Did you know that there is a St. Olaf Philosophy Alumni Facebook page?
Click here to go to the page.
The members of the Department of Philosophy very much care about the well being of each student we work with, and this ongoing care and interest does not end at graduation. We believe that “the St. Olaf community” is not limited to those current students, faculty, and staff, but extends to graduates as well. You may not always feel that you are still in this community, but the impact of each major over the years and decades is very much real; it is part of our history as well as part of what makes us, as a department, who we are today. And one of the indications of your being part of a broader St. Olaf community is that each graduate philosophy major who visits will receive a huge welcome; each of you are invited to attend our Belgum Lectures and any colloquium taking place. And if graduates have pursued philosophy professionally, we would love to discuss ways in which you might return to campus to meet with current majors, to offer a paper for a seminar, or simply talk philosophy over coffee or what our President refers to as “an adult beverage.”
In the Fall of 2013, we contacted philosophy graduates to ask about their lives after they left this fair hill. We were over the moon about the responses we received. We have included below reports from the four quarters of the earth about our majors. Here, in their own words, are reports from our fine philosophy graduates:
Karl Rosenquist ’94
“I would assess that having studied philosophy has given me the ability to be clear and critical about conceptual models and an interest in subtleties of language that might otherwise have been skipped. It certainly needed some practical implementation and augmentation before I was able to eat by it, but I do believe studying philosophy has fundamentally served me in ways that other disciplines would only skirt. For me, philosophy was in large part about coming to develop an appreciation for the nature and role of language and systems. That has certainly been helpful in becoming more than just another technical software guy, and would be essential in many practices where language and other forms of symbolism are key.
I have fond memories of philosophy at Saint Olaf. I recall writing a story about my dying aquarium fish for a final paper in a class on Kierkegaard, had intense dreams after arguing for a materialistic explanation of the soul in a consciousness class, and attained some lasting satisfaction in what I view as Wittgenstein’s transcendence of philosophy. Thank you for those memories and those life-lessons”.
Deepa Upadhyaya ’93
“I went on to get a masters degree in Midwifery after becoming a nurse. I worked with Doctors without Borders in Afghanistan and married the Irish physician who was on the mission. We have 2 daughters of our own, who were born in the rural west coast of Scotland. I have delivered babies in the Oregon, Washington, Ireland, Afghanistan, and and now in British Columbia, Canada. I am in the process of applying for a tenured Midwifery faculty position in Calgary, Alberta. If I am lucky enough to land the job, it is my hope to inspire students like you inspired me.”