On July 4, HSE University celebrates its 2019 graduates. Let’s find out how the tradition of graduation celebrations has changed at HSE over the years.
HSE University has held commencement ceremonies since 2013 when the event was first held in accordance with the usual conventions: that year, thousands of graduates donned traditional caps and gowns and gathered in a large sports complex (Luzhniki Stadium) to be congratulated by the HSE founders.
But in 2014, HSE’s graduation event took on a new form. Rather than a traditional commencement ceremony, organizers put on a Back to the Future-themed costume party in a club (with non-alcoholic drinks being served at the bar, of course). They did up the club 80s-style with music to match, and graduates danced the night away in their 80s-themed costumes.
Since 2014, HSE has celebrated its graduates with theme parties. Over the years, party themes have included Star Wars (2015) as well as technological progress under the motto ‘Engines of the Generation’ (2016). In 2017, graduates confirmed that there is a bit of Hogwarts at HSE University, and immersed themselves into the world of books about Harry Potter. Last year, the celebration was a black-tie event in the theme of all things Bond (James Bond). The elegantly dressed grads bid their uni days farewell as they danced to hits like ‘Skyfall’ by Adele. This year’s graduation event will be in the style of a city rave.
Another beloved graduation tradition is having big-name bands perform. This tradition was established in 2013, when the band Uma2rman headlined the graduation event. Over the years, HSE has hosted headliners Anacondaz (2017) and Therr Maitz (2018). This year students will get to party to the music of an HSE favorite, Little Big.
Rather than at the university-wide ceremony, diplomas are conferred at smaller ceremonies held in students’ respective academic programmes and faculties, which have their own traditions: some graduates sing the student anthem ‘Gaudeamus’, some prefer to celebrate off campus, while others prefer to mark the end of their academic journey (or at least its first leg) right at their alma mater.
Graduation traditions not only vary from programme to programme, but from campus to campus. In Perm, graduation was held this year on June 28. An interesting feature of the festivities at HSE University in Perm is that HSE ALUMNI awards are conferred at the ceremony to undergraduate and master’s graduates from previous years. The award is conferred in three categories, delineated by a now-famous aphorism of Evgeny Yasin: ‘Future Scholar’, ‘Future Minister’, and ‘Future Millionaire’.
At HSE University in St. Petersburg graduates with honors were congratulated personally by the Campus Director Sergey Kadochnikov, and Sberbank gave them access to its electronic library. The band, Moya Mishelle, headlined the celebration.
For many 2019 alums, graduation is an opportunity to make the world a little bit better. Graduates of the Faculty of Economics of HSE University in Nizhny Novgorod decided to plant trees instead of conducting the traditional, yet environmentally harmful, balloon launch. Students of the programme in journalism and media communications raised money for the Vverkh Centre, which helps children from orphanages get the education they need.