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President Niinistö, the Finnish Association for Mental Health and Irja Askola among those awarded honours by the Student Union of the University of Helsinki


HYY annually awards honours to individuals who have had a significant impact in society or distinguished themselves in the Student Union’s activities. The recipients of the honours were published in HYY’s 150th Anniversary on Saturday 24 November. 

The badge of HYY’s chairs in the wide purple ribbon was awarded to President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö and Chancellor Thomas Wilhelmsson.

The justifications for the badge of honour awarded to President Niinistö are as follows: ‘This head of state acts as naturally in the arenas of world politics as when he is having coffee at the market or visiting the book fair. During a period of bubbles and polarisation, he has succeeded in uniting large crowds to support him with his unpretentious, at times even playful approach.’

‘The Student Union especially respects the way Niinistö has used his popularity and presidential authority to promote work to prevent bullying and the social exclusion of young people’, Chair of the Student Union Suvi Pulkkinen states.

‘Chancellor Wilhelmsson has already had a close relationship with the Student Union for several decades. He has provided the Student Union with interesting stories of both the University of today and the history of the student movement. A hall in the New Student House also carries his name’, Pulkkinen states of the justifications for Wilhelmsson’s badge of honour.

Standards to the Finnish Association for Mental Health and Lääketieteenkandidaattiseura

The Student Union’s standard may, at the Student Union’s discretion, be awarded to a community that has promoted the Student Union’s aspirations. The Student Union’s standard was awarded to the Finnish Association for Mental Health and the 85-year-old Lääketieteenkandidaattiseura.

‘The Finnish Association for Mental Health has been an active participant in societal discussion on issues related to mental health and social exclusion. With its activities, the association has meritoriously aimed to decrease stigmatisation related to mental health problems. Donations given to HYY during this Anniversary have also been directed to this association’, Pulkkinen mentions.

Several recipients of honours

The badge of honour in the Student Union’s wide blue ribbon, given for notable and meritorious work for the University community, was awarded to Bishop Emerita Irja Askola, Licentiate of Social Sciences Maria Kaisa Aula and former Rector of the University of Helsinki Jukka Kola.

‘Askola’s activities personify the values of our Student Union: education, equality, humaneness, courage and responsibility. She has broken glass ceilings and held high the flag of equality and justice. She is a strong debater in society, and the themes of respecting diverging opinions and striving for dialogue were strongly visible when she acted as the Bishop of Helsinki’, Pulkkinen states the justifications for Askola’s badge of honour.

The badge of honour in a narrow blue ribbon for notable and meritorious activities benefiting the Student Union was awarded to Student of Educational Sciences Anna-Maija Riekkinen, Student of Arts Silva Loikkanen, Bachelor of Theology Minna Mäkitalo, Master of Education Susanna Jokimies, Master of Arts Emi Maeda, Bachelor of Science Elina Tyynelä, Student of Medicine Jonne Juntura, Bachelor of Social Sciences Ella Keski-Panula, Master of Theology Matias Koponen, Master of Science Hanna Piitulainen and Master of Science Elli Saari. In addition to this, the badge of honour in a narrow blue ribbon for 20 years’ work in HYY Group was awarded to UniCafe employee Anne Hanhimäki, Operative Manager Paula Korhonen and Chief Accountant Sirpa-Liisa Inkinen.

The 2018 Magister Bonus prize was awarded to University Instructor Jari Lipsanen (Faculty of Medicine) and the Best International Teacher prize to University Lecturer Henry Maina (Faculty of Forestry and Agriculture). The new Good Instructor prize was awarded to University Lecturer Tauno Saarela (Faculty of Social Sciences).

Further information:
Lauri Linna, Chair of HYY’s Board
050 543 9610