conferment act. In addition to the new promovendi, the Honorary Doctors and the Jubilee Masters and Doctors are also conferred during the act.
Laudatio Solemnis – Laurel ceremony or church service
Where and when: Helsinki Cathedral or the House of Nobility after the Act. A procession leaves from the Act at 13:20.
After the Conferment act, the promovendi will exit the university’s Great Hall as one procession that then divides into two groups based on whether the promovendi will attend the Conferment church service or the secular Laurel ceremony. The reorganised processions will continue to either Helsinki Cathedral or Finnish House of Nobility. The solemn black and white processions are one of the grandest moments of the Conferment and they attract an audience of onlookers on the Senate Square.
The nondenominational Laurel ceremony is held after the Conferment act, at the same time as the Conferment service. A procession of promovendi will walk from the university main building to the Finnish House of Nobility.
The Laurel ceremony is a chance for the promovendi to sit down and have a breather. The ceremony will feature a few speeches and some music. After the ceremony the promovendi will again organise into a procession to walk back to the university to receive their diplomas.
The Conferment church service is held after the Conferment act, at the same time as the Laurel ceremony. A procession of promovendi will walk from the university main building to the Helsinki Cathedral.
The Conferment service is a short, ecumenical service. After the service the promovendi will again organise into a procession to walk back to the university to receive their diplomas.
Where and when: Tapahtumakeskus Koskenranta. Staggered entry: Masters and companions 17:45, Doctors and companions 18:00, honorary guests 18:20.
Friday culminates in the Conferment dinner, which is the most dignified and festive dinner of the Conferment week. The night will feature speeches, traditional Conferment poetry and other entertainment, as well as a beautiful three course meal, to finish the long but rewarding day. The Conferment dinner will be attended by the new Master and Doctor promovendi, their companions and all honorary guests.
Saturday May 27th
Where and when: Starting from Kauppartori at 9:30.
The Conferment excursion will take the form of a short cruise around the Helsinki archipelago. The excursion takes off from the Market Square. The boats can’t wait for latecomers, so make sure to be on time. Remember to bring your student cap! The excursion will end with the excursion lunch.
Where and when: Vanha Ylioppilastalo (The Old Student House). Masters 17:30, Doctors 18:00, honorary guests 18:15.
The Conferment ball is held at the Old Student House. The night will feature ceremonial dances, open ball dances and a buffet dinner. The Conferment ball will last until about 02 a.m.
Where and when: Starting from Vanha Ylioppilastalo 2:00
After the Ball, the Conferment will continue with the Nocturnal Procession. The procession will walk through the city centre spreading the Conferment spirit and stopping at certain statues to listen to the last speeches of the Conferment week. The procession will end up in front of the Main Building of the University on the Senate Square, where a final speech will greet the rising sun at 04.15 a.m.
After the procession, those celebrators who are so inclined, can head to the Conferment after party, where the last few hours of Conferment spirit welcome the early Sunday morning.