Kåre Bremer received Stockholm University's large gold medal, obviously for his efforts as Vice-Chancellor, but also not least for the tremendous contributions he has made for the entire Swedish higher education sector, partly through the Infrastructure Inquiry he conducted for the Swedish Research Council, and partly by means of the Management Inquiry commissioned by the Government Offices of Sweden. Both of these have been implemented this year. Congratulations, Kåre!

I had the further pleasure of inaugurating 23 of this year’s 31 professors, and the latter group comprised, by the way, of 15 women. I also gave out this year’s Awards for Good Teaching to four outstanding educators: Hildred Crill, Lisa Käll, Said Mahmoudi and Daniel Ritter – a reminder that good teaching is intimately connected with good research.

Coming from all four faculties, 158 new doctors were promoted. Also present to receive their diploma were five jubilee doctors who defended their dissertation 50 years ago. Honorary doctorates were given to nine highly deserving recipients who participated in activities in various ways at the University in conjunction with the conferment. A good example of this was the combination of the two honorary doctors, Lilian Thuram and Johan Kyulenstierna, from their respective faculties, in a conversation about issues surrounding the climate and refugees.

Academia is often accused of being distanced from society at large, but that was not the case during this ceremony: Jenny White, Professor of Turkish Studies, lectured in the Blue Hall about how she, as a social anthropologist, works to get closer to and understand Turkey in a time of continuing anxiety; the honorary doctors in the humanities, Susan Faludi, Ansgar Nünning and Lilian Thuram, who had just received their awards, kneeled in protest against racism, inequality and injustice, in solidarity with the wave of protests currently spreading across the United States.