Encaenia is the annual ceremony at which the University of Oxford awards honorary degrees to men and woman who have made a significant contribution in their field.
Derived from a Greek word, Encaenia is traditionally translated in St John’s Gospel as “festival of dedication.”
The Oxford Encaenia is steeped in history and is a surviving part of a more extensive ceremony called 'The Act'. This used to include ambitious musical works, often composed for the occasion, and traditional features such as a satirical speech, often scurrilous and sometimes scandalous, by an anonymous speaker known as Terrae Filius, 'Son of the Earth'.
The Act was originally held in the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, a setting many people thought unsuitable. Such feeling prompted its move in 1670 to the Sheldonian Theatre.
It is an important event in the University calendar and is held on the Wednesday of the ninth week of Trinity Term.
To read more about Encaenia, visit the University website.