FFN, FFF to explore future

Submitted Finlandia Foundation National Executive Director Thomas Flanagan and Fulbright Finland Foundation CEO Terhi Mölsä sign a Memorandum of Understanding committing to a new cooperation between the organizations.

MYSTIC, CT — Alumni, members and friends of the Finlandia Foundation National and the Fulbright Finland Foundation gathered in 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.

Bell 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, 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.


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