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Maarit Kaimio

Maarit Kaimio (née Vuorenjuuri)
Born April 19, 1941, Helsinki.

Master of Arts (Roman Literature), 1965, Licentiate of Philosophy, 1968, and Doctor of Philosophy, (Greek Literature) 1970, University of Helsinki.

Professor of Greek Language and Literature, 1976–2004, University of Helsinki
Vice-Dean, 1992–1994, 1995–1997, 2001–2003, University of Helsinki
Assistant, Classical Philology, 1965–1968, University of Turku
Assistant, Greek Literature, 1968–1973, University of Helsinki
Docent, Greek Literature, 1972–1975, University of Helsinki
Junior Researcher, State Committee for the Humanities, 1973–1975

Publications, research projects and other academic activities
Research interests: Ancient Greek dramatic literature and theatre, the Greek novel, Greek papyrus documents

Written by Maarit Kaimio and Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta (ed.)
Translated by John Calton

My best memories from the University of Helsinki

The University has provided me with many joyous moments when it comes to both research and teaching, but without doubt the most memorable of these was the Conferment Ceremony of the Faculty of Philosophy in the year 2000, where I served as the conferrer of degrees. I was the first woman to carry out this academic ritual in the history of the faculty – and probably the first in Finland. Historical continuity and the chain of generations are strongly present at the ceremony: this is a celebration that dates back to 1643, and the only time the tradition was interrupted was during the Great Northern War and World War II. The date of the Conferment Ceremony is determined in fifty-year cycles, and the masters and doctors whose degrees were conferred fifty years earlier join the ceremony as jubilee masters and doctors.

The most intense  experience for me in the role was the close connection I felt to the masters as I put the laurel wreaths on their heads and touched their Master’s ring, or to the doctors as I gave them their hats and swords. We had practised this moment carefully, our steps had been choreographed, and the event had been timed to the second so we would know the correct pace of the event –and it really didn't last long. Still, the eye contact made with every promovendus during the event, and the importance of the ceremony for those involved, had a huge impact on me.

The Faculty of Philosophy Conferment Ceremony in 2000. Photo: Jakke Nikkarinen​
The Faculty of Philosophy Conferment Ceremony in 2000. Photo: Jakke Nikkarinen​


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