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Stepping In: Preserving University Cultural Assets

FFN Steps in to Preserve Cultural Assets Previously Held by Finlandia University.

Finlandia University, founded in 1896 as Suomi College in Hancock, Michigan, announced its decision on March 2, 2023, to not enroll students for the 2023-2024 academic year. It was the only remaining institution of higher learning in North America founded by Finns.

Upon learning of the decision, the board of Finlandia Foundation National acted to assume responsibility for the many cultural assets of the university, and on June 15, FFN’s offer was accepted. The organization is now the caretaker of the Finnish American Heritage Center and its extensive archives and artifacts, the monthly Finnish American Reporter, the Finnish American Folk School, the Art Gallery, War Museum and North Wind Books store.

Quote from Anne-Mari Paster, FFN president

“This is a positive outcome for what could have been an unacceptable fate for these precious materials, programs and resources,” says Anne-Mari Paster, FFN president. “This marks not the end, but the beginning of a new and meaningful project. We have our work to do in caring for these heritage items and planning for their future.

“It is absolutely compatible with why Finlandia Foundation was founded 70 years ago. We are here to preserve our roots in Finland, and at the same time build on that connection with the current and future generations. We consider this new purpose an honor and duty.”