The diploma ceremony is celebrated annually and has in recent years taken place in the Blue Hall, the main hall of the Stockholm City Hall best known as the banquet hall for the annual Nobel Banquet. The diploma ceremony is a great opportunity to gather and celebrate the talented individuals who have been awarded scholarships to study in Sweden before heading out into the world again to become the leaders of the future.

This year’s version was different in that the ceremony was held digitally, but as in previous years it was a solemn event where the program included several strong speeches that contributed with both joy and seriousness.

State Secretary Per Olsson Fridh spoke about fellows as change agents, which was confirmed by SI-laureat Nontokozo Tshabalala and alumnus Judith Oginga-Martins who urged the prospective alumni to “Position yourself where you can show the world your full potential. That our laureates are passionate about commitment and willingness to change was clear.

Several musical elements further enhanced the mood and in the end, a collective party atmosphere with dancing broke out in front of the computer screens. More than 250 fellows participated in this year’s diplomacy despite the unusual conditions.