More than 350 graduates attended the event held on 29 June at the Eiffel Workshop House, where Dr. Béla Merkely, Rector of Semmelweis University and Dr. Tamás Hegedüs, Director of the Alumni Board also gave a toast. The following article was written in collaboration with our “Students’ Perspective” column.

The Graduates’ Ball is a large-scale event for graduate students and their escorts to celebrate their success, along with the completion of several years of study. The ceremony was held on 29 June, for the first time this year in the Eiffel Workshop, one of Opera’s buildings.

The event was opened by Rector Dr. Béla Merkely, who began his speech by stating that this graduating class is a special one. “A heroic class, which for two years, withstanding all the difficulties brought upon by the COVID-19 epidemic, did so much for the university and for our nation”, the rector said, adding that the graduates also did a lot for themselves, as they had raised their practical training to such a high level that they themselves became involved in the tasks that their fellow doctors or other professionals would otherwise have been doing. Addressing the students, the rector stressed that they have now graduated from a university that is one of the best in Central Eastern Europe, and takes a leading role in medical and health sciences education in Europe. This is a time and place to say thank you and celebrate, he added.

I wish what you swore when you enrolled and took your oaths back then, would be fulfilled to the fullest. May your dreams come true, and become worthy citizens of our country. At the same time, please never forget your alma mater. Long live Semmelweis University, long live the Semmelweis students who have just graduated!

– concluded his speech Rector Dr. Béla Merkely.

Dr. Tamás Hegedüs, Director of the Alumni Board and former President of the Students’ Union (HÖK) gave a toast as well. “From today on, everyone has become an ambassador of Semmelweis University, since as a graduate student, you can enhance the reputation of the institution not only within the country, but also beyond its borders”, he said, adding that the completion of studies is not only the end of something, but also the beginning of something new, and the alma mater will support graduates throughout their professional journey as a safety net. He concluded his speech with the words of one of the university’s most famous alumni, Albert Szent-Györgyi: “Think boldly, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Keep your eyes open, even for small details, and be moderate in everything except your goals.” Finally, Dr. Tamás Hegedűs congratulated the participants on their achievements, and wished them success.

Afterwards, students took over the stage to entertain graduates. Singers who won awards at this year’s Spring Festival gave a performance, and once again it was rich in content and quality. During the gala dinner, live music was provided by the choir’s medical doctors and medics.

The dinner was attended by more than 350 guests, with a large number of Hungarian students as well as German and English students from abroad. This is particularly delightful because the university and its Students’ Union are making great efforts to ensure that international students participate more actively in university events, and feel more at home while doing so.

Another highlight of the event was the charity raffle. All the raffle tickets were sold out, thanks to which the students donated a significant amount of money to the 1st Department of Paediatrics at Semmelweis.

After a festive dinner, there was also a party to wind down and relax. LIER, a student DJ from the university set the mood, followed by one of the most anticipated events of the evening called NECC PARTY, which lasted until 4.30 AM. This party was a great opportunity for all the graduates to celebrate their years at the university together one last time.

Congratulations to all graduating students – hopefully, they will always look back on their years at Semmelweis University with happiness, which were bid farewell in a proper ceremony, no doubt.

Márk Havasi (Students’ Union);
Ádám Szabó, Róbert Tasnádi (Communications Directorate)
Translation: Viktória Kiss

Photo: Bálint Barta – Semmelweis University