Students in field

Chef Mark highlights community and Winter Welcome

January 6, 2017

The small town charm and beautiful natural surroundings had Mark Pittillo smitten for Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, and now after living here for more than half a decade it’s the people that “Chef Mark” appreciates most. Especially the students he’s surrounded by at Finlandia University.


Mark Pittillo, Food Service Director at Finlandia University.

“Never did I imagine it would be as rewarding as it has been,” Pittillo said about his experience working at Finlandia. “The kids are incredible. I appreciate them on a daily basis.”

Pittillo sees plenty of them as the head of Dining Services here at the university. In that role, he’s developed some great relationships that showcase what happens on a small campus. One student even invited him to their house for a holiday meal.

“She’s just one example of many of the great students that are here,” he said. “They sometimes get overshadowed by other things that go on in our lives, but these students work hard.”

Spaghetti feed a key event in Winter Welcome

Chef Mark and his staff will be flexing their collective cooking muscles on Monday night as they host a spaghetti dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in Finlandia Hall. The meal is open to all students and their families, as well as staff and faculty.

“This is to welcome everyone back to campus,” Pittillo said. “We want to welcome everyone back right. We’re going to do a big spaghetti feed. This will be first class with meat sauce, something for vegetarians, garlic bread and the salad bar.”

The event will also feature a special, can’t-miss, dessert, one that Pittillo said he hasn’t even informed his staff of yet. “You’ll have to be there to see it,” he said. The meal is, of course free, for anyone in the campus community. Learn more about Winter Welcome in this news story from earlier this week. 



The Finlandia Fridays team is also looking for some extra set pieces as donations. Possible ideas include Finlandia jerseys, alumni memorabilia, Finlandia attire or artwork.

If you’d like to donate please email us, communications@finlandia.edu.


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