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Academic celebrations – conferment, awards and traditions

Människor som minglar.

There were many reasons to celebrate – not least the university’s 25-year jubilee. New professors, new doctors, honorary doctors and award winners took to the stage – accompanied by music and speeches.
Here are the celebrations in pictures.

Elliot Forneheim.

Elliot Forneheim is one of the standard bearers leading the procession, an image of the university’s journey towards the elusive goal of knowledge.

Doctoral graduates in a row on stage.

Conferment for the Faculty of Business, Science and Engineering. First is honorary doctor Manuela Veloso, followed by doctoral graduates Daniel Adolfsson, Felicia Fredriksson, Tanja Elina Havstorm, Vasiliki Kondyli, Greta Nilén, Ingrid Rijk and Elham Rostami. At this year’s academic celebrations, 21 doctoral degrees were conferred.

Maryam de Brun on stage.

Maryam de Brun receiving her doctoral hat, a symbol of scientific freedom and the power that comes with it.

Professors in a row on stage.

Inauguration of the university’s eight new professors: Annika Andersson, Andreas Bergh, Mats Eriksson, Susanna Heldt Cassel, Jonatan Leer, Alexandru Panican, Linda Soneryd and Susanne Strand.

The vice-chancellor giving a speech.

“The university is like the ocean. Ever changing and ever the same. It may roar, it may be calm, and it may have reversing tidal currents, but its essence remains the same. The same goes for a university,” said Vice-Chancellor Johan Schnürer in his speech. Talking about the university’s new profile areas and their contributions to society, he particularly mentioned how the university through its investment in the third profile area Pollutants and Society now has the opportunity to contribute to Örebro becoming the first region with a non-toxic environment.

Mieke Verloo and Manuela Veloso.

Two of three new honorary doctors at Örebro University: Mieke Verloo from Netherlands and Manuela Veloso from USA. They received their honorary doctorates along with Lars von Knorring.

Tuva Börgö and Lena Nordlund.

Lena Nordlund, winner of the research communication award given to a journalist, pictured here with her daughter Tuva Börgö. Lena says it is an honour and a privilege to accept the award and that the next thing on her wish list of things to do that involves research communication is to make a documentary of patient zero in the AIDS epidemic.

Stefan Jansson in the crowd.

“The award is important. There are no other initiatives rewarding research communication. If universities believe public engagement to be important, they need to find ways in which to reward research communication,” says Stefan Jansson, professor at Umeå University, receiving an award for his communication on modern plant breeding. From the jury’s statement: “Stefan Jansson has contributed the scientific perspective in the polarised debate on genetically modified crops.”

Mats Eriksson on stage with the vice-chancellor.

“Of the things I have done so far, my work on administering sugar water to newborns during different procedures, has had the greatest impact. The method is now used worldwide, so it is very exciting,” says Mats Eriksson, here receiving an award from Vice-Chancellor Johan Schnürer for outstanding research communication. From the jury’s statement: “With a passion, he successfully speaks on behalf of the little child."

The stage.

Örebro University Chamber Choir and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, led by Conductor and Director Musices Florian Benfer, provided the musical setting at the ceremony in Aula Nova.

Josée Deschênes och Mats Levin.

Josée Deschênes och Mats Levin

Jenny Bonnevier and Tommy Borglund.

“A person’s education is their life-long companion. Being part of it is a privilege. My wish going forward is that school may become even more of a stronghold for building democratic and sustainable societies for the future,” says Jenny Bonnevier, winner of the Excellent Teaching Award. The other winner, Tommy Borglund, often invites external partners to contribute on courses and study programmes. He says that the award is proof that as a pedagogical format, dialogue and extended collaboration with others work. In the future, he hopes to see even more stakeholders in society contributing to both teaching and research.

Minister for Finance Elisabeth Svantesson, Minister for Employment and Integration Johan Pehrson och Jeanette BerggrenCEO of Örebroporten Fastigheter.

“The university’s primary task is to deliver young people to a world of work with growing demands, not least in terms of intersectoral research and knowledge,” says Johan Pehrson, Minister for Employment and Integration, who emphasises the link between the university and his policy area. Here pictured with Minister for Finance Elisabeth Svantesson and Jeanette Berggren, CEO of Örebroporten Fastigheter.

Åsa Källström och Susanne Strand.

Åsa Källström, degree conferrer of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences together with Susanne Strand, who was inaugurated as professor of criminology. Susanne’s research looks at intimate partner violence and says that the title of professor gives legitimacy to her work. The title brings a basic understanding for what researchers do.

Örebro University Choir.

The evening’s entertainment was provided by Örebro University Choir, led by Fredrik Berglund, Director Cantorum at Örebro University.

Napkin on plate.

All details must be on point; a napkin fold in the shape of a star to match the starry sky in the ceiling of the banquet hall.


The hors d’oeuvres and banquet dinner were prepared and served by alumni and students at the School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Meal Science. At the helm was Jens Ericsson, who is general manager of the Sweden Culinary Team and a 2005 graduate from Grythyttan.

Jens Ericsson, Jessica Ericsson, Elin Sandberg, Henrik Scander.

Academy Steward Elin Sandberg, project manager of the academic celebrations, here pictured with Master of Ceremonies Henrik Scander, senior lecturer in culinary arts, Jens Ericsson and Jessica Lindblad, heading up the kitchen and dining room respectively. All four are alumni from the School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Meal Science in Grythyttan.

Mieke Verloo, Hansalbin Sältenberg and Elzbieta Korolczuk on stage.

In the week leading up to the academic celebrations, Mieke Verloo, professor at Radboud University, Netherlands and new honorary doctor at Örebro University, participated in a panel discussion on the growing resistance to feminism and gender equality, which is challenging democracy across Europe. Hansalbin Sältenberg and Elzbieta Korolczuk, both researchers at Södertörn University, were also on the panel. Moderator was Maria Jansson, professor of gender studies at Örebro University.

Manuela Veloso speaking.

“These systems are about what they see, what they know and what others are telling them. You can compare this to our world, which is about what we read in the news, what we see around us, and what someone else tells us. It is here the inherent problem surfaces – who do we trust?” Asking this question was Örebro University’s new honorary doctor, Professor Emerita Manuela Veloso, one of the most influential women in AI, who is also world-famous for her initiative on robot soccer. On Friday, she held an AI@ORU public seminar on how artificial intelligence works in symbiosis with humans.

Text: Kerstin Önnebo, Jerry Gray, Anna Lorentzon, Linda Harradine, Elin Sandberg
Photo: Kicki Nilsson ICON, Markus Winsa, Jerry Gray, Anna Lorentzon, Ida Dagson
Translation: Charlotta Hambre-Knight, Jerry Gray