HANCOCK, Mich. (WZMQ) – Finlandia University students and the community of Hancock are still in shock.
“I basically found out on my way to picking up my son from e-sports,” said community member Ernie Beutler.
The university has been a big part of the area for 126 years, and the closure will be a big change for the Hancock community.
“You’re going to see a lot of people without jobs, but you’re going to see a lot people who have to leave,” continued Beutler.
Some students say the announcement should have come much earlier for faculty and staff who now have to face the stress of job security.
“I really think it should have been separated between students and faculty because faculty have put more of an emphasis on their lives being in the school,” said Finlandia Lion Sage Motta.
Finlandia University is home to around 400 students and almost 200 members of faculty. The school offered degrees in art and design, business, liberal studies, and health sciences. It’s probably best known for it’s nursing program, which had a graduation rate of 88% and a 100% placement rate in 2020-2022.
“I’d hate to be half way through my degree right now or worse having thought you had a career and then just seeing the plug get pulled,” said Beutler.
It’s not just students and faculty affected, but local organizations as well.
The Community Alliance for Progressive Education rents space from the university for after-school programs. Now, it might have to change course.
“That’s the space we rent from Finlandia, so I don’t know how that’s going to effect us. You know, we might be looking for a new space– I don’t really know,” said Beutler.
Although many questions remain, many students, current and past, say they’re proud to be a Finlandia Lion.