Väkijoukkoa Homecoming Day -tapahtumassa LUT-yliopistolla
Created 15.4.2024
Updated 16.4.2024

Saturday 13 April 2024 went down in LUT history. It saw LUT’s first major alumni event, Homecoming Day, on the Lappeenranta campus. All LUT graduates – or LUT alumni – received an invitation. 

“It’s amazing to see our alumni return home to catch up on old times, meet new people and come up with new, stellar ideas for future cooperation,” says Rector Juha-Matti Saksa

The event also introduced a new tradition: a recognition award for outstanding alumni. The first award winner was Pasi Vainikka, CEO of Solar Foods and LUT’s energy technology alumnus. Solar Foods is a spinoff company that emerged from research collaboration between LUT and VTT. The company uses carbon dioxide and electrical energy to produce a dietary protein called Solein. The growth company was established in 2017. 

“As a representative of an LUT research spinoff, I am honoured to receive the first Curious Alumni Award. Homecoming Day was an enjoyable event providing encounters with interesting people and a thought-provoking programme. I hope similar ones will be arranged again! We LUT alumni hold great potential,” Vainikka says. 


LUT’s new era of closer collaboration with alumni

The Homecoming Day programme included inspiring alumni stories and topical talks on matters such as climate action, technology, sustainable water management, and the creation of growth companies. Moreover, alumni had a chance to find out what’s new in LUT's degree programmes, visit guild rooms, network, and look at the campus with fresh eyes with the help of a mobile app.

Because of the record number of participants, special attention was paid to security. Roughly 400 staff members and 30 security guards kept things running smoothly during the weekend.

Professor of Practice Harri Koponen, who is developing LUT's alumni services, says LUT's Homecoming Day kicked off an era of closer collaboration between the university and its alumni. 

“The key is to make it as easy as possible for our alumni to reach out to us – whether it's been a year since their graduation or decades. The university is obligated to provide information on different forms of collaboration, and I anticipate our alumni will have their own, unique take on them. Every encounter is an opportunity to create value and set new plans in motion,” Koponen outlines.

Koponen points out that collaboration creates a win-win situation for both the university and its alumni. Staying in touch can inspire graduates to complement or continue their studies, discover new professional perspectives as a mentor, or share valuable knowledge as visiting lecturers. Collaboration between the university and its alumni may also lead to new research and successful hires for specialist positions or final thesis work. 

In other words, LUT’s Homecoming Day aligned with the university’s spirit: curious people inspire others of their kind

Energiatekniikan alumni Pasi Vainikka palkittiin Curious Alumni -palkinnolla Homecoming Day -tapahtumassa keväällä 2024.

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