Doctoral conferment ceremony starts in Joensuu – Honorary Doctors planted their commemorative trees

All over the world, trees symbolise stability, wisdom and faith in the future. Today, 11 Honorary Doctors attending the doctoral conferment ceremony of the University of Eastern Finland planted their commemorative trees in the Conferment Ceremony Garden maintained by the City of Joensuu by Lake Pyhäselkä. The garden constitutes part of the Linnunlahti Arboretum. The planting of the commemorative trees is a way for the Honorary Doctors to continue a tradition that was started already at the University of Joensuu.

Honorary Doctor Alain Tremeau plants his commemorative tree, assisted by student of forest sciences.

The Honorary Doctors’ commemorative trees in 2019:

Professor Ülo Niinemets: Korean fir (Abies koreana)
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Steven Feld: Sakhalin fir (Abies sachalinensis)
Emeritus Professor Leo Suni: Curly birch (Betula pendula var. carelica)
Professor Alain Tremeau: Silver birch variety Loimaa birch (Betula pendula f. crispa)
Emeritus Bishop Wille Riekkinen: Norway spruce (Picea abies)
Governor Erkki Liikanen: Black spruce (Picea mariana)
Rector Hubert Hasenauer: Serbian spruce (Picea omorika)
Professor Shirley Simon: Swiss pine (Pinus cembra)
Professor Beverley Skeggs: Macedonian pine (Pinus peuce)
Kauppaneuvos Harri Broman: Northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis)
Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman Maija Sakslin: Small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata f. erecta)
Musician Ismo Alanko: Wych elm (Ulmus glabra)

The father of the idea to plant commemorative trees during the university's doctoral conferment ceremonies is Professor Kim Von Weissenberg, who used to work in the Faculty of Forestry. Commemorative trees have been planted in 1989, 2004, 2009 and 2014, amounting to a total of 47 trees so far.

Honorary Doctors were interested in virtual reality

The Honorary Doctors to be conferred in the doctoral conferment ceremony of the University of Eastern visited VR LAB facilities today. University shares the VR LAB with “Business Joensuu”. The VR LAB is intended for research and development of virtual and augmented reality, as well as for 3D visualisations. The work carried out in the VR LAB enables the creation of novel visual concepts for the fields of forestry, educational technology, urban planning, event management and tourism, for example.


Receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy, Professor Alain Tremeau, Vice Rector for International Relations at Jean Monnet University in France, has participated in the development work involving the VR LAB. Collaboration between Professor Tremeau and the University of Eastern Finland’s School of Computing and Computational Spectral Imaging at the Institute of Photonics has been ongoing since 2000.   

“Being awarded an Honorary Doctorate is an honour and a privilege, but also a responsibility. As the research team with which I cooperate since many years works in the same research domains as my research team, I would like to develop our research cooperation even further,” Professor Tremeau says.

Beyond the official ceremonial programme and the social programme, Professor Tremeau expects to have time for discussing future projects of cooperation.

The doctoral conferment ceremony continues with a conferment ceremony concert, hat fitting ceremony and ceremonial conferment rehearsal today.

Emeritus Bishop Wille Riekkinen testing the virtual rollercoaster.

Further information, please contact:
Doctoral Conferment Coordinator Kirsi Bykachev, kirsi.bykachev(at), tel. +358 50 363 4819