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Prime Minister Sanna Marin becomes Tampere University’s Alumna of the Year

Published on 7.9.2020
Tampere University
Sanna Marin
Tampere University nominated Prime Minister, Master of Administrative Sciences Sanna Marin as the winner of this year’s Alumnus/a of the Year award. President Mari Walls announced the winner in the opening ceremony of the academic year 2020/21.

Last year, Suvi Haimi, Doctor of Science in the field of medical biomaterials and the founder and CEO of Sulapac Oy, which develops biodegradable packaging materials, was chosen as the first Alumna of the Year in the history of the new Tampere University.

A young, experienced politician

Sanna Marin is Finland’s third female prime minister and the first prime minister of the independent Finland to come from Tampere. When Marin was appointed PM in December 2019 at the age of 34, she was the youngest prime minister in the world and attracted huge international media attention.

Despite her young age, Sanna Marin is an experienced politician. She was elected to the Tampere City Council as a representative of the Social Democratic Party in 2013 and chaired the City Council from 2013 to 2017. Marin has been a Member of Parliament since 2015. She served as Minister of Transport and Communications in the Government of Prime Minister Antti Rinne.

Tampere University invites pioneering and successful people who have highlighted the interaction between the University, society and alumni as the Alumnus/a of the Year. They are social influencers in Finland or abroad who strengthen the university’s prominence and reputation.

"Our University is very proud of the success and know-how of its community. Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s impressive career is a great example of how a University’s impact can be built on the graduates’ expertise and skills," says President Walls.

In the speech she gave at the opening ceremony, Marin thanked the University for the honour of being nominated Alumna of the Year. She also thanked the University for curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This year, the global coronavirus pandemic has demanded much from citizens and various societal actors. Higher education institutions have also had to introduce exceptional arrangements, and I would like to thank you for your contribution to helping to contain the epidemic in Finland," Marin said.

Science solves global challenges

Sanna Marin was born in Helsinki. At the age of eight, the family moved to Pirkkala close to Tampere where Marin spent her school years. In 2017, Marin graduated from the University of Tampere with a Master’s Degree in Administrative Sciences. During her studies, she was a member of the Council of Representatives in the previous University of Tampere’s Student Union (TAMY) and the University’s Collegiate Body.

Marin has said she got involved in politics because she wanted to influence the way society perceives its citizens and their rights. Both human rights and equality as well as, for example, environmental values are close to Marin’s heart. She sees science as playing a key role in solving global challenges.

"Science helps to solve significant problems that concern the entire society. Science, research and innovations are key to tackling current and future global challenges such as climate change or pandemics in a sustainable and equitable way," Marin said in her greeting.

Kuva: Jukka-Pekka Flander