Hancock - October 5, 2009

Saturday afternoon the "Old Main" at Finlandia U. was the scene of a Pie Social. After finishing up on a story in Ironwood I traveled to Hancock to partake in the fundraising event. The fundraiser was being held to raise funds for window replacement in the historic building. The event will took place on the enclosed front porch and the first floor of Finlandia's Hoover Center.

Don Peryam of Hancock his "Sander's Club" have arranged and completed numerous repair,

maintenance, and beautification projects on Finlandia's campus. He and his volunteers have already raised approximately half of the funds needed to maake the repairs.

Peryam and local bakers Norma Nominelli, Hazel Tepsa, and Nancy Fenton made about 50 homemade pies for the fundraiser.

Poor weather conditions did not dampen the appitites or the enthusiasim of those attending the fundraiser. A lot of pies were already eaten by the time I arrived mid-afternoon. I was assured that the remaining fare was as delicious as the first ones consumed by those visiting the old mansion. Pies and beverages were served on the building’s wonderful varanda.
Each window and its installation costs approximately $600. An entire window can be donated in memory or in honor of a loved one or a special event, and an inscribed plaque will be attached to the window frame. Peryam is hoping to wrap up the windows fundraising project by November 1; the windows will be installed next spring.

History of "Old Main"

The following information was obtained from a Suomi College brochure: "The Hoover Center"The Hoover Center, formally known as the Lieblein House, was constructed on property originally owned by the Hancock Mine. In 1893, a builder/contractor named Washburn purchased the property and began construction of the house, which was completed in two years.

Edward M. Lieblein, a successful wholesale grocer, purchased the house in 1895 and lived here for forty years. When he died, he left the house to his son, Edward M. Lieblein, Jr. Like his father, Edward.Jr. lived in-the home, raised his family, and maintained the property in its' original state for an additional forty years.

On June 1, 1979, Suomi College purchased the home from the Lieblein family and became only the third owner in 68 years.

Today, the Lieblein Mansion is the Hoover Center, named after Dr. Vaino A. Hoover, founder of the Hoover Electric Company and former member and honorary chairperson of the Suomi College Board of Trustees. The Center serves as a beautiful and functional administrative office building and visitor reception area.

The President's office, board room, secretarial offices, and kitchen are on the first floor. The second floor houses the office of the Provost as well as offices for Institutional Advancement, Development, and Public Relations. The third floor of Hoover Center is currently not utilized.

Vaino A. Hoover 1905 -1983
B.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Born into a hard working immigrant family on July 27, 1905, in the town of Stray Horse Gulch, Colorado, Vaino Alexander Hoover earned his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology (magna cum laude) by sheer brilliance and determination. Initially, he literally dug ditches during the depression but later worked his way into supervisory roles in engineering.

In 1946 he formed the Hoover Electric Company, which under his leadership achieved outstanding success in designing electrical motors and in pioneering aeronautical and submersible flight controls. His handiwork literally went to the moon and plumbed the depths of the ocean as his exceptionally designed control units guided the moon landings as well as submersible explorers.

Dr. Hoover's interest in and support of Finnish- American culture was unbounded.. He was a founder of the Vaino Hoover Foundation and president of the Finlandia Society. He helped American students study in Finland and Finnish students study in the United States. He was a member of the Finnish Congregational Church. And he was a member and honorary chairperson of the Suomi College Board of Trustees.
As a student, Dr. Hoover was an outstanding athlete, an expert javelin thrower, and a member and sup-porter of Olympic Games Committees. He received two Knighthoods-the White Rose and the lion-from two presidents of the Republic of Finland as well as numerous other honors and awards .

In 1952. Dr. Hoover wrote,
“Age looks at time in broader scope
And sees the past still standing clear;
In easy reach of memory's touch,
'With time foreshortened" by the years.

For each the stage of life does change,
As time moves on to later phase.
'Youth creeps to age, and age falls out.
Time’s cycle full, the wheel goes out"


Vaino A.Hoover died on July 31,1983, in Santa Monica, California.