I syndicated the RSS feed from Olaf's news page: stolaf_news. Enjoy!
2/8/06 09:36 am - echsdoc - Good-bye to St. Olaf memories
This is an entry from my LJ last May. It is about my StO memories of my roommate, who died in 2004. He got short shrift from the St. Olaf magazine, though his funeral was in Boe Chapel. I put it here as a bit of StO history personalized:
To me, fair friend, you never can grow old....
As I left the house to come to school this morning I picked up the St. Olaf alumni magazine, flipped back to class news and discovered that the man who was my roommate for three years, Dave Grose, had died last October. An amazing blow to the heart for me.
Dave and I met as freshmen, standing in the dirty dishes line of the cafeteria, wiping the excess gravy off the plates. We got along, and when roommates were being chosen we picked each other and lived together for three years, including in a rented room off campus our sophomore year. We were perfect roommates, not best friends but very friendly and amiable together. Dave was the first truly modest man I ever knew and one of the most brilliant. We shared quarters, did things together, laughed together, reinforced each other's academic and scholarly temperaments. He became a classics major and went on to get his doctorate at Harvard and became a longterm faculty member at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. He also became a world respected scholar and much published expert on Roman glass.
For me, though, he never aged beyond his early twenties. We separated ways in our careers (though we may have been the most successful roommates in academics for St. Olaf that year), and life and jobs took us apart. In the seventies I introduced him to a couple who were good friends and going to Rome where he then was. She said on return that he was the most handsome man she had ever known. For me, Dave was a funny, nice, deeply scholarly young man. We shared our lives, just the two of us for three years. He was the quiet breathing in the bed on the other side of the room. He was the shy smile, the impish sense of humor, the shock of black hair flopping over his eye.
The last time I saw Dave I was dropping him off outside of Madison, where he had visited us as I worked on my doctorate in American Literature. He was thumbing himself across America. He said he never told a ride the truth, any truth, always lied. I dropped him on the roadside off of US 12, and waved to him in the rearview mirror.
I feel like someone has chopped off a huge limb from the tree of my memory. It is hard to fathom, and I am very sad for the boy I knew. As Shakespeare said, "To me, fair friend, you never shall grow old...."
Good-bye, Dave. Do you remember the day you went into Nerstrand Woods and climbed a tree to read? And how two lovers came and made love on the grass right below you? And how you had to sit frozen for the entire time, so they wouldn't see the woods god up in the tree, looking down?
1/6/06 07:44 am - pegkerr - Goodbye to Susan Lindley
Cross-posted from my own journal.
I saw with sadness in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune an obituary for my former professor at St. Olaf, Dr. Susan Lindley, who taught religion there. Dr. Lindley died of breast cancer. Her course on Women and Religion was one of the best courses I ever had the pleasure to take, and it buried once and for all for me in my mind any doubts about whether one could be a Christian and a feminist at the same time. The course materials she assigned for us to read were an eye-opener, and discussions in her class were always extremely interesting and lively. Dr. Lindley had a true gift as a teacher. Although she is gone, I am pleased to see that she has left us a legacy with her book on her favorite subject: You Have Stept Out of Your Place: A History of Women and Religion in America.
You will be missed.
Thanks for the interesting responses to my inquiry regarding WCAL. Old timers forget how things feel on the hill when stuff like this goes on. Your stir these thoughts.
The thousands of Oles who are not on the Hill see WCAL differently, I think. WCAL was never intended to be a voice to the on campus community. When I was there, we had a totally different station that handled that task. Wasn't it KSTO? WCAL was one of the college outreaches to the Minnesota/Wisconsin community, and it was intended to appeal to those people the school wanted to attract to StO, either for future admissions or future donations. I think it was easily the most important image maker for the school, because the competing colleges had nothing like it to keep their name before the public. Out here in Washington I listen to KPLU every morning, and every day I hear "KPLU is a service of Pacific Lutheran University." You have no idea how powerful that simple statement is to thousands of people in Washington and Oregon. How the regents could be talked into giving up a tool like that is beyond me. My grapevine tells me that StO lost millions in future donations by this shortsighted sale, so when it is all accounted for the only difference will be the loss of WCAL as a voice for the college. Moreover, there is the heritage blow, too. WCAL was literally the first radio station located west of the Mississippi, giving it a sense of past and of continuity and stability. I am glad the new station on the radio band is a good one, though it seems to me that Minnesota Public Radio could have transformed one of its own stations to give you the programming you are enjoying. The message I am mostly hearing from you is that the Board of Regents is a mysterious and unresponsive group. I hope it is not true, but until I hear a public statement of regret regarding WCAL, I will probably have to believe it.
