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125 Year Anniversary

Celebrating 125 Years

125 years ago, hardy and hard-working Finnish Lutheran immigrants founded a school in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Their lives were marked by a gritty quality captured in the Finnish term, sisu – grit and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Begun in the late 19th century as Suomi College to prepare young men and women from immigrant families for work in the United States, we are today Finlandia University inspired by our vision to prepare graduates for the 21st century workplace and world.

Finlandia’s roots are not only Finnish. They are Lutheran as well, today belonging to a 26-member Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities (NECU) whose shared vision is to graduate men and women who are called and empowered, to serve the neighbor, so that all may flourish.

We hope you take a moment to enjoy this page to learn about our important historic milestones, view upcoming events and help us ensure Finlandia continues to thrive for the next 125 years and beyond.

If there’s a story you think should be included here, please reach out to Archivist Joanna Chopp by mail, phone, or email. Chopp can also be reached for questions regarding the anniversary celebrations: Joanna Chopp, Archivist, Finnish American Historical Archive •601 Quincy St. Hancock, MI 49930 • 906-487-7347 • archive@finlandia.edu

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125 Anniversary In the News

Festival Ruska 2022
Celebrate Festival Ruska at the Finnish American Folk School

September 22, 2022

In their most recent newsletter, the Finnish American Folk School shares everything you need to know about Festival Ruska 2022! Established by the Finnish American Heritage Center and led by Phyllis Fredendall and Clare Zuraw, the Finnish American Folk School exists to ensure that Finnish-American folk traditions exist for centuries to come.

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Join us in celebrating Ruska – fall color season – at the Finnish American Folk School. This year we’ll be featuring fiber artist Anita Salminen Jain to teach and […] Read More

Folk School
Folk School announces programming for Fall 2022

September 19, 2022

The Finnish American Folk School has released its August 2022 newsletter! Established by the Finnish American Heritage Center and led by Phyllis Fredendall and Clare Zuraw, the Finnish American Folk School exists to ensure that Finnish-American folk traditions exist for centuries to come.

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The FAFS took a bit of a breather after the whirlwind of Juhannus celebrations, but now we’re back and excited to share our latest news with all of you. First, we’d like to express our thanks […] Read More

Hoover Center
Preserving History: Old Main and Hoover Center

July 28, 2022

In 1899, more than 2,000 people gathered at the site of Suomi College’s first building to witness and take part in the laying of the cornerstone. 123 years later, Finlandia University once again welcomes its community from near and far to be a part of history.

Join us on Saturday, July 30 as we paint the Hoover Center and restore a handful of Old Main’s most timeworn sandstones. Stop by for a little while, or the whole day, but don’t miss […] Read More