Inauguration of Professors
The Inauguration of Professors in Uppsala is a public ceremony at which the Vice-Chancellor installs new professors in their office and the new professors hold inaugural lectures. The tradition of installing new professors dates back to the Middle Ages.
Inaugurations of professors and conferment ceremonies are the traditions that all Swedish universities and other institutions of higher education and research have in common.
Like all ceremonies at Uppsala University, the Inauguration of Professors is well choreographed. It begins with a procession led by students bearing the banners of the student nations.
In the gallery of the University Main Building, all the new professors start to descend the stairs on the left while the Vice-Chancellor’s party, including specially invited guests such as the Archbishop and the County Governor, descends the stairs on the right.
History of the Inauguration of Professors
The professorial inauguration derives from the medieval ecclesiastical tradition of installing newly appointed canons (cathedral priests) in their seats in the choir-stalls (in Latin, stallum). In a similar way, the University’s Vice-Chancellor symbolically installed new professors by solemnly leading them in procession to the podium for them to give a lecture.
This ceremonial act, first documented in December 1625, has continued without interruption ever since. However, tradition and renewal go hand in hand. These days, though all professors appointed by the University are installed at the same ceremony in the University Main Building, they give their inaugural lectures faculty by faculty during the week of the inauguration.
Ceremony in the Grand Auditorium
The new professors dress in formal attire – tailcoat with white bow-tie and black waistcoat, or full-length gown. In Uppsala, the gown does not have to be black. If they wish to wear national or folk costume, it must be the costume for formal occasions.
Participants in the procession dress in formal attire – tailcoat with white bow-tie and black waistcoat, or full-length gown, with decorations (large).
There is no dress code for members of the audience who do not take part in the procession.
The Banquet Hall.
All those at the banquet wear formal attire, but the waistcoat with the tailcoat is white.