12/10/05 10:23 pm - echsdoc - The WCAL sale
I am curious if any of you younger Oles have thoughts or experiences regarding the sale of WCAL. I don't know a single old grad who is not furious about the whole process. It was such a bullish blind crashing of the china shop that it was inexplicable to watch. Personally, I keep waiting for a public apology from the Board and the Administration, a mea culpa for their bad stewardship, but nothing like that has been forthcoming. I teach in a private high school and at our last two open houses I had the experience of parents coming to me (having seen my vita sheet), introduce themselves as Oles, then go right into discussion of how terrible the loss of WCAL is. It is an interesting phenomenon. Do you think there is a sense of betrayal on the campus? Is there any awareness of how angry the StO community out there is? Is there any likelihood of an open apology, so we can go back to our common love for the school? StO was very important to me, and this episode is really hurtful to think about.
9/7/05 10:36 pm - pixie_goose - E-mail from President Thomforde
Though I graduated in May, I still have my Olaf e-mail account until the 20th and I thought I would share the mass e-mail Thomforde sent out the other day.
September 7, 2005
Dear Men and Women of St. Olaf:
As the new academic year gets underway, I wanted to share some personal good
news with you.
Professor Kathy Chadwick and I became engaged, on June 22, 2005, as we gave
thanks for each other, and for God's enduring goodness in our lives and in
the lives our families, while standing on the banks of the Elbe River in
We are grateful also for this community, and the many ways in which you have
sustained us, personally and professionally, over the years.
We invite you to join us in celebration at our wedding in Boe Chapel on
Tuesday, December 27, 2005 at 2:00 pm. A reception will follow in the Black
and Gold Ballroom in Buntrock Commons.
Christopher M. Thomforde
And I'm a bit sad because classes start tomorrow and I won't be there -this becoming a grown up thing sucks.
Out of rampant curiosity and not a bit of confusion—what is the scuttlebut on new president stuff for St. Olaf? Why are they looking for one? Who is disattisfied with whom and why? I knew Edwards was hired As a short term Pres. But I was pretty sure when they brought in Thomforde that no such understanding existed? Anyone know what's going on?
8/1/05 01:09 pm - yoru_no_tori - Public Service Announcement
Saint Olaf has now decided that it must censor casual reading matericals on display at the library. As an ole, a concerned member of the rolvaag staff and, let's be honest, lucidondine told me to, this post is to raise awareness of how the Saint Olaf community is encouraging its isolationist reputation.
Last Thursday. the library staff was told to remove the "popular" (vogue, entertainment, rolling stone) magazines from our casual reading section because "an administrater had concerns" about the lack of intellectual material on display. "it gives the college a negative image."
This concerns me for three big reasons:
1) CENSORSHIP-The public has difficulty finding articles that normally should be readily available. AND I might add, that many courses (media studies, women's studies) use these resources for research.
2) Most of these subscriptions are donated. If we want to argue that these periodicals give the college a negative image, how does it look to reject a donation from an alumni or staff?
3) Olaf is already a protected bubble of isolation. This only encouragements the "safe haven from the immoral world" reputation that Olaf has.
While this may not seem to be a huge issue, it is wrong. Right now, the library staff (with the exception of the Head Librarian) is in communicado with the "administrator" who is in fact, NOT an administrator. (Unfortunately, under the agreement I signed for work, I can't hand out names.) We would like to keep these materials where they are. There really isn't another place for them. I feel that the administration should make an allowance for these materials, seeing that we've lost the battle for the coffee in the library. (We're installing a coffee vending machine on level three where the JJ board used to be.)
And so ends my public service announcement.
6/22/05 10:03 pm - buppyspek
There haven't been many posts here recently, but I feel this is something the St. Olaf community should hear about.
Eric Drotning, class of 2002, passed away earlier this week in a car accident.
For those of you who didn't have the pleasure of knowing Eric, he was a kind person and a very talented percussionist with the St. Olaf band.
For those interested, his funeral will be held at Boe Chapel at 10 AM this Saturday.
He was never someone I was close to, but I remember that he was always curteous and respectful, and was certainly a very important part of the Music Department when he was there.
Eric, you will be missed...