The operation of the college in Michigan began when the Finns wanted to ensure a better future for their children and a sufficient number of Finnish priests. Next fall, the economics degree aimed at European students was about to start.
The last remaining college founded by Finnish immigrants who moved to North America is ending its operations, says The Daily Mining Gazette (you are moving to another service)-magazine.
The reason for the closure of Suomi College, founded in 1896, located in Hancock, Michigan and originally called Suomi College, is said to be financial difficulties and changes in the population base
Suomi College later became a college of arts and was named Finlandia University in 2000.
Chairman of the board of the university Michael Nakkula emphasized in his statement that not a single stone was left unturned when the possibilities for further operations were explored.
– However, in order to respect Finlandia University’s 126-year-old legacy, we have to end its operation as dignified as possible, he stated.
The principal has studied at Finlandia University the most by Tim Pinnow including about 650 students. In recent years, the university has tried to overcome its financial difficulties by, among other things, reducing its staff and selling its real estate assets, the newspaper says.
Some time ago, the university was planning to start new education programs in social media marketing and e-sports, as well as a one-year economics degree aimed at European students. All three programs were scheduled to start next fall.
The students were speechless when they heard the news, the second year studying sports management Michael Kolb told the newspaper in an interview. According to him, rumors about the cancellation had been circulating for some time, but their realization is still a shock to the students. Students are allowed to complete their academic studies during the spring, but the school’s sports programs were closed immediately.
Working in connection with the university of the Finnish American Cultural Center (you will switch to another service) will reportedly continue to operate despite the shutdown.
We went to the “West” in search of a bigger bread and to escape the harsh conditions in Finland
Immigrated from Finland between 1860 and 1940 about 400,000 Finns to the United States. (you switch to another service) In Michigan, the nature and environment resembled Finnish homes, and the region needed large numbers of forest and agricultural workers accustomed to harsh conditions. The mining industry also flourished and gold mining also attracted Finns to the northern states of that time. Along with wider bread, Russia’s repressive measures and conscription law were forces pushing Finland away.
Finlandia University was founded in 1896 as Suomi College and Theological Seminary by Finnish immigrants who wanted to educate their children to do better in the developing American society. There was also a fear that the activities of the Finnish congregations would cease due to a lack of priests, and that is why they wanted to take care of priest training, says Finlandia’s 125th anniversary page. (you switch to another service)
According to the party website, the food intake of students from modest circumstances was improved in the early years by keeping its own cow at the university for fresh milk and butter. Local farmers were also asked to donate feed for the cow and farm products for food for the students.
The website also says that the pastor who arrived in Hancock in 1895 and one of the university’s first teachers, Jooseppi Riippa, would have composed the song Kotimaani opmi Suomi, often marked as a folk tune. The origin was explained in Suomi-Seura’s Suomen silta magazine in 1983.
Many Americanized descendants of Finnish immigrants still live in Michigan and other northern states, some of whom are very interested in their Finnish roots. This is illustrated, among other things, by the fact that the participation of American Finns in the Finnfest event every summer continues to be lively. Next summer Finnfests (you switch to another service)takes place in Duluth, Minnesota.
Written by Antti Tuuri and directed by Rauli Virtanen, Areena’s Hurjia Suomalaisia series (2009) introduces the history of Finns in America.