The 2023 Student Representative, Kaitlyn Lundeen, is a healthcare management major from Maple, Wisc. Lundeen earned a 3.92 grade point average and will be graduating Summa Cum Laude with an associate physical therapist assistant (PTA) degree, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Healthcare Management and a minor in psychology.
“I think it’s an extreme honor to be able to be the representative for this class,” Lundeen said. “It means a lot to be able to help leave some parting words with the Class of 2023 and help them realize how great of an opportunity we’ve had here, and for the last 126 years that people have attended Finlandia.”
From Maple, Wisc., Lundeen attended Northwestern High School. After falling in love with Finlandia’s small-town community, tight-knit atmosphere and student-to-faculty ratio during a recruiting visit, Lundeen attended FinnU as a freshman in the fall of 2018 to pursue a degree in PTA and compete for the Lions Women’s Basketball team. After attaining an associate PTA degree, she would continue her studies toward a BBA in healthcare management with FinnU’s 2+2 degree offering.
“Growing up, I always wanted to be in the healthcare field. And researching into exactly how I wanted to do that, I realized that physical therapy really captured what I wanted to do. Since I am an athlete and have dealt with previous injuries, I decided this is something I’d like to help others with, treating their injuries and getting them back up and going again,” Lundeen said.
“It meant a lot being able to pursue an education that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and also have the experience to continue playing the sport that I love. And meeting all types of people from all over the country, it’s just been an amazing opportunity.”
On January 6, 2022, Lundeen became the 7th women’s basketball player in school history to reach 1,000 points. In 82 games played, Lundeen sits as the all-time leader in free throws made and free throw percentage, second in free throw attempts (398) and field goal percentage (.501), fifth in scoring (1,206) and seventh in rebounding (563). After an injury in her final season, Lundeen stepped up to lead her teammates as an assistant coach while continuing to serve as team captain.
A favorite memory from her time at FinnU: winning the 2020 ACAA Championship.
“One of the biggest memories that pops out is when we won the ACAA Championship, three years ago now, and just how much joy everybody got out of that from not only working hard in the classroom but working hard on the court as well.”
Off the court, Lundeen is known for her dedication to academic excellence, uplifting spirit and deep commitment to community service – the embodiment of Finlandia University’s mission. On April 14, Lundeen was awarded membership into the Sampo Society for graduating students whose academic success is highest and most well-rounded. Recipients must have earned a cumulative grade point average above 3.7 and have shown leadership, commitment, achievement, initiative, and involvement in the cultural and intellectual life of the campus and community. While studying at Finlandia, Lundeen spent a significant amount of time volunteering in her hometown school district, as well as being a member of Finlandia’s Student PTA Club.
“Our PTA program here has been phenomenal. The professors have all been great with helping us find clinical placements that meet what we want to do and the path that we want to go along. And just helping us prepare for our future as PTAs, helping us pass the national exam — the professors are just great at getting us there and helping us create those skills.”
After graduation, Lundeen plans to move to the Greater Seattle Area to pursue a career in physical therapy.
Commencement Weekend Schedule
Friday, May 5
- Commencement Rehearsal: 11:30 a.m. in Hirvonen Hall Gymnasium
Sunday, May 7
- Baccalaureate: 10:30 a.m. at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
- Commencement Ceremony: 1:30 p.m. in Hirvonen Hall Auditorium
- Commencement Reception: Will take place immediately following commencement, on Quincy Green
- Service of Commendation for Finlandia University: 6:00 p.m. in Hirvonen Hall Auditorium