Students in field

Opportunity knocked and Keith Arnold answered

February 24, 2017

Laying in his dorm room during the first week of school, this week’s Finlandia Fridays guest Keith Arnold could barely sleep. The relative quietness of his surrounding, compared to the freeways and hustle and bustle of his hometown of Detroit was almost all encompassing to the 18-year-old Finlandia University freshman. That didn’t last long though.

Keith Arnold on Finlandia FridaysSoon it was Student Senate (Vice President as a junior, President as a senior), NCAA Division III Basketball, Black Student Union, study abroad to Europe and Title IX Committee. … and that list is just the formal involvements he had during his four years at FinnU. “I feel like those opportunities helped shape me into the person I am today,” said Arnold. “It also enhanced the experience I had at Finlandia.” That experience also led him quickly into his career after college. He worked for Quicken Loans in two positions before moving back to the Upper Peninsula during the summer of 2016 to accept a position as an admissions officer at Finlandia.

Basketball offers more opportunity for keith Arnold

In addition to working in admissions, he’s also serving in a familiar role as the assistant coach for the men’s basketball team. That includes coaching former teammate Brandon Robinson, Finlandia’s newest 1,000-point scorer. “He came in my senior year, I was actually his orientation leader,” Arnold said. “He reminded me a lot of myself, and we grew a relationship off of that. He’s a very competitive athlete, which I love.”

Arnold said his first season behind the bench with the Lions was a fun one, and included creating some meaningful relationships with the members of the team. The goal now, he said, is to build the program into one of the most prestigious in the Midwest. Head coach Mike O’Donnell and Arnold are looking for the perfect players to move the program forward during the 2017-18 season.

Old Main GoFundMe

In addition to talking with Arnold, Finlandia Fridays host introduced a new crowdfunding venture being put on by the Finlandia Alumni Board to raise $45,000 for a new roof on Old Main. “It’s our first step in our long-term plan for the future of a building that’s been part of our campus for more than 100 years,” Finlandia Fridays host Michael  H. Babcock said.

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Check out the new sign

Vintage Suomi College Directional Sign

This sign was discovered in a campus building in late 2016 by Jason Sullivan and made available to Finlandia Fridays thanks to the facilities staff at the university. It was used during FinnFest in the 1960s or 1970s. Do you know anything about it? E-mail us – communications@finlandia.edu – we’d love to know more about its history!


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