2020 Baccalaureate & Commencement

Virtual Ceremonies

Congratulations Finlandia University, Class of 2020!

We are so excited to celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020. Finlandia’s baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies have gone virtual!
Graduates have worked extremely hard to reach this point. To celebrate, this year’s Virtual Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies will be streamed from this page. Baccalaureate will premiere on Sunday, May 3 at 10 a.m., while Commencement will air on Thursday, May 21, at 6 p.m. Access points are included on this page.
Finlandia’s faculty, staff, and administration invites graduates, families, and friends to gather online and make this the largest Finlandia graduation celebration ever!

2020 Virtual Commencement

Graduation from college is just one milestone you will remember for the rest of your lives. To celebrate your tremendous accomplishments, the 2020 Virtual Commencement ceremony will stream from the Finnish American Heritage Center on Thursday, May 21, at 6 p.m.

Commencement Program 2020

Student Rep 2020

Student Representative – Nicholas Tobey

The 2020 Student Representative, Nicholas Tobey, is an accounting major from St. Louis, Missouri. Tobey has earned a 4.0-grade point average and will be graduating Summa Cum Laude.

Tobey has made a difference in the Finlandia community by being a successful student and great leader. Tobey has been the Student Senate president for two years, a peer tutor, as well as a student ambassador.

Along with his achievements in and out of the classroom, Tobey was a member of the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Team, where he received the academic excellence award three times and was recognized on the NCHA All-Academic Team multiple times.

After graduation Tobey will be attending the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in June.


Commencement Speaker – Darlene King

The 2020 Commencement Speaker, Darlene King, ’90 Graduate of Suomi College, is the Executive Director of the Michigan Diversity Council (MIDC).

Having been through adversity in her life King will act as a voice of encouragement during the unprecedented times that graduates are being faced with during COVID-19. Her upbeat and determined demeanor will act as a support and congratulations to Finlandia University’s class of 2020.

“Darlene King’s vocational path began when she first arrived on the campus of Suomi College. At her parents’ suggestion, Darlene was urged to consider this ‘far away’ place – for exactly that reason. As she adjusted to the abrupt change in physical location and culture, Darlene’s experiences grew more intentional, leading to a life enriched with purpose, inclusion, and diversity, bound together by her strong Faith. If there is anyone who epitomizes the phrase ‘living a purpose-filled life’, it is Darlene King.” – Karin Van Dyke, Finlandia University’s Vice President of Advancement

Candidates for Graduation


Criminal Justice

Caleb Randall Scroggs#

Physical Therapist Assistant

Annika Bea Bekkala+**
Greta Pauline Berg+**^
Jared Joseph Bradford+
Carli Christine Daavettila+
Bethany Lynn Fehr+
Allie Lynne Greenlund+
Tyler Austin Hosking+***
Lisa Justina Keskimaki+
Kirsten Lynn L’Esperance+***
Curtis John Mick+*
Molly Marie Niemi+*
Kenley Elise Oosterhouse+**
Emma Sue Pietila+


General Studies

Paige Brown*
Thomas Joel Randell#


Art Therapy

Chelsea Marie LaPalme***^

Biology – Bachelor of Arts
Sarah Elizabeth Gundry
Paige Nicole Leier#

Biology – Bachelor of Science

Charles Jackson Macdonald

Criminal Justice

Bryce Steven Beauchaine*
Karri Dale Johnson
Emily Caitlin Lan Nguyen
Giordan Dominique Randazzo**^
Brandon William Teichman

English & History

Annie Jo Catherine Wills*(H)


Terry Hainstock
Addison Lewis Martin
Wilson Henry Spreier+

Liberal Studies

Allison Marie Cooper**
Seth Randall Dahl***(H)^
Jayson Walter Dahlquist+**
Avery Wyatt Huibregtse
Harold Allan Noble*


Kassandra Elizabeth Avila
Mamoonah Aisha Khokhar
Chengbin Xuan




Albert Alexander Hammond
Samantha Jo Richards#***^
Nicholas Thomas Tobey***^

Applied Sports Management

Molly Kristiin Berg**
Taylor Jean Nettell^
Taylor Lynn Pertile*
Kaitlyn Aili Ryynanen**-

Healthcare Management

Austin Paul Carlson
Dewan Latra Keeling
Kendra Rae Schmitt#**
Zuleiki Wilful Corsette Wight

International Business

Dare Mayomi Jr.

