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Finlandia University - Amerikansuomalainen yliopisto

Hancock, Michigan

Finlandia University is in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula just minutes from the southern shore of Lake Superior. Natural beauty, mining and immigrant history, a thriving arts community, and year-round outdoor recreation opportunities are plentiful in this region known as the Copper Country.

Finnish Heritage

Finlandia University was founded in 1896 as Suomi College, but its heritage extends hundreds of years before that. Finnish people developed the attitude of “sisu” or “persistence and determination” during the early years of their country’s formation. It is with this steadfast attitude that Suomi College was established. After years of hard labor in the Upper Peninsula mining and lumber camps, Finnish immigrants began to dream of a better life for their children and future Finnish- American generations. They found their answer in Suomi College.


Finlandia is one of 28 U.S. colleges and universities affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the only private not-for-profit institution of higher learning in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is the only remaining university in North America founded by Finnish immigrants. The institution is made up of two schools and two colleges: the International School of Art & Design, the International School of Business, the Suomi College of Arts & Sciences, and the College of Health Sciences.