Concerning Honorary Doctors

Concerning Honorary Doctors
Kuva: Filosofisen tiedekunnan promootio 2014/Mikko Virta

Together with young masters and doctors, as well as jubilee masters and doctors, 13 honorary doctors are conferred in the conferment of the Faculty of Philosophy. These persons, distinguished in their own field of science as well as in culture and society, constitute a central part of the faculty’s conferment ceremony and its history. The first honorary doctors were inaugurated in the university’s 200th anniversary year in 1840.

In the course of years, a large number of distinguished international professors and researchers, as well as artists and otherwise notable figures, have been rewarded for their merits and conferred as honorary doctors. This degree, Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa, is the highest possible hommage the university and the faculty can give. Among the Finnish honorary doctors are for example Presidents Mauno Koivisto and Tarja Halonen, as well as influential cultural figures most recent being M.A. Numminen, who was conferred in 2014. In addition a great deal of other notable Finnish artists have received the degree of honorary doctor, such as Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Jean Sibelius and Kaija Saariaho.

Honorary doctors have traditionally been a very international group arriving to celebrate the conferment ceremony from all around the world. To be conferred as a honorary doctor and participating in the historical conferment celebrations of the Faculty of Philosophy is often a unique experience and a great honor for them. With their presence the honorary doctors, both foreign and domestic, remind us about what one can achieve in the field of science, culture and society, and what the international science community means for the University of Helsinki.

Faculty of Philosophy´s 2017 honorary doctors will be announced in a press conference on March 7th in the small festival hall (Pieni juhlasali) at 5 p.m. Among this year’s honorary doctors are fascinating thinkers, successful scientist and influential figures. Besides their success and merits each one of them is a great person and they all are very flattered for the given honor. We await with excitement to meet them in May in Helsinki.


The Faculty of Philosophy´s Honorary Doctors will be published here on March 7th at 5.30 p.m.

A press conference on the honorary doctors will be held on March 7th at 5 p.m. in the small festival hall (Pieni juhlasali) at the university main building. Please register here.

The press conference can also be followed online through live-stream broadcasting.