Betsey Norgard lived in Minneapolis for 30 years, where she was active in the Finnish community. She was a founding member and served as president of the Twin Cities Finlandia Foundation Chapter, as well as working with the Minneapolis-Kuopio Sister City Partnership and the Twin Cities Finnish Network. She danced with the Kisarit Folkdancers and played in the Koivun Kaiku kantele ensemble, performing in both the U.S. and Finland.
Betsey was born in Brooklyn, New York, where her mother’s family settled after immigrating from the Åland Islands. She grew up in upstate New York and moved to Minnesota to study Scandinavian Languages and Literature at the University of Minnesota. In 1984-85, she spent the year as an ASLA Fulbright student in Turku and Åland, while studying literature at Åbo Akademi, and earlier, had participated in a Ministry of Education summer seminar, Svenskt i Finland. Recently, she became a Finnish citizen and now has dual citizenship.
A freelance writer and editor, Betsey spent nearly 20 years at Augsburg College in Minneapolis as director of publications and editor of the college magazine. She received a BA from the School of International Service at American University, and an MA in Latin American Studies from Indiana University, following a year of teaching English in Brazil.
Betsey and Alan Norgard live on the Iron Range in Minnesota, on a century-old farm in a township settled by Finns.