Dear Friends and Alumni,
I hope once again you find good reading in this issue of the Bridge. I invite you to read through the
lens of Finlandia's mission: a learning community dedicated to academic excellence, spiritual growth, and
service. The accent on our three-part mission varies from issue to issue. Listen for this issue's accent
The Bridge highlights the many good things that are happening at Finlandia. Behind these good
things are good people working a good plan. After all, these good things must ultimately champion
our history and heritage, reinforce our educational mission, and enable us to more fully realize our
strategic goals. I encourage you to visit our website (www.finlandia.edu) and become more familiar
with Finlandia's strategic plan. Our five-year plan stresses institutional moorings including board
governance, enrollment, and finances.
Board governance continues to be strong under the leadership of Dr. Sylvia Fleishman, and this year's
goals related to the Board's ongoing reform efforts are being met . This fall we recognized the
extraordinary service of three retiring trustees: Alexander "Sandy" McAfee, John Hamar, and Ray
Hirvonen. Their exemplary leadership will be missed, yet they all remain closely connected with
Finlandia. We continue to strengthen the Board through trustee recruitment and development. Five
newly elected members will join us for the Board of Trustees meeting this January.
Enrollment growth this fall was exceptional.We exceeded our new student goal, enrolling 259 - a 22
percent increase over fall 2008. We must maintain this momentum in the spring and into next fall.
Look for the Campus News item in this issue for more information.
Financial stability continues to be reflected in our ratios, audits, and improved fiscal management and
budget processes. You can read more about our financial health in this issue's article featuring our
EVP for business and finance, Nick Stevens.
Our strategic collaboration, Campus and Community: Together for Good, remains on course. This fall
we enrolled 25 Hancock Central High School graduates, exceeding projections for this first cohort of
Hancock Award recipients. Official transfer of the properties acquired in this exchange will be
complete by year-end. Development and renovation of the former Hancock Middle School and
Condon Athletic Field will fuel and accommodate Finlandia's targeted growth within College of
Health Sciences programs and NCAA Division III athletics. Complementing this institution-wide
strategy is a host of newer ideas and fresh initiatives emerging from academic programs and student
life activities across campus, each adding value to the Finlandia experience, each contributing to our
overall growth and success.
There are many good people working a good plan that is served by the many good things happening
at Finlandia. Enjoy the reading ahead.
Philip Johnson, Ph.D.
Winter 2009 Bridge