A memorable Graduation Ceremony

As usual, the Graduation Ceremony took place on Iceland's National Day, 17th of June - which is the birth date of independense leader Jón Sigurðsson - as part of the celebrations at Hrafnseyri which is the birth place of Jón. This year's cohort was unprecedentelly large, receiving their certificates from the rector of UNAK and the UW graduate caps which are knitted hats with tassles, as a nod to the traditional Icelandic tail-cap.

This time, 15 students had passed their degree since last year's Ceremony, four from the 2022 cohort and 11 from the 2023 cohort.

A few older students, who already graduated but had not been able to attend the Graduation Ceremony before, also attended to receive their graduation caps. It's never too late to celebrate but the oldest graduate finished their degree in 2012.

Additionally, one person was graduating with an M.Sc. from the University of Akureyri, but the Ceremony is open to local graduates who want to celebrate with friends and family closer to home, regardless of which university institution they're graduating from.

The beautiful weather did its part in the celebrations at Hrafnseyri, where the flags hardly moved, so the ceremony took place in the open air, after a service at the Hrafnseyri church.

Vigdis Jakobsdóttir from Ísafjörður, the artistic director of the Reykjavík Arts Festival, gave the main speech, ending with a recital of one of Hulda's poems. Music was performed by local musician Kristín Sesselja and master of ceremonies was Guðmundur Hálfdanarson, Jón Sigurðsson professor.

Kristen Lowitt addressed guessed on behalf of UW instructors and graduates Reesha Price and Carina Burrough recited an original farewell poem on behalf of the cohort.

Peter Weiss, director of University Centre of the Westfjords, and academic directors Matthias Kokorsch and Brack Hale, then finished by handing out the graduate caps and tree saplings which graduates then planted in the slope behind the church in Hrafnseyri, where a small forest is taking shape, representing the growing number of people who have received their masters' degrees from UW.

The Ceremony ended with a fun tree planting where the nice clothing held no restrain on graduates and staff while digging up turf and dirt. All in all a memorable day for all the graduates and yet again, we at UW wish them all the best and congrutlations on their achievements.