School of Business

Officiating the conferment

The key actors at the conferment ceremony are often referred to by the Latinate term officianti.
Officiantit Lehvänsitojaisissa 2022
Master of Ceremonies Nina Granqvist, Conferrer Matti Keloharju ja Head Marshall Matti Sarvimäki at the Wreath Weaving event 2022.

In conferment, the academics involved in the event have clear roles and responsibilities. The university president nominates the conferrer. Other officianti are chosen by the school dean and the conferrer together.

Below, you can get to know the officianti and their responsibilities at the 2022 Ceremonial Conferment of Degrees. The Spirit of Mercury is not part of officianti per se, but the role is also very significant at the conferment and therefore will be introduced here also.

Matti Keloharju
Aalto Distinguished Professor Matti Keloharju

Conferrer Matti Keloharju

The conferrer of degrees bestows the academic title of master or doctor on the promovendi and ensures that the ceremonies proceed smoothly. By tradition, an academically distinguished professor of senior tenure is named to serve in this honorary role.

Matti Keloharju's web page

Portrait of Aalto University Associate Professor Nina Granqvist
Professor Nina Granqvist

Master of Ceremonies Nina Granqvist

The master of ceremonies' duties include leading the academic procession and seeing to the due observance of the conventions and protocols at all the ceremonies and events. The person serving in this honorary role is chosen from the faculty of professors. The signature uniform of the MC features a broad red sash.

Nina Granqvist's page in Aalto People

Yliairut Matti Sarvimäki. Kuvaaja Roope Kiviranta.
Assistant professor Matti Sarvimäki. Photographer Roope Kiviranta.

Head Marshal Matti Sarvimäki

The head marshal organises the work for the marshals and escorts the Spirit of Mercury in the academic procession, among other duties. Generally chosen from the younger ranks of the professorial faculty, the head marshal is identifiably clad in a broad blue sash.

Matti Sarvimäki's web page

Gratista Niina Palm, kuvaaja Roope Kiviranta
Gratista Niina Palm

Gratista Niina Palm

The gratista heads the promovendi conferment committee, which is composed of promovendi masters. The gratista's role is to represent the promovendi at the various functions and to deliver the appreciation speech. Traditionally, the gratista also organises the 'Sillis' herring luncheon. 

Elina Mäkelä the Spirit of Mercury

Spirit of Mercury Elina Mäkelä

The Spirit of the Mercury plays a key role in the ceremony. She/he represents youth at the conferral, guides activities at the wreath-weaving event and pins laurels on the breast of promovendi on conferment day. Traditionally this role is given to the child of a professor of senior tenure. To serve in the functions of Spirit of Mercury is an honor for both the person chosen and for his or her parents. The identity of the person chosen has traditionally been a well-kept secret until late spring. The identity is revealed only after the person has been officially asked and consented to the role, which occurs formally at a specific event.

Contact information

Conferment office

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