HANCOCK, Mich. (WZMQ) – Finlandia held its final commencement ceremony Sunday afternoon. The final graduates of Finlandia spoke of their many memories over the years as a lion. Graduates walked with pride as they graduated the last class of the 126-year-old university.
“It doesn’t feel real not gonna lie with you I was anxious I wanted to get it over with but as soon as I sat there and I walked on stage I was like I’m so happy I got my degree,” said Finlandia Graduate Paulyne Cagacutan.
“I don’t know for it to actually be here it’s like weird to think that it’s my graduation and I’m done like I didn’t really ever think about it when I was first starting,” commented Finlandia Graduate Martina Jahfetson.
Although the closure may mean the doors are closed, President Timothy Pinnow said the word Finlandia has now changed to mean more than just a place.“The 126-year history of a physical place is coming to an end I hope we all conveyed to everyone that now Finlandia becomes a verb and not a noun”
Later in the evening, a service of commendation was held to remember the culture that brought Finlandia alive. Retired professor Phyllis Fredendall commented that this ceremony gave the community a chance to acknowledge the institution’s rich legacy. “I’m really grateful to Finlandia I also met my husband here so I have deep gratitude for a really rich life that I experienced through Finlandia,” said Fredendall.
“I think all of us have raging emotions in every direction and were thrilled for these graduates at the same time we all know this marks the end of a very long era. Now as they’re out in the world doing what they learned to do at Finlandia it continues on in that way so that we celebrate,” continued Pinnow.