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Stockholm University’s large gold medal and gold medal of the 8th size are awarded to people who have, in different ways, helped to further the work of the university.


Stockholm University's large gold medal

University gold medals. Photo: Svenska Medalj AB
Photo: Svenska Medalj AB

Stockholm University’s large gold medal, worn around the neck, was instituted in 1990 and is awarded to those who have significantly and over a long period of time worked to promote the university, its research or its teaching.

The President has decided to award the 2020 large gold medal to Kerstin Calissendorff, former Chair of the University Board.

Kerstin Calissendorff

After ten years as a Justice of the Supreme Court, which followed a long-standing legal career, Kerstin Calissendorff chose in 2013 to take on the side assignment as chairman of the board of Stockholm University. She herself is an alumna of the University, where she graduated with a Master of Laws in 1981, and also worked for a time as an assistant professor at the Department of Law. She thus returned to a not unfamiliar business, albeit with a new perspective. Kerstin Calissendorff has shouldered the task with deep commitment and striking lack of prestige, but also with great sharpness and unfailing compass for the interface between the board's assignment and the academic. As President, I have personally in Kerstin for seven years had strong support and an unfailing dialogue partner. Her leadership, characterized by a light but at the same time firm hand, has created a good climate for the board's work, both for dialogue and critical reflection. During Kerstin Calissendorff's chairmanship, Stockholm University has undergone significant development in the direction of the University's strategic goals; education and research of the highest quality, to contribute to the development of society.

The medal was awarded at a reception in Spökslottet on 9 September 2021.


Former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kåre Bremer

Former President of the Supreme Administrative Court Sten Heckscher

CEO Staffan Salén

Director Björn Wolrath

Former Head of Administration Leif Lindfors

Architect Ralph Erskine
Architect Carl Nyrén

Mrs. Signhild Engkvist

Former Head of Administration Rune Lindquist

President of the Swedish Parliament's Education Committee Lars Gustafsson
Builder Reinhold Gustafsson
Former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Emeritus Gunnar Hoppe


Stockholm University's gold medal of the 8th size

Gold medal of the 8th size with ribbon
Photo: Eva Dalin

Stockholm University’s gold medal of the 8th size, worn suspended by a ribbon, was instituted in 2010 and is granted to those who have contributed in a meaningful way to strengthening the university, its research or its teaching.

The President has decided to award the 2021 medal to Denny Vågerö and Cynthia de Wit.

Denny Vågerö

Denny Vågerö became a trailblazer for research in health inequality, a field which was only rarely studied in Sweden in the 1990’s. In the year 2000 he, Finn Diderichsen and Ulf Lundberg started the interdisciplinary research institute Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS) at Stockholm University in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet and with financial support from the two universities and from the Swedish Council for Social Research (SFR). The preparations which led to the establishment of CHESS were extensive and Vågerö was also the Director of the Institute during its first nine years. His leadership of the Institute was successful and to a high degree based on external funding. Also, it was characterized by great care for the staff.

In 2008, when he initiated an international master’s programme in public health sciences at the Faculty of Social Sciences, this turned out to be a crucial choice for the future activities of the Institute. In the same year, Denny Vågerö and Olle Lundberg, the then incoming Director, initiated the school of research which paved the way, in 2013, for CHESS to shoulder the responsibility for a doctoral programme in public health sciences at Stockholm University.

Throughout his employment at the University, he has promoted research as well as teaching in public health sciences with a social science orientation. The academic area for human science has also profited from his membership in the World Health Organization’s “Commission on Social Determinants of Health” and in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. New generations have followed in his footsteps and contributed to the further success of the field.

In 2018, the Department of Public Health Sciences was established through a merger between the two research institutes CHESS and SoRAD (the Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs). This development has been made possible not least thanks to Denny Vågerö’s previous exceptional contributions. His achievements have thus been of vital importance for strengthening both research and teaching at Stockholm University.

Cynthia de Wit

As Professor of Environmental Science, Cynthia de Wit has for many years held a long line of assignments of vital importance for Stockholm University’s development into its present leading position within environmental science.

At an early, decisive stage when the activities at the Institute of Applied Environmental Science were transferred from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to Stockholm University, she had a leading role as its Director and Assistant director, in the transformation which laid the foundation for today’s strong academic activities.

During more than 20 years, from its inception until 2020, Cynthia de Wit was a driving force as chair of Stockholm University’s Environmental Council. She was the chair of the Bolin Centre for Climate Research from 2013, section dean and previously deputy section dean for Earth and Environmental Sciences. Thus, for a number of years, she was also a member of the Faculty Board, as well as an alternate member of the University Board and member of the Ethics Council at Stockholm University.

Throughout the years, de Wit has demonstrated great responsibility when taking on further important roles of leadership within the University, and she has made strong contributions to further its activities. Cynthia de Wit is a diplomatic leader who has shown great integrity, professionalism and energy when fearlessly tackling the various challenges she has had to face as an academic and administrative leader. Her profound involvement in environmental issues, based on her own research on environmental toxins, has been of vital importance in giving these questions the urgent priority that they deserve within the University for the future.


Professor Johan Kleman
Professor Margaretha Rossholm Lagerlöf
Study counselor Birgitta Åkerman

Ishak Alaton, Ishak bey, posthumous
Chairman Agneta Bladh
Professor Göran Scharmer

Senior administrative officer Maud Giessler

Academy steward Inga Horndahl
Professor Stefan Nordlund
Professor Gunnar Svensson

Professor em. Birgitta Bremer
Professor em. Harry Flam

Professor Anders Gustavsson
Professor Lena Kautsky
Former CEO Thomas Norell

Mr. Amine Benhajji
Director Pia Bjerén Fürstenbach

Professor Gunnel Engwall
Senior advisor Athanasios Psaroulis

Ph.D. Birgitta Eriksson
Director Johan Stålhand

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