Sakari Alhopuro is Alum of the Year for the University of TurkuThe University of Turku has selected Sakari Alhopuro, Doctor of Medical Science and bearer of the Finnish honorary title of Lääkintöneuvos, as its Alum of the Year. With this recognition, the University of Turku wishes to thank Alhopuro for his contributions to science and to the building of social well-being and a sustainable future.
The Alum of the Year recognition is awarded annually to a former student of the University of Turku who has, through their own activities, promoted the success of the University of Turku and Finnish society at large.
Sakari Alhopuro graduated from the University of Turku with a Licentiate in Medicine in 1973 and defended his Doctoral thesis in 1978. For nearly four decades, he was head of the Pulssi Medical Centre, which we founded and owned. The medical centre was one of the largest private medical facilities in Finland.
‘The University of Turku provided me with an excellent education for the medical profession. My time at the university provided wonderful interactions with great teachers and fellow students. The medical school was also a place of mental growth where I was able to become acquainted with top experts from different fields’, states Alhopuro.
With its Alum of the Year recognition, the University of Turku wishes to thank Alhopuro for his extensive contributions to science and to the building of social well-being and a sustainable future.
‘With his significant support, Alhopuro has enabled the development of new knowledge and competence as well as promoted the success of the University of Turku’, says Jukka Kola, Rector of the University of Turku.
With Sakari Alhopuro’s contribution, the University of Turku has developed, for instance, futures research, entrepreneurship education, and research and education in medical technology and health economics.
With Alhopuro’s donation, the University also launched the Pentti Malaska Futures Award. In 2016, Alhopuro was conferred as an Honorary Doctor of Turku School of Economics.
During recent years, Sakari Alhopuro has donated funds, in particular, to biodiversity research. The topic is personal for this patron of science.
‘Biology and nature photography, especially bird photography, are among my great interests. In recent years, I have noticed that several bird species that used to be common in Lapland have become a significantly rarer sight. Humans tend to make the life of many animals difficult with their actions’, says Alhopuro.
In 2018, through the donations of Alhopuro, three professorships intended to enhance biodiversity research were established, namely a subarctic ecology professorship, a professorship in Archipelago Sea research and a biodiversity research professorship.
In 2019, Alhopuro founded the Sakari Alhopuro Foundation as a means of promoting and supporting medical research, biodiversity, entrepreneurship as well as cultural and social well-being in Finland.
‘Networks are vital if we seek to achieve anything. At best, alumni serve as a tremendous resource for universities’, adds Alhopuro.
Picture: Hanna Oksanen, University of Turku