Alumni News

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.”

Recent Alumni News:

Jimmy Gildea ’15 Makes a Feature-length Film About Ernest Hemingway’s Ventures in East Africa


Jimmy Gildea ’15

After graduating, Jimmy Gildea wasted no time founding his Minneapolis-based, independent film company, Ramble Pictures.  Now, the documentary that has been in the making for the past four years is finally completed and it’s called, Papa’s Shadow.

Papa’s Shadow dives head first into the famous author’s hunting expeditions in East Africa, revealing the integral role of two safaris in their shaping of an author and demise of a legend.  This documentary film features exclusive testimony by Ernest Hemingway’s son, Patrick Hemingway, as well as African author, Hemingway scholar, and St. Olaf English Professor, Dr. Joseph Mbele.

To learn more about this film and how you can play important role in its distribution, please visit our Kickstarter page. If you would like to contact Jimmy, please email him at

Dayna Jondal ’11 Finishes First Year of Law School

One of our recent graduates in the major (Class of 2011), Dayna Jondal, shown studying how to save our planet in Uptown, Minneapolis.  Having finished a year of law school (with flying colors), she is working with a software company this summer and is exploring a vocation in healthcare.

Ethics and the Good Life: Student Op-ed piece published in Star Tribune
Gambling’s sure bet is that people lose by Thore Dosdall ’12

Jonathan Wells subs for Taliaferro’s Environmental Ethics April 28, 2011

Class began with a rousing welcom chant; “Visualize the substrata. Photographer-geologist!” The banging of various object accompanied the made-up tune. After gifts were presented a class photo was taken. Mr. Wells then began to discuss his work New York-City Block and Minneapolis-St. Paul with students. Students were curious about how humans have impacted the geology shown in his photography as well as the creation of the photographs themselves.


Alumnus Attains Master’s Degree after 15-Year Hiatus

Nate Sawyer ’90 recently completed a Master’s Degree in philosophy at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. where he is full-time communications director. His final oral included a defense of the following papers: 1) The Story of Inequality: A Pragmatic Call for Urgency-Infused Theory; 2) Dewey’s Philosophy of Education: A Hooded Defense; and 3) Kierkegaard’s Debt to Hume. His committee members included John Wallace and Sarah Holtman (Co-advisors), Doug Lewis (Chair), Karen Seashore (Supporting Program, Educational Policy and Administration).

Philosophy Alumnus Serves in Middle Asia
Larry Tweed ’97 is serving in the Peace Corps at the Center for American Studies in Osh, Kyrgystan. He maintains a Web blog filled with interesting photos, information, and news about the center’s work.

Former Philosophy Major Wins Oxford
Prize for Dissertation

Sam Evans ’02 was awarded the Dan Gouller Prize for the best dissertation in the Management Faculty at Oxford University, where he completed his MSc in Management Research. His dissertation, entitled “The governance of biotechnology at the World Trade Organization: a cultural theory framework” is published on-line at

Keep in Touch!

If you have alumni information