Students in field

Party with the Prez!

December 15, 2021

President Johnson CVC

Article provided by Finlandia University Seaton Center for Vocation & Career.

President Johnson joined first year students in November to play games, share some treats and make connections with those wrapping up their first semester at Finlandia. Sisu Seminar students gathered in the CVC on November 2 and 4 and had the opportunity to win cash by beating the Prez in ping-pong, outsmart him in a round of “To Tell the Truth,” and learn which of their fellow students share President Johnson’s top five CliftonStrengths: Connectedness, Developer, Belief, Empathy, and Learner.

Students also had a chance to ask the President some questions, both fun and meaningful. Below are President Johnson’s responses to several of the important topics students raised, plus some new insight into his likes and dislikes!

Why did you want to become President at Finlandia?

I was asked to consider the opportunity when my predecessor announced his retirement. In short, I thought I might be able to offer the leadership that was needed for Finlandia. I did not seek out a presidency. This one seemed to seek me out. I am grateful for that.

Where do you see the university in 4 years?

A growing campus that serves over 600 students who are academically successful, socially responsible, and community engaged.

When will visitors be allowed in the dorm?

When our community COVID numbers show steady and strong declines.

Why are we still masking?

Masks make a difference. It’s not the whole answer to mitigating COVID. It’s not the perfect answer to mitigating COVID. It is only one part of the answer, but an important part. I follow mask protocols because I believe I am doing my part to stop the spread of a virus that is on its way to killing 800,000 people in the U.S. The inconvenience of masks can be so aggravating at times (especially for those of us who wear glasses). Yet I’m almost embarrassed to think that I would allow such a small, personal inconvenience to sway my behavior. Moreover, the sense of infringement on my individual rights when protocols mandate masks doesn’t rise to the level of my higher priority to simply do what I can to protect those around me. Vaccines protect me. Masks protect others. I cannot know at all times that I am not positive and could unknowingly transmit the disease.

What’s the best advice you can give to our generation?

People are the thing. Tend to your relationships all along the way. Diplomas, careers, professional and personal achievements are worthy of pursuit and celebration. But what truly endures, what gives life its deepest meaning, is human relationships: to love and to be loved. That’s it.

Favorite hobby: Fishing
Right-handed or left-handed: Left
Favorite movie: Waterworld
College attended: Waldorf College, Forest City, IA; Concordia College, Moorhead, MN
Favorite restaurant in town: Best pizza place – Studio Pizza
Favorite song: Hotel California, Eagles, 1977
Favorite sports team: Vikings
Best thing to do in the area: Get outside in all seasons!

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