Photo: Sibelius-Akatemian promootiokulkue 2012

New and old: ancient traditions and courageous ambitions


Uniarts Helsinki is organising its first conferment of degrees to take place on 8-10 June 2018. The conferment will combine the traditions of three academies and—hopefully—add something new that has been created together.

We are now in the process of creating something new while leaning on old traditions. The conferment is the university’s most remarkable celebration with, perhaps, a somewhat rigid and constrained protocol. For most, a conferment of degrees is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; for me, this conferment is the fifth, and I feel privileged. My first ceremony was at the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, where my master’s degree was conferred. Later, I contributed to the arrangements of two conferment ceremonies: one at the Theatre Academy and one at the Sibelius Academy. Last spring, I was invited to the conferment ceremony at my alma mater, the Uniarts Helsinki’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. And this time, I will be celebrating with all of you at Uniarts Helsinki’s first conferment of degrees.

We all are currently at our busiest with the arrangements. Programmes and choreographies are being planned, logistics are being considered, and the validity of various permits and licences is being checked. My desk is covered with Post-It stickers to remind me of all the strings I need to hold until the ceremony is over. I am so lucky to have such fine colleagues to help me!

At the conferment ceremony, we will award 13 honorary doctorates to remarkable artists and arts researchers and supporters from Finland and from outside Finland. The awardees will be announced and introduced during the spring.

The conferment ceremony is also a meeting of generations and a continuum. By celebrating the masters and doctors, we will strengthen a supportive arts community, which guarantees diversified interaction in our society. I strongly believe that through arts we can impact the world and make it more human, diverse, and pluralistic. So, I invite us all to boldly head into the future, protecting and nurturing human life and values through the arts!

Susann Vainisalo
Project manager

Registration for the conferment ceremony is open until 30 March 2018 via this link.