Tuesday 28 February – A Special Degree Ceremony and Celebrations for 36 New Graduates

The degree ceremony held on February 28 last was solemn, but also exciting.
Thirty-six students discussed their theses, donned the classic black “tabard” (the traditional cloak of the peasants of Piedmont’s Langa hills), the ornamental orange UNISG cap, and marched in a procession with lecturers and representatives of the Board of Governors along the road to the neo-Gothic parish church of San Vittore, where they were welcomed by special guests Luciana Castellina, Stefano Rodotà and Roberto Vecchioni.

The three then spoke about their own graduation days. “More than the day itself I remember the day after, the one when you wonder what you’re going to do with your life,” recalled Castellina, a Roman journalist and writer. “I graduated with a thesis on agrarian law and I learned a lot by studying the peasants’ struggles for the land.”

“My graduation day wasn’t very spectacular either,” said Stefano Rodotà, a legal scholar. “I felt stronger feelings years later at the degree ceremony of a youngster from a peasant family in Macerata where I was a professor at the university. Composure and emotion. What I can say is that the most important things are knowledge and culture: values that you are sure to take away with you.”

The teacher and singer-songwriter Roberto Vecchioni was more light-hearted. “After twenty minutes’ speaking about my thesis on Latin lyrics, I realized I was in the wrong lecture hall!” he recalled. “Anyway, I want to remind you that the professors you have here are important. In general, professors take you by the hand and lead you into life. The most important thing for you is to have a job that’s well considered and gratifying. It’s not important to become successful but to be part of society and have a role in it. Culture will give you the certainty that you’re in the right place.”

The ceremony was followed by singing and music from Roberto Vecchioni himself, trumpet-player Roy Paci, the Yoyo Mundi, the Raviole al Vin folk group and the UNISG students’ choir.

A moment of emotion shared by all present.

Congratulations to all the new graduates and good luck for the future!

Photographs and videos of the event from La Repubblica e La Stampa: