Our annual donor edition of the Bridge offers me a special opportunity to express my deep, deep
gratitude for those who have financially supported Finlandia's educational mission during this
past year. Many of your gifts support our operating needs through the Annual Fund. Finlandia's
Advancement office raises 15 percent of our operating costs, and the Annual Fund is always our
number-one priority. I thank you for making it yours, as well. In the pages that follow you will
again appreciate the distinctive learning experience that Finlandia offers its students, made
possible, in large part, by your generosity and faithful giving. Thank you.
Featured in this issue of the Bridge are the activities, programs, students, and faculty of
Finlandia's International School of Art & Design. I am convinced you will experience the
energy and vitality of this part of our learning community. You will also hear about Finlandia's
newest commitments to marketing: a soon-to-be-launched redesigned university website plus
new television spots. The message, and its package and delivery, is something we are constantly
looking to improve.
Campus News tells you about recent guests enjoyed by both the university and community
residents. Such shared experiences are the norm, of course. There are many times, in fact, when
I am not certain if an event is "community" or "university." I'm not sure it matters. I think this
is how it should be. If you read this issue closely, you will appreciate how embedded the
community is in Finlandia's life, and Finlandia's life in the community.
My conviction is that what we plan programmatically we need to execute strategically. Here is
what we are doing about that. In Finlandia's new mid-term strategic plan, campus and
community have been closely linked in a proposal entitled: "Campus and Community:
Together for Good." The proposal outlines an enduring, innovative exchange between
Finlandia and the local school district of Hancock. It is an exchange that draws on the strengths
of each, promotes wise and needed community stewardship, and creates growth potential for
both. It is my hope that this proposal will gain additional support and be further enhanced
through imaginative discussions with Finlandia's closest neighbors. I will keep you posted.
Enjoy your reading. And, again, thank you for walking alongside us.
Philip Johnson, Ph.D.
Winter 2008 Bridge