Conferment ceremony brings glitter to autumn darkness
On 11 November, it was time once again for 99 new PhDs of medical science to receive their hats and diplomas at KI’s conferment ceremony. The evening also paid tribute to 17 jubilee doctors who graduated at KI 50 years ago.
The event opened in traditional splendour as KI’s doctors and academic management paraded into the flower-bedecked Blue Hall of the Stockholm City Hall, led by the student ushers. The conferment ceremony is when the academic insignia of the hat and diploma are awarded to those who have attained the highest level of academic achievement.
It was also Professor Ole Petter Ottersen’s last conferment ceremony as president of KI. He began his speech reflecting on the privilege it has been over the past 14 years to share in the joy of over 5,000 new PhDs, first at Oslo University and subsequently at KI. He then gave two pieces of advice to the new doctors: to retain and strengthen international collaboration with an ethical compass and competence, and to keep on enjoying and publicising their scientific endeavours.
The ceremony then turned to this year’s 17 jubilee doctors. In his address to them, the academic vice president for research and conferrer Martin Bergö underlined the unique contribution each and every one of them has made to medical and dental research, care and education, and conveyed KI’s thanks for the privilege to honour two generations of scientific endeavour. In closing he wondered – given the medical advances of the past few decades – if it wasn’t time to make preparations for diamond jubilee doctors, and hoped to see them all again in 25 years.
During his address, academic vice president for doctoral education and conferrer Robert Harris recalled his own student years and the pebbles on Portsmouth beach. As these pebbles were formed by external forces, so a period of doctoral studies forms a person and science. And once it’s over, it’s time to throw oneself into the sea of science to create ripples that gather into waves of collaboration.
Between the speeches, the Romeo and Juliet choir performed pieces by Tromboncino and Handel, and soloist Martin Stokke Mathiesen sang “What do I Need with Love” from the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie and “Who I’d be” from the musical Shrek. The evening concluded with a banquet in the Golden Hall.