The conferment ceremony on 10 June 2016 will be preceded by a seminar on 8 June 2016, when doctors honoris causa will give presentations in their field of specialisation.
The University of Helsinki has a long history of conferment ceremonies, going back to the universities of Central Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Johan Haartman, the father of Finnish medicine, was the first Finn to be conferred a doctorate in medicine. His conferment took place in the University of Uppsala in 1755. The first conferment ceremony to be organised in Finland in the field of medicine was arranged at the Royal Academy of Turku in 1781, with Haartman serving as conferrer. The university moved to Helsinki after the Great Fire of Turku, and the first conferment ceremony for the Faculty of Medicine in the new location was held in 1832, when one of the graduands was Elias Lönnrot, the compiler of the Finnish national epic, Kalevala. His doctoral dissertation discussed the magic used to treat illnesses in Finland.
The last conferment ceremony of the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Medicine was held in 2010. During Finland’s independence, similar ceremonies were arranged in 1919, 1966, 1981, 1990 and 2000.