Event Pictorials
Finland's President Visits Hancock - 2003
April 27, 2003
Billed as a personal visit,rather than a formal State vist, the Republic of Finland’s first woman President (& the 11th in their history) , traveled to the U.S. to participate in Suomi Colleges 2003 Commencement.
The Honorable Tarja Halonen, arrived in Hancock Sunday morning, April 27th , 2003, for the beginning of a two day visit. The only other time a Finish President visited the area was Pres. Kekkonen on August 1, 1976. While her primary agenda was to attend and deliver Finlandia University’s Commencement address, she also made other appearances in the area, under tight security. As President Halonen entered the Paavo Nurmi Center, a packed crowd took photos for scrapbooks.. Here, President Halonen acknowledges her introduction by Finlandia President Robert Ubbelohde. Delivering the Commencement Address, President Halonen noted: “All Countries, big and small, are needed in international cooperation to guarantee our security. Especially the United States is needed in international cooperation, its political, economic and military might gives the U.S. an incomparable ability–and responsibility–to take care of itself, and help others”. The President of Finland, the Honorable Tarja Halonen, receives an Honorary Doctorate Degree, assisted here with her appropriate collar emblem by Dr. Ubbelohde.
During a later press conference, President Halonen talks with Finlandia President Dr. Robert Ubbelohde. Michigan’s 110th District State Representative Rich Brown (L) and MI State Senator Mike Prussi (R), present President Halonen with a State Resolution welcoming her to Michigan’s Copper Country. Following the press conference, Pres. Halonen taped a segment for WLUC-TV’s Finland Calling, here with longtime program host, Carl Pellenpaa, a former Honorary Consul for Finland for the U.P. of Michigan. Later, a reception was held in the Finnish-American Center for community leaders and dignitaries. Awaiting the President’s arrival was (L) Hancock City Mgr. Glenn Anderson; Houghton City Mayor Tom Merz; newly appointed MTU Smart Zone Director Adam West; and (R) Hancock City Mayor Jim Martin.
Also waiting was long time Finlandia Board of Control member Gloria Jackson, who earlier received an Honorary Doctorate Degree, with her husband, Cable America, Inc. owner Bill Jackson, a local native. This rare print, from an original painting by Finnish native Juho Rissanen, was a gift to Finland. Shown here (L-R): Jarmo Viinanen, advisor to Pres. Halonen; Ambassador Jukka Valtassari; Consul-General Jukka Leino; Jim Johnson, Honorary Consul of Finland for N. Minnesota; (R) Kim Mattsson, Aide de Camp to Pres. Halonen. President Halonen shares a moment with Mrs. Ruth Wisiti, a special award grantee on behalf of her late husband and, well known attorney Andrew Wisti. With Finlandia Univ. Pres. Dr. Ubbelohde (R), President Halonen greets Hancock’s Mayor Pro Tem Bob Lewis, as Hancock Mayor Jim Martin (R) looks on.
Other Hancock City Council members and officials & wives meet President Halonen, including here Councilperson Liza McKensie. With great kindness, President Halonen ‘parts the crowd’ to allow photos of herself with the Hancock City representatives. The next morning, Monday, brought a trip to the Hancock Elementary School, to visit Mrs. Stadius’ third grade Finnish Class, with a class presentation held in the Library. Here, President Halonen is presented with a bouquet. Here, Pres. Halonen’s husband, Dr. Pentti Arajarvi, also receives a bouquet. Dr. Arajarvi is a University Professor...they have one daughter.
Mrs. Stadius’ Finnish class performs for the honored guests. The students perform a song on homemade Kantelas (stringed instruments)...really great! A skit, partially in masquerade, which all enjoyed. Following the class demonstrations, the President presented some Finnish dolls to Mrs. Stadius for the students.
The President of Finland, the Honorable Tarja Halonen, and her husband, Dr. Arajarvi , pose for this portrait with the Hancock Elementary Third Grade Finnish language class. (L) Elem. School Principal Ed Longacre; Hancock Pub. Schools Superintendent Vaara; President Halonen; Third Grade Teacher Mrs. Stadius; and (R) Dr. Arajarvi during a coffee social. Here, Mrs. Stadius (L); President Halonen; Maria Romantschuk - the President’s press secretary; and (R) Kim Mattsson - Aide de Camp, look over the Library. Nearing the end of the coffee social, President Halonen enjoys a light moment with her press secretary, Maria Romantschuk. A short while later, the President and her party departed for Finland. The City wishes to thank Finlandia University, the President of Finland’s staff, and everyone who helped in our photo coverage of this event,
[ Photos by Roland Burgan & Ken Linna ].
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