University's Alumni of the Year Is CEO Aleksi Randell

​The Alumni of the Year recognition is awarded annually to a graduate of the University of Turku who has promoted the success of the University of Turku and Finnish society with their activities. CEO Aleksi Randell completed his Master's degree in Social Sciences at the University of Turku in 2007.

CEO of the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT Aleksi Randell was an active partner of the University during his previous employment as the Mayor of Turku and he has promoted several matters that are important to the University. With the recognition, the University wishes to thank Aleksi Randell for his persistent and purposeful work in developing Turku into a dynamic, European city of culture and education that boldly embraces changes.

The Alumni of the Year Aleksi Randell says that he greatly appreciates this recognition.

– The significance of the University to the development of Turku is great and its connection to the well-being of the city as well as the entire region is very apparent. The significance of the University is also present in the vision of the City of Turku, which I helped to draw up.

Randell says that as the Mayor of Turku he felt that collaboration with the University was important in several ways.

– I think that it is great that my home town and University are succeeding – and growing together in a good way. For example, the City and University have a joint goal that Turku is the best student city in Finland, and we have worked in close collaboration with students and the University to achieve that goal.

The Alumni of the Year is also happy with the development of the University’s alumni activities.

– In Finland, the alumni tradition is not as strong as in many other countries, but it is great that it is getting stronger and that alumni want to keep in touch with their alma mater. Alumni can in many ways promote the University's success and contribute to, for example, students’ employment opportunities, says Randell.

The University of Turku has awarded the Alumni of the Year recognition since 2004. In previous years, the Alumni of the Year recognition has been awarded to e.g. Member of Parliament Krista Kiuru (2017), Minister of the Interior Petteri Orpo (2016), and Under-secretary of State Matti Anttonen (2015).

Rector Väänänen: Expansion of Technology Education Brings Vitality to the Entire Region

In his speech at the Anniversary Celebration, Rector Kalervo Väänänen emphasised the importance of expanding academic technology education in the region.

– For the best of its ability, the University of Turku has strived to support the positive structural change that is currently going on in the Turku region. However, despite our great efforts, we have not gotten a permission from the Government to expand our technology education, which would be in the best interest of the entire Finland and especially Southwest Finland.

By expanding the technology education, the strengths of a multi- and interdisciplinary university could be brought forward even better than before. According to Rector Väänänen, new openings could be made in health and environmental technology as well as in materials technology for the pharmaceutical industry.

– The region’s own academic university training in technology is the single most important factor in whether Turku is an active centre that produces growth and well-being to the region and entire Finland. It also has a significant impact on whether Southern Finland develops only around the line between Helsinki and Tampere or around a triangle where Turku is one of the points of development.

Commemorative Medal to Tuomo Lähdesmäki and Matti Rihko

Long-term Chair of the Turku University Foundation Tuomo Lähdesmäki and previous Chair of the Board of the University of Turku Matti Rihko were awarded the commemorative founding medal of the University of Turku.

They have significantly promoted and advanced the University’s intellectual and material goals. Both Lähdesmäki and Rihko are current members of the Board and investment committee of Turku University Foundation as well as of the investment committee of the University of Turku.

The commemorative founding medal of the University of Turku was coined in 1922 to commemorate the opening of the University.

Phoenix Universitatis Turkuensis Medal to Tytti Sokura

The University of Turku and Turku Finnish University Society awarded the Phoenix Universitatis Turkuensis decoration to Tytti Sokura for her significant achievements in advancing the University’s intellectual goals. Sokura worked at the University of Turku from 1976 to 2016 as an assistant to Rectors and Chancellors as well as an organiser of the University's academic celebrations, especially the ceremonial conferments of doctoral degrees.

The Turku Finnish University Society founded a Finnish-language university in Turku on 28 February 1920. An extensive fund-raising was organised and altogether 22,040 donations were received from the Finnish people. Read more about the history of the University of Turku.

The Anniversary Celebration was held at the Old Academy Building. 

In her speech, Professor of Entrepreneurship Anne Kovalainen highlighted how the University is at the centre of new work and innovation.

Soprano Riikka Sirén and pianist Pasi Helin played five Finnish folk songs arranged by Ralf Gothón.



Text: Taru Suhonen and Tuomas Koivula
Photos: Hanna Oksanen
Translation: Mari Ratia

Published date 3/5/2018 3:15 PM ,  Modified date 3/5/2018 3:20 PM

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