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 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.

Livestream Recordings

125th Anniversary Sunday Worship Service

Finlandia Through The Years

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

Image Gallery

125th Anniversary 2021

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125 Anniversary In the News

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Experience the 125th Anniversary

February 02, 2022

In December, Finlandia welcomed students, faculty and staff along with alumni, friends and family to a series of events in commemoration of the institution’s 125th anniversary. In honor of its Finnish and Lutheran heritage, Finlandia celebrated Finnish Independence Day for the 104th time at the Finnish American Heritage Center following a Sunday worship service at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock.

The anniversary celebrations didn’t stop on Sunday. In the week following, the Finlandia University Gallery held the 31st Annual Contemporary […] Read More

Participating artists in the 2020 ISAD Alumni Exhibit
Gallery announce dates for upcoming exhibit receptions, Feb. 3 & 24

January 27, 2022

Finlandia University Gallery is hosting two upcoming events on Feb. 3 and 24. Experience the 31st Annual Contemporary Finnish American Artist Series Exhibition live at the Gallery on Thursday, Feb. 3 from 7 to 8 p.m. The free, open to the public reception for the artist Natalie Salminen Rude will be featuring her exhibit, “in·ter·stice: (noun) a small intervening space”.

On Thursday, Feb. 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., alumni will discuss their artwork at a live reception of the Internation […] Read More

Natalie Salminen Rude Video
31st Annual Contemporary Finnish American Artist Series Exhibition Virtual Reception | Finlandia University Gallery

January 07, 2022

On Thursday, December 9, 2021, the Finlandia University Gallery held a virtual reception of the 31st Annual Contemporary Finnish American Artist Series Exhibition featuring the artwork of Natalie Salminen Rude. The exhibit is open to the public until Feb. 4.

At the reception, Finnish American artist Natalie Salminen Rude presented an exhibit titled “in·ter·stice: (noun) a small intervening space”. Contemplative, multidisciplinary and inquisitive, Salminen Rude aims to identify and uncover the dehumanizing forces found within technology and systemization. What is to […] Read More

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