The graduation ceremony was celebrated with festivity and joy in a full arena

Last week was the very last week of the spring semester at Halmstad University, and it was an active final week with everything from fairs to scholarship awards. The week was completed on Friday when over 3,000 people gathered for a festive graduation ceremony at Halmstad Arena.

The graduation ceremony is a tradition to celebrate and thank all graduating students before they carry on into life after their years at Halmstad University. To this year’s graduation ceremony, more students and guests than ever before had registered to attend and there was a powerful atmosphere when over 3,000 people gathered at Halmstad Arena.

The ceremony was led by Johanna Sjögren Eliasson, Chair of the Student Union, and Victoria Gerelius, Vice Chair, and the visitors were treated to entertainment, granting of awards and inspirational speeches.

Young people are standing on a stage with waving shawls under a rain of confetti. In front of the stage there is a crowd. Photo.

The mood was on top during the celebration of the graduating students this Friday.

The Vice-Chancellor wished the students happiness and success

The first to stand at the podium to congratulate and thank the students for their time at the University was Vice-Chancellor Susanna Öhman, who participated in her first graduation ceremony as Vice-Chancellor.

”Halmstad University has fantastic students! Right?” Susanna Öhman said and received a cheering response from the entire arena before continuing her speech:

”A really, really big congratulations from all of us at the University. We are proud of you and feel privileged and happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of your life and to be part of your journey to graduation. I wish you all the best of luck and success!”

A women stands on a stage by a podium with spotlights on her. To the left of her there's a white flag with Halmstad University's logotype and two swedish flags. Photo.

Vice-Chancellor Susanna Öhman spoke to all the happy students in the arena.

Anagha Anand received the Alumna of the Year-award

Traditionally, the Alumnus/Alumna of the Year-award was then handed out. This year’s recipient was Anagha Anand, Product Manager at the company Robert Bosch in Germany. This year’s alumna addressed all graduating students directly in a video greeting:

”The University has, and always will have, a special place in my heart. It was here that I discovered the power of knowledge and the importance of innovation”, Anagha Anand said, and congratulated the students on their graduation.

A photo of the face of a smiling women from a video recording. Photo.

Anagha Anand recieved the award the Alumna of the Year and spoke to all the visitors at the ceremony.

Four students became Student of the Year

Then it was time to acknowledge some of the students through the Student of the Year-award. It is an award that since 2018 has been awarded one student from each School that has distinguished themselves a little extra during their studies.

This year’s recipients were Erica Jonsson at the School of Information Technology, Josefine Åhman at the School of Business, Innovation and Sustainability, Oscar Meyer at the School of Health and Welfare and Dennis Jönsson at the School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences.

The proud students received diplomas and flowers from Deputy Vice-Chancellor Malin Hallén, and answered questions about their time as students at Halmstad University, their future plans and how it feels to become the Student of the Year:

“It feels great! I am proud to have represented the University for five years now and it is great to leave with this”, said Erica Jonsson and glanced at her diploma.

Two young women and two young men are standing in a row with flowers and diplomas in their hands. They are all dressed up. Photo.

Four students, one at each School, recieved the award Student of the Year 2023.

”The knowledge opens up a new reality”

Before it was time for all students and guests to leave the arena, go out into the summer and continue the celebration together, the ceremony was completed by a speech from the Chair of Halmstad Student Union, Johanna Sjögren Eliasson.

"We are here today to celebrate your graduation and the new knowledge you have gained. The knowledge opens up for a new reality and gives the possibility to take part in changing and developing the world we live in. Let’s change the world together!” encouraged Johanna Sjögren Eliasson.

The ceremony was now over and marked the end of the studies at the University for all happy and enthusiastic graduating students and at the same time the start of an exciting future working life.

A packed arena with spotlights directed to the stage. On the stage there's a big stand screen and two persons. Photo.

Just over 3,000 people gathered at Halmstad Arena for the festive graduation ceremony last Friday.

Graduation fair and granting of scholarships

Another tradition during the graduation week is the graduation fair Utexpo where graduation projects are displayed for employers, supervisors, the business sector and the public. At this year’s fair, which just like last year was held in the S building, over 100 projects were displayed. At the fair, students are also granted scholarships from companies and organisations that collaborate with the University.

During the graduation week, a number of other scholarships are also handed out, including from Sten Fåhré’s Foundation, which primarily goes to students at the Programme in Innovation Engineering with the aim of encouraging creativity and entrepreneurship. This year, around SEK 500,000 were handed out from the foundation.

Two more scholarships are the scholarship from the Swedish Association of Health Professionals and the scholarship In memory of Georgi. The last of the two is a scholarship in mathematics that is handed out to students who have shown a great interest in mathematics and also have demonstrated good knowledge of the subject, as well as having been good fellow students by showing special empathy for other students need for support in mathematics.

”It feels so great that someone has seen everything that I have done and now pays attention to it. I am passionate about making a difference and doing my best during my studies”, said scholarship holder Tara Kadir from the programme Sustainable Energy Engineer during this year’s granting of In memory of Georgi.

Text: Thimmy Mård
Photo: Albin Edin, Dan Bergmark