Dear Friends and Alumni,
In this spring issue of the Bridge, our theme centers on Finlandia's Campus and Community: Together
for Good. I mentioned this briefly in our winter issue, and I promised to "keep you posted." Though
you will find various expressions and explanations of this collaboration in the pages that follow, I want
to share some updates.
In December, a letter of agreement with Gundlach Champion and Hitch Engineering and Architects
was drafted and signed to provide preliminary assessments, designs, budgets, and a construction
schedule. These documents were completed in mid-February. These services were offered without
charge in anticipation of future engagement when projects move forward. Finlandia is grateful for this
In late January, respective governing bodies supported and ratified the initiative. Finlandia's Board of
Trustees unanimously endorsed the collaboration.
In February, the Campus and Community Joint Committee began meeting. The Joint Committee is
made up of key leadership from the university, the Hancock Public School District, and the City of
Hancock. Through its regular meetings the committee ensures that care and attention is given to current
commitments, and to the various eventualities that will surface as we execute the projects and plans of
A centerpiece of this exchange is the Hancock Award, a tuition remission program offered to Hancock
Central High School graduates beginning with the class of 2009. Applications were developed and
distributed to Hancock seniors in February. By the March 1 deadline, Finlandia had received twenty-eight
applications for the fall 2009 Award. Historically, Finlandia has enrolled an average of eight
students from Hancock. Our first objective was to achieve a robust inaugural cohort of Award recipients.
This seems assured.
Meetings were held in March with City of Hancock leadership and area residents. On March 23, the
concept plan for development of the athletic field complex called Condon Field was unanimously
supported. A final vote for full approval will occur in early April.
I am strongly encouraged by the support and good will evident in the community. I am also encouraged
by the steps already taken to realize the implementation of this collaboration. I am convinced that
Campus and Community: Together for Good:
• possesses strength and soundness in its form, as well as its content;
• will provide many more students the opportunity to experience the distinct value of a
Finlandia education; and
• will enable Finlandia and its neighbors to emerge stronger from these challenging times.
The support of friends and alumni is needed in order for Finlandia's students to fully realize the benefits
offered in this strategic collaboration. New and increased gifts to our Annual Fund provide resources we
need to deliver day-to-day quality and excellence for our students. These gifts do more than any other to
well-position the university for executing Campus and Community. Finlandia's learning community of
students, faculty, staff, and administration join me in thanking you for your stubborn and strong support.
Together with its closest neighbors, Finlandia University is imagining a future more fully committed to
a deep and enduring collaboration. We are building on solid ground here. This is timely. This is fitting.
This is a good thing. Thank you for coming along.
There is good reading ahead. Enjoy.
Philip Johnson, Ph.D.