2019 Graduation at Finlandia University

Latest Updates on Graduation Day 2019

2019 Finlandia University Graduation

2019 Graduation Day Schedule

  • Sunday, May 5, 2019
  • Baccalaureate: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Chapel of St. Matthew
  • Graduation Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Finlandia Hall Café
  • Commencement: 1:30 p.m. at the Paavo Nurmi Gym


Shelby Winter Finlandia University SpeakerCommencement rehearsal is Friday, May 3 at 11:00 a.m. in the Paavo Nurmi Gym. A run-through of the ceremony will take place, and you will receive other instructions for commencement day, too. Attendance at rehearsal is extremely important, but if you are unable to attend rehearsal yet plan to participate in the ceremony, please contact Lisa Johnson, Administrative Coordinator for Academic and Student Affairs (contact information below).


All graduates participating in the ceremony are required to wear caps and gowns, with the exception of ROTC graduates, who may wear their military uniforms. There is no cost for academic attire as long as the order has been placed by the deadline. For more information on cap and gown measurements and orders, contact Alana Nolan at North Wind Books (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 the cap and gown, and only the mortarboard cap may be worn. When determining what to wear under the gown, please take into consideration the gowns are semi-transparent.


Finlandia University honors its graduating students with this religious farewell service, which will be held in the Chapel of Saint Matthew on Sunday, May 5 at 10:00 a.m. The ceremony is open to the public, with no limit on the number of guests graduates may invite. Graduation ceremony attire is not required, but please dress in Sunday best!


A complimentary graduation lunch will be served in the Finlandia Hall Cafe from 11:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on graduation day for graduates, guests, and Finlandia faculty. We hope everyone will make plans to attend!

COMMENCEMENT day instructions for graduates

Graduates should arrive no later than 12:45 p.m. to begin lining up in Paavo’s strength and conditioning room located in the lower level of the gym. During the ceremony, graduates will be presented with a diploma cover, and individual diplomas will be mailed at a later time to the address provided on the graduation application. Graduates who are unable to attend the ceremony will receive their diplomas by mail, but diploma covers
must be picked up in person at the registrar’s office.

Tickets for the commencement ceremony are not required, and there is no limit to the number of guests allowed per graduate. Those who have guests requiring special reserved seating (limited mobility or wheelchair access) should contact Lisa Johnson, Administrative Coordinator for Academic and Student Affairs (contact information posted at the bottom of this page). A maximum of four seats per graduate can be reserved for guests requiring special seating.

Commencement parking is located in the front parking lot of Finlandia Hall and the south entrance of the Paavo Nurmi Athletic Center, which is accessed via Scott Street. Those requiring barrier-free access and parking 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.

COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER – Bishop Katherine a. finegan

The Rev. Katherine A. Volz Finegan was elected by the Synod Assembly in 2017 to become the fourth bishop of the Northern Great Lakes Synod and is currently serving a six year term as bishop.

She is a graduate of Valparaiso University in Indiana with degrees in English and Secondary Education and received her Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2002.

Finegan served as Youth Minister at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Paul from 1988-2000. She was called to serve Bethany Lutheran in Republic, Michigan in 2002. In 2012, she received the call to serve as Assistant to Bishop Thomas Skrenes. She and her husband, Dave, live in Ishpeming and have three sons.


Haley Makela is a senior marketing major from Atlantic Mine, MI. She cites her family values as the core of everything she does. Makela will be graduating Summa Cum Laude.

She is a well decorated dual sport athlete in both women’s Soccer and Basketball. Makela made it a point to be involved on Finlandia’s campus as Vice President of Student Senate, Student Representative for the Equity and Diversity Committee, part of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, member of Business Professionals of America and an Orientation leader.


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.



For those graduating spring or summer of 2019, 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 before their last 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.


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.


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.


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.


Jason SullivanUniversity RegistrarFinlandia Universityjason.sullivan@finlandia.edu906-487-7272

Archived Information



2016 Graduation

2015 Graduation

2014 Graduation


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