Management and Entrepreneurship

Brendan Callow
Patrick Alexander Coles#
Nikolaus William Geiser+
Makenna M. Gorham
Lindsey Michelle Johnson**
Shawn Donovan Knutson
Javier Alberto Martinez


Elle Lake Rowe

Sports Management

Brian Elisha Doyle
Mia Tatiana Glenn
Joey Krug#
Adrian Jess-Howard Saterstad#


Graphic Design

Denia Nikkia Bent**^
Shannon Marie Chouinard
Annah Elizabeth Smiddy


Mindy Nicole Aho*



Isabella Jean Abear
Amy L. Basolo**
Megan Marie Bruci**
Todd Anthony Essendrup**
Katherine Rae Helppi
Sarah Lynn Hockings
Benjamin Christian Johnson***(H)^
Brianne Marie Maggio
Timothy James Massoglia**
Mallorie Ann Norman
Christie Kathlene Plourde
Patrick J. Prouty Jr.*
Ashley Jeanne St. Germain
Brooke Nicole Turin
Jenni Marie Wolter
Andrea Marie Woolcox#

***summa cum laude (3.9-4.0 gpa)
**magna cum laude (3.7-3.89 gpa)
*cum laude (3.5-3.69 gpa)
(H) Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society
^Sampo Society
#Fall 2019 Graduate
+Summer 2020 Graduate



Ryan Bessolo, M.S.N., R.N.
Cindy Blake, M.S.N., R.N.
Pam Brown, M.S., P.T.
Fredi de Yampert, Ph.D., R.N.
Mark Miron, M.S.N. Ed., R.N.
Marnie Polkky, M.S.N., R.N.
Nicole Polakowski, B.S.P.T., P.T.
Theresa Rajala-Halsey, M.S.N., R.N.
Irina Sergeyeva, M.S.N. Ed., R.N.
Lori Sullivan, D.N.P., R.N.
Johnna Therrian, M.S.N., R.N.


Tom Adolphs, Ph.D.
Phyllis Fredendall, M.F.A.
Denise Vandeville, M.F.A.
Dylan Weiler, M.F.A.



Mary Jane Hatton, M.P.A.
Kevin Manninen, M.B.A.
Steven Nordstrom, M.A.
Laura Sieders, B.S.
Paul Werner, M.B.A.


Judith Budd, Ph.D.
Rebecca Daly, M.L.I.S.
Carolyn Dekker, Ph.D.
Richard Gee, Ph.D.
Patricia Gross, Ph.D.
Philip Johnson, Ph.D.
René Johnson, Ph.D.
Ashok Khanal, Ph.D.
William Knoblauch, Ph.D.
Matt Laird, M.S.
Mark Lounibos, Ph.D.
Juan Marin, Ph.D.
Jason Oyadomari, Ph.D.
Jeff Pettibone, Ph.D.
Michael Reay, Ph.D.
Hilary Virtanen, Ph.D.


Finlandia University’s annual baccalaureate service offers graduates and families the opportunity to gather for a time of worship centered on prayers, blessings, and homily. From Finlandia’s Chapel of St. Matthew, our Campus Pastor, Pastor Sarah Semmler Smith, presides over this special virtual edition. Graduates and families, faculty and staff, alumni, and friends are invited for a live stream on Sunday, May 3 at 10 a.m.

A learning community dedicated to academic
excellence, spiritual growth, and service

Finlandia University expresses its appreciation to:

The graduating class of 2020 and those who supported them
The 2020 Commencement Speakers
The Finlandia University Board of Trustees
Finlandia University Faculty, Staff and Administration