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Graduation at Finlandia University

2016 Finlandia University Graduation

2016 Graduation Day Schedule

  • Sunday, May 1, 2016
  • Baccalaureate: 10 a.m. at Chapel of St. Matthew
  • Graduation Lunch: 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Finlandia Hall Café
  • Commencement: 1:30 p.m. at the Paavo Nurmi Gym

Commencement Ceremony Information

Commencement%20Ceremony-5_1_11-web-183Graduates will assemble in the strength and conditioning room located in the lower level of the gym. Please arrive at 12:45 to begin lining up. Depending on the number of graduates and speakers, the ceremony lasts between one and a half to two hours. Graduates will be presented with a diploma cover during the ceremony. Individual diplomas will be mailed at a later time to the address provided on the application for graduation. Graduates who do not participate in the ceremony will be mailed their diplomas. Diploma covers will not be mailed, but can be picked up at the registrar’s office.

There is no limit on the number of guests you may invite. Tickets are not required. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. There is floor seating with folding chairs and bleacher seating. Those who have guests requiring special reserved seating (limited mobility or wheelchair access) should notify the ushers who will be at commencement rehearsal, or contact Kelli Garrison (contact information posted at the bottom of this page). A maximum of four seats may be reserved for each graduate.

Most commencement parking is located in the lot in front of Finlandia Hall and the south entrance of the Paavo Nurmi Athletic Center, which is accessed via Scott Street. Those requiring barrier-free access should go to the west entrance at Paavo Nurmi parking area behind Finlandia Hall. This is accessed via Scott Street, top of the hill, turn right at Elm Street. There is a barrier-free entrance and parking at the west end of the Paavo Nurmi Athletic Center.

Commencement Speaker

Portrait of Dr. Sarah KemppainenFinlandia University is proud to announce that Dr. Sarah Kemppainen will be the 2016 commencement speaker. Dr. Kemppainen is currently on the Finlandia University Board of Trustees, serves as principal at Graveraet Elementary School in Marquette and assistant principal at Marquette Senior High School.

She has a long list of professional accomplishments including several leadership honors from Delta Kappa Gamma Society, the most recent coming in 2014 when she was named a Delta Chapter Woman of Distinction. In 2014 she led Finlandia’s Finnish Education Exploratory Team to Helsinki. She’s also been a presenter at conferences throughout the state, in Honolulu and Ottawa.

She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, M. in Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from UW-Milwaukee, Masters of Education in Education Technology from Lesley University and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University.

More about Dr. Kemppainen

Student Representative

Shelby Winter Finlandia2016 Student Representative Shelby Winter is from Springfield, Illinois and is graduating from Finlandia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Studio Arts / lllustration.

She chose to attend Finlandia in large part because of her intense interest in Contemporary Finnish Culture. It has been a perfect fit for her.

She’s been highly involved on campus, including joining the Young Women’s Caucus for Art where she has been the president for the last two years. She has also been part of the Servant Leadership House since its inception in the fall of 2014.

In 2015 Winter was able to make a lifelong dream of traveling to Finland come true as part of the Paloheimo Fellows program. During her time at FinnU she has also able to travel to Chicago and New York City with the Young Women’s Caucus for Art.

She entered her final semester with a 3.91 grade point average, and is the daughter of Cheryl Winter of Springfield, Illinois.

More about Shelby Winter

Graduation Lunch

A complementary Graduation Lunch will be served at the Finlandia Hall Cafe from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. for graduates, their guests, and Finlandia faculty. We hope you will attend.

Baccalaureate Worship Service

Finlandia University honors its graduating students with this religious farewell service. The Baccalaureate ceremony lasts approximately one hour. The ceremony is open to the public, with no limit on the number of guests graduates may invite. Tickets are not required. Baccalaureate will be held in the Chapel of Saint Matthew.

Commencement Rehearsal Information

Commencement rehearsal will take place on Friday, April 29 at 11 a.m. in the Paavo Nurmi Gym. You will find your seat and receive other instructions at the rehearsal. A run through of the ceremony will take place. Please attend if at all possible. If you are unable to attend rehearsal and plan to participate in commencement, please contact Kelli Garrison for information (contact information below).

Academic Attire-Caps and Gowns

All graduates participating in the Commencement ceremony are required to wear caps and gowns, with the exception of ROTC graduates, who may wear their military uniforms. There is no cost to the student for his or her cap and gown, unless the order is placed past the deadline. Students must be measured for their caps and gowns at North Wind Books from February 15-20, 2016. Contact Alana Nolan at North Wind Books for further information (contact information below).

Honors regalia and tassels should be worn with the cap and gown. No other objects, streamers, sashes, neckties, etc. may be attached to or worn outside of the cap and gown and only the mortarboard cap may be worn. Please note that the gowns are semi-transparent and this should be taken into consideration when determining what to wear under the gown.

Honors Information

Graduation honors are determined by a student’s cumulative GPA at Finlandia University. To achieve graduation honors at the associate degree level, students must have earned a minimum of 30 credits at Finlandia University. To achieve graduation honors at the baccalaureate degree level, students must have earned a minimum of 60 credits at Finlandia University.

Academic Services

Application for Graduation

For those graduating spring or summer of 2016, please be aware that you are required to complete and submit a graduation application. This application will be audited to verify whether or not you have completed all requirements for graduation. These should be returned as soon as possible. Students that do not submit this in advance of the January 2016 semester may risk not having all required classes for graduation.

Your advisor can help you fill out the form and work to have the information as accurate as possible prior to you submitting it. The graduation application has been emailed to your advisors or you can download it from the link below.

If there are any questions regarding the process, contact the registrar’s office.

Degree Requirements

Students who successfully complete their degree requirements by the end of the spring semester, and have applied for graduation, are generally eligible to participate in the spring baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies. A student must achieve, by mid-term of the semester, a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above, and no incomplete (I) grades may appear on a student’s transcript after March 30th.

An Associate degree student who has six or less credits to complete, and has registered to complete those credits during the summer session immediately following the ceremony, may participate in the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies.

Bachelor degree students who have two remaining program-required courses at the 300/400 level, and are registered to complete those courses during the summer session immediately following spring commencement are eligible to participate in the spring Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies.

Degree Audit

Typically completed prior to graduation, the purpose of a degree audit is to confirm that all degree program requirements have been fulfilled. After students register for their final semester at Finlandia University, they should apply for both graduation and a degree audit.

To track progress fulfilling degree program requirements, academic progress sheets for all programs are available at the registrar’s office and in the Finlandia University Catalog. For each academic program, the progress sheet lists course requirements on one side and suggested course sequence on the reverse. Each academic year, progress sheets are updated to reflect any program changes.

Students follow the progress sheet applicable to their year of entry into Finlandia University. Alternately, students may choose to follow program and degree requirements on a subsequent progress sheet. However, students may not combine requirements from progress sheets of different academic years. Students who interrupt their schooling at Finlandia University for more than one academic year forfeit the option to follow the Academic Progress Sheet of their original year of entry.

Dual Degrees

To be granted a second bachelor’s degree from Finlandia University in a different program, program requirements completed for the second bachelor’s degree must total at least 36 credits beyond the credits completed for the first bachelor’s degree. To be granted a second associate degree in a different program, program requirements completed for the second associate degree must total at least 24 credits beyond the credits completed for the first associate degree.Graduation Contacts


Alana NolanManager, North Wind BooksFinlandia Universityalana.nolan@finlandia.edu906-487-7309
Jason SullivanUniversity RegistrarFinlandia Universityjason.sullivan@finlandia.edu906-487-7272

Archived Information

2016 Graduation

2015 Graduation

2014 Graduation


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