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Nearly 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.
Over the next three years, Finlandia 2021 – Rise Together will deliver the funding needed to more fully realize Finlandia’s vision. Finlandia’s alumni and friends have demonstrated extraordinary generosity in raising $15,000,000 toward our $25,000,000 goal. And now, Rise Together spurs all of us on to a strong finish: $10,000,000 over the next three years.
Rise Together is about Finlandia, rising to the challenges and opportunities in higher education today. And it is about you, our alumni and friends, rising to be counted among those who choose again or for the first time to live generously with Finlandia and her students. We rise together.
Students are up-front and center in Rise Together. $10,000,000 over the next three years will have an enduring impact on Finlandia’s capacity to fund the following four student-centered priorities:
Meeting the financial needs of those who deserve and desire to go to college–this has always been Finlandia at its best. We are able to offer students one of the most affordable private college experiences in the upper midwest by controlling costs, managing tuition increases, and offering generous financial aid.
My ability to learn, my ability to take tests has never been an issue. But money and the kind of support I had growing up was not there, so having those scholarships really filled a gap that was out of my control. Without the scholarships, I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't have that step up to get myself out of that situation, because there is just no other way out.
I was extremely excited to learn that I had been chosen for the Finnish Strong Scholarship. As a result of your generosity, it will help me pursue an education outside of high school that no one in my family has yet to achieve.
The size of the school and the first meet and greet just won me over. I appreciate the helping hand, letting a stranger continue my education with Finlandia. Thank you for giving me another chance at growing with other like minded individuals. I cannot express how grateful I am to continue school.
The quality of our academic programs is directly linked to the quality of our faculty. Recruiting and retaining top faculty requires funding levels that enable Finlandia to attract those with qualities and credentials students expect. The result is higher numbers of students successfully entering their careers of choice or enrolling in desired graduate studies.
Finlandia supports student learning with a constellation of up-close and personal advising, tutoring, and academic coaching, all contributing to our students’ success and well-being. Increased funding will ensure that students will rise to their full potential.
COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCES INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES
These state-of-the-art technologies will include, among other things, a complete family of computer patient simulators that brings real-life clinical experiences into our labs. Together with our outstanding faculty and program-leading clinical site requirements, these institutional technologies will enable Finlandia to graduate the best prepared health care professionals in the region.
CENTER FOR VOCATION AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Finlandia will become a model of vocational discernment and career preparation in higher education. Strengths oriented self-exploration will empower students to reflect most meaningfully on career and lifestyle choices while enrolled and preparing for life and work following graduation.
SMART CLASSROOMS – SMARTER STUDENTS
A complete furnishing and technology upgrade for all 21 classrooms in Finlandia’s central instructional block. This project will revolutionize the student experience and improve student learning by creating truly inspiring learning environments.
MANNERHEIM CENTRAL STUDENT CENTER
Renovating Finlandia’s former dining area with Finnish style furnishings and student-popular amenities, study corners, and a coffee shop will greatly enhance the campus experience for both residential and commuter students.
STUDENT SUPPORT COMMONS
A newly renovated student-friendly campus space that gathers up all of our student support and student service programs that students rely on every day for success.
Most recent generosity from alumni and friends has enabled us to:
• Recruit and retain top faculty whose first love is to teach;
• Build stronger, persisting student cohorts;
• Improve retention by 20 percent in two years;
• Increase the size of our marketing and communications team by 100 percent; and
• Invest wisely and substantially in three partnerships aimed at growing enrollment and revenue.
Raising $10,000,000 over the next three years means students will:
• Have greater access to a Finlandia degree than ever before;
• Experience deeper levels of engagement with faculty and staff who enthusiastically embrace our brand of up close and personal higher education;
• Achieve higher rates of academic success and deeper levels of personal growth; and
• Live and learn in spaces that inspire curiosity and more fully prepare them for the 21st-century workplace and world.
We envision Finlandia’s 125th anniversary as both a landing and a launch. We look now to you, Finlandia’s alumni and friends. It is your generosity and investment in our students, our programs, and our facilities that will make the difference as we rise together for Finlandia’s next season of growth.
January 17, 2022
Instructional renovations at Hirvonen Hall have provided Finlandia’s Esports program with a new state-of-the-art arena. With well over 20 active players, the new space includes 14 top-of-the-line personal computers, 4k TVs, numerous consoles, a VR machine and a green screen streaming studio. Opening their doors for Finlandia students, their family and friends to enjoy the new equipment, Esports hosts open houses on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to midnight and Sundays 1 to 7 p.m.
Head Coach Lincoln Sorensen is […] Read More
January 04, 2022
It is not taking long at all for the new name to catch on: Hirvonen Hall.
Named for Peg and Ray Hirvonen in recognition of the family’s legacy of extraordinary leadership and generosity, the iconic former Hancock Central High School building now delivers Finlandia’s gold-star accredited health sciences programs. Additional funding for the renovation of interior spaces and state-of-the-art technology was provided by many other friends and alumni whose support is recognized with named classrooms, labs and offices. Two foundations, the […] Read More
December 20, 2021
Student support initiatives at Finlandia University provide opportunities for alumni, families and friends to remove barriers and promote academic and spiritual success for all students. These initiatives are characterized by selfless devotion, endless generosity and support.
Raising a record $15,000 for Giving Day 2021, a fundraiser established by the Finlandia Alumni Board (FAB) to raise money for student textbook awards, the FAB realized an opportunity to share this expression with other on-campus student support initiatives. In doing so, the FAB […] Read More