That these are different times has not escaped anyone. For a long time, the autumn graduation ceremony was planned for a limited celebration on site, but then came further restrictions for the Västra Götaland region, and the festivities thus became completely digital. Not so fun, but on the plus side, it gave examinees the opportunity to via live stream share the festive moment with both family and friends.
Otherwise, most things were as usual. Candelabra and fine flower arrangements adorned the stage in Runan in Kårhuset. The compares guided everyone through the event. The fanfares sounded over the newly graduated students, who instead of receiving the diploma on stage were shown in a photo while the music group Duo Granmo-Berg played. The Chalmers Choir entertained in pre-recorded videoclips. And the diploma itself, it will come afterwards, along with a goodie bag.
"Protect the important values"
Both University President Stefan Bengtsson and the Vice President with responsibility for education and lifelong learning, Anna Karlsson-Bengtsson, wished good luck with personal greetings from the stage in Runan.
Maybe Stefan Bengtsson was a little more serious than usual when he ended his greeting:
"We live in a time of fake news, factual resistance and questioning of science. As a university, we stand up for fact-based decisions, critical thinking and the scientific method. I hope that your years at Chalmers have given you a good foundation to stand on in the future, to be able to safeguard these important values and thereby ultimately safeguard our democracy."
The Student Union President David Welander who, being part of the management team of the Student Union, has not yet graduated himself, compared it all to the melancholic feeling of moving away from home. Admittedly, one is moving out, but one carries Chalmers within and will probably return in some way in the future.
And returned did the four alumni who each sent their greetings to the students who are now ready to go into working life.
Four hot alumni
"And whenever you doubt yourself and your knowledge, for that will happen, it is part of your life journey, remember that you are a trained problem solver. And you belong to those who do not ponder on if the glass is half full, or half empty. You are an engineer, you simply know that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be. So go out there. Follow your heart and enjoy the journey."
Those words were sent to the examinees by Ulrika Lindstrand (K98). She is the President of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers (Sveriges ingenjörer) and often seen in debates about the role of the engineer.
The examinee also received wise words from the other alumni. Paul Welander (M83) who, in addition to being chairman of the Chalmers Alumni Association, Cing, is Senior Vice President and Senior Advisor to CEO at Volvo Car Group. He is also on the board of Chalmers University of Technology. Therese Eriksson (I09, DR16), project manager at the Swedish Transport Administration and chairman of Cing's local department in Stockholm.
The final words came from Robert Falck (M10), CEO of the Gothenburg based company Einride, which builds electric trucks. He is also on Di Digital's list of Sweden's 40 hottest serial entrepreneurs under 40 years of age.
"Go out and make the future happen!"
Text: Anita Fors