Skip to main content
Sign In

Finnish Initiatives

College of Architecture and Planning

Through a donation from Don and Maria Johnson, the College of Architecture and Planning has created a "Finland Initiatives" project​ that includes funding for the Johnson Finland Scholarship, a Director of Finnish Initiatives position, student mentorship, exchanges, guest lectures and other opportunities for engagement between Finland and CAP. Come back to this site again for more information as it becomes available!

Taisto Mäkelä, Director of Finnish Initiatives, by email​.

Donald L. and Maria A. Johnson Finland Scholarship  

The Johnson Finland Scholarship supports students who have completed a pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture in Finland to attend the Master of Architecture degree program ​at the University of Colorado Denver.  The scholarship covers full tuition for two academic years at CU Denver.

  • Open to students who will have completed the undergraduate degree in architecture from one of these universities prior to CU Denver enrollment:

​​​                  - Aalto University 
​                  - Tampere University of Technology 
​                  - University of Oulu 
  • Recipients must meet all of the requirements for the MArch program, and must be admitted to the program.

  • Recipients must be residents of the Republic of Finland.
  • Recipients must have a strong affiliation with the Finnish culture.

Application process:
  1. Apply to the Master of Architecture program at CU Denver.​
  2. Submit a completed scholarship application and a short essay describing your connection with the Finnish culture. Submit the scholarship application and essay to Taisto Mäkelä​ ( by the application deadline. Only complete, on-time submissions will be considered.

After completing deliberations, the Admissions Committee in the Department of Architecture forwards to the Chair their recommendation for the recipient of the Johnson Finland Scholarship.  The Chair announces the winner.

Application deadline:

January 15.  

Award amount: 
Covers full tuition for two academic years at CUDenver​, contingent upon meeting requirements.

Note: Recipients may take from 2 to 3 ½ years to complete the MArch program. The scholarship will be given for only two years, regardless of the time to complete the degree.

  • Enroll in a full course load of 12 - 15 credit hours in fall and spring semesters
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA
  • ​Remain in good academic standing 

Number of scholarships available: 
One new recipient per academic year.  

About the Johnsons

Donald Lee Johnson is one of four generations who graduated from the University of Colorado.  After receiving his BFA in Interior Architecture in 1962, Donald worked in Los Angeles with several design and planning firms working for major corporations around the world.  In 1972, he founded Aegina Associates, a firm doing interior architecture, planning and architecture.  Clients included Getty Oil, Columbia Pictures, the State of California and major real estate development firms.

In 1978 in Los Angeles, Donald met a Fulbright Scholar from Finland, Maria Annelli Vuorimaa, who was studying at UCLA where she received a Masters Degree in Modern Dance.  In 1979 they married and moved to Boulder where Donald managed family properties and designed residential and commercial buildings, designed furniture and did urban land planning and real estate development.

In Boulder, Maria founded Verve Dance Company and taught, choreographed and performed in Colorado, California and Finland.  In 1984 Maria founded Finnish Line and designed, made and sold fashion apparel around the country.  She continues to design and make wearable art and pursue her passion for landscaping and gardening.

Both Donald and Maria share an interest in the arts, architecture, design, music, and dance.  They collect contemporary art, handcrafts and sculpture in the world travels.  Both believe in giving back to a society from which they have received so much.  Johnson Scholars will be provided with the opportunity to study in the USA as Maria did.

© The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate. All rights reserved.

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.