Finnish connections

December 2012 marked Finland’s 95th year of independence, and the start of the project looking at the University’s connections with Finland through its Finnish students. The first Finnish student was John Arne Henricson, who came to the University of Glasgow in 1898, when Finland was still known as the Grand Duchy of Finland, part of the Russian Empire. Between 1898 and 1937 there was a total of five Finns studying at the University, the majority of them from coastal cities, such as Helsinki and Turku. These students mainly studied Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering under Sir John Harvard Biles and Percy Archibald Hilhouse, at a time when Glasgow was one of the most innovative places in the world to study ship building.

Gripenberg's matriculation slip 1904-05 (GUAs REf: R8/5/25/3)

Gripenberg’s matriculation slip 1904-05 (GUAs REf: R8/5/25/3)

Another of the earliest students was Hans Henrick Sebastian Gripenberg, a student of Naval Architecture in 1904-1905, who came from a prestigious family in Finland. His father was Sebastian Gripenberg, an architect and senator; and his aunt, Alexandra Gripenberg, was a writer, politician and the founder of Finland’s first official Women’s Rights organization in 1884. After finishing his course at the University, Gripenberg returned to Finland where he became a prominent figure in the ship building industry, as well as a lecturer at Turku School of Industry.

We would be happy to hear from anyone who knows more about our Finnish connections!

Vähemmän tunnetuista Suomalaisista on ymmärrettävästi hieman vaikeampaa löytää tietoja. Henricsonin ja Gripenbergin lisäksi ennen vuotta 1937 Glasgow’n Yliopistossa opiskeli Ruben Hjalmar Cavonius, Peter Henry Nolin ja Adele Davis. Otamme mielellämme vastaan lisää tietoa näistä henkilöistä tai muista kytköksistä Suomen ja Glasgow’n välillä.

By Anna Käyhkö

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