24 May 2024

A New Partnership with Finlandia Foundation National

Thomas Flanagan, Executive Director of Finlandia Foundation National and Terhi Mölsä, CEO of the Fulbright Finland Foundation, shaking hands after signing a MoU at a river cruise in Mystic, CT.

MYSTIC, CT - May 24, 2024

Alumni, members, and friends of the Finlandia Foundation National (FFN) and the Fulbright Finland Foundation (FFF) gathered celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright Finland Foundation and the academic and cultural exchanges between Finland and the United States.

Organized by the volunteers of the Friends of Fulbright Finland Alumni Council, the celebration in Mystic, CT is part of a series of events honoring the 75th anniversary the Fulbright Finland Foundation. Over 60 community members took part in a tour of the Mystic Seaport Museum, gathered for a networking reception, and took a historic steamboat cruise down the Mystic River.

The 75th year of Fulbright Finland Foundation follows in the year after the 70th anniversary of Finlandia Foundation National, providing an apt framework to launch a new cooperation between the two Finnish and American institutions that share a set of common values. FFF CEO, Terhi Mölsä, and FFN Executive Director, Thomas Flanagan, both expressed not only how important collaboration between these two organizations is, but also how much sense it makes. 

“There are many areas that we have in common with FFN, especially in view of the programming in the U.S. for our Finnish grantees and U.S. alumni, so that our collaboration is a genuine win-win. FFN is an excellent partner, and we are thrilled to be working together,” commented Mölsä. “Both of our organizations realize the importance and transformative power of education and find value in bringing people together around a diverse set of cultural topics. FFF is made up of a network of very impressive people who share so many of the same values with our members at FFN. In fact, there is crossover among our networks,” added Flanagan.

Bill Eaton exemplifies this crossover. He is a Fulbright Finland alumnus 1984-85, an active member in FFN, and a board member of FFN local affiliate Finnish American Society of the Delaware Valley (FASDV), and he serves as an advisor for the Fulbright Finland Foundation and its Alumni Council in the U.S. About this new collaboration, Eaton said, "Having observed, for over half of the existence of each of these two organizations, what they contribute to the academic and cultural understanding between Finland and the US, I couldn't be more pleased than to see this effort to benefit each other, and cannot wait to see what comes of it!"

The MOU signed by both parties expresses an intention to explore areas of collaboration between the two organizations in the near future. The event in Mystic was the first of such events, celebrating FFF, co-sponsored by FFN. The MOU outlines areas of potential collaboration, such as information exchange, planning events, collaborating on education and grant opportunities, as well as engaging the organizations’ networks. 

About Finlandia Foundation National, Inc. 

Fiercely Finnish since 1953, we champion our culture and heritage across the United States by supporting educational opportunities and promoting diverse, relevant, and enriching programs. 
Finlandia Foundation National, Inc. (FFN) aims to connect, inspire and strengthen the Finnish-American community through a network of nearly 60 chapters across the United States. FFN raises funds to build its endowment and ensure the continuation of its programs, which highlight outstanding contributions and achievements of Finnish-American artists and academics. 

FFN awards dozens of grants and scholarships each year, and provides critical funding to maintain cultural traditions that represent the heritage of Finland and the diverse interests of Finnish America. 

For more: FinlandiaFoundation.org
254 Lake Ave. #852 Pasadena, CA 91101 Phone: 626.795.2081 [email protected]

About Fulbright Finland Foundation

The Fulbright Finland Foundation is a private not-for-profit organization, founded based on an agreement between the Finnish and U.S. governments. With the purpose of promoting a wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents between Finland and the U.S., the Foundation collaborates with a range of government, foundation, university, and corporate partners on both sides of the Atlantic to design and manage study and research scholarships, leadership development programs, and internationalization services. The Foundation’s vision is to empower the minds that will find global solutions to tomorrow’s challenges by fostering academic and professional expertise and excellence in leadership.

In 2023, the Foundation awarded approximately USD 2 million in grants, and had a total of 114 U.S. and Finnish grantees. With over 6 200 alumni, the Foundation runs a growing alumni program on both sides of the Atlantic. 

The Foundation is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, the U.S. Department of State, the Finland-America Educational Trust Fund, private Finnish foundations, Finnish and U.S. higher education institutions, alumni, and private donors.

In 2024, the Fulbright Finland Foundation celebrates its 75th Anniversary.

For more: www.fulbright.fi
Hakaniemenranta 6,00530 Helsinki, Finland, [email protected]