Graduation Ceremony in true Eurovision spirit
Change of clothes, confetti bombs, awards, ceremonial speeches, and congratulations. Those are just some of the must-haves for a real graduation ceremony – even during a pandemic year like the academic year of 2020/2021. Despite this year’s ceremony being digital, the atmosphere was festive on Friday when it was time for the University to thank the around 1,000 students graduating.
The last Friday of the academic year, it’s been a tradition for the University since 2018 (except for 2020) to arrange a joint graduation ceremony for all graduating students. This year, the confetti bombs went off on June 4 and it was the Halmstad Student Union President, Timmie Hansson, and Vice President, Elin Kjellsson, who were holding the reins on stage.
”It felt so amazing to have the honour of hosting. Since I graduated myself last year and missed out on a ceremony, it was especially fun to be a part of it this year”, said Elin Kjellsson afterwards.
Ceremony streamed on student web
Starting at 3 pm, the ceremony was streamed on the University student web to students, their friends and family, University staff and anyone else who wanted to watch. The stream had viewers from all over the country and around the world. The roughly 560 devices connected were in Halland, Skåne, Stockholm, the rest of the Nordic countries, Germany, Greece, India, China, Japan, Bolivia, and the US.
Halmstad University Vice-Chancellor was the first to give the students his message.
”You have invested in something that no one can take from you and that’s a good education which gives you amazing opportunities on your path forward. At Halmstad University we are proud of you and happy for the time you have spent with us. I hope you will always carry bright and fond memories of your time here. Congratulations to you all!”
A quick review of the graduation ceremony.
Award Alumnus of the Year given out
After that, for the fourth consecutive year, Halmstad University honoured an alumna/alumnus that has distinguished themselves after graduation and is a positive role model. The Alumnus of the Year was an honoured and proud Peter Uppman, who received the award from Halmstad University Depute Vice-Chancellor, Anders Nelson.
”Halmstad University is very close to my heart. Both professionally and personally I would say that I am completely dependent on having studied at the University, it has shaped my whole life”, said Peter Uppman, former student at the Programme in Innovation Engineering and now Innovation Strategist at Region Halland.
Timmie Hansson was not just the host, as is tradition he also gave a speech to all graduating students as President of the Halmstad Student Union. And he admitted it was difficult finding the right words after an academic year such as this one.
”Your final year was not at all what anyone could have imagined and honestly, that’s why you should be incredibly proud that you made it through this year. No matter what adversities you face, what the future looks like and what choices you will have to make, just remember: the most important thing is to not just listen to others, the most important thing is to follow your heart.”
”You should be incredibly proud that you made it through this year.”
Timmie Hansson, President of the Halmstad Student Union
Four students awarded Student of the Year
And the heart of a university is all the amazing students. Since 2018, the award Student of the Year goes to one student from each school, who has distinguished themselves during their education and it’s a way for Halmstad University to show how important the students and their efforts are.
This year, Pro Vice-Chancellor Pernilla Nilsson had the pleasure of congratulating the Students of the Year: Ema Krcic at the School of Information Technology, Aida Ekberg at the School of Business, Innovation and Sustainability, Alexandra Roberg at the School of Health and Welfare, and Sara Karlsson at the School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences.
The Student of the Year recipients were proud of the award and had the opportunity to reflect on both their time as students and their future.
”This summer I will start my new job, which will be an incredible challenge. Then I’ll head up to Västerbotten to see my family and dear friends who I haven’t seen for a year because of the pandemic. And in life I will try to find myself in my new career role as a nurse. I very much look forward to all of it”, said Alexandra Roberg.
As a finale to the digital festivities, gold confetti rained on the music act Kvaritåtta that played Linnea Henriksson’s song ”Halmstad” while the names of all the Halmstad University programmes succeeded one another on screen.
Congratulations from the University's staff were also a nice feature during the graduation ceremony.
Packed week with fairs and scholarship ceremonies
The graduation ceremony is just one of the highlights of graduation week, the last week of the academic year. In connection with the graduation, all students also gathered digitally with the programme director of each class for the chance to say goodbye to one another. The content is up to each class and in the programme Political Science – Social Analysis and Communication, the Speaker of the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) was invited.
Halmstad University’s annual graduation fair Utexpo was also digital this year with graduation projects in the form of videos and a live streamed scholarship ceremony where many of the winning students participated through e-meeting tool Zoom. Apart from the scholarships awarded during Utexpo, students also received scholarships from Sten Fåhré’s Foundation, the Swedish Association of Health Professionals, and ”In memory of Georgi”. Over SEK500,000 was awarded in total.
Praktikexpo is an annual fair where seniors from the programme Language, Text Editing and Digital Communication show what they have done and learned during their internship.
”I really enjoyed the tasks, which were meaningful to perform and I would gladly work the same way and preferably in the same place in the future”, says Camilla Larsson, who did her internship with real estate company HFAB’s department for market and communications, where she among other things did text reviewing and analysis of web pages.
The employers were also happy with the students’ internships. Many of the students have been offered a continuation in some form after the internship.
Text: Emely Niemi Jonsson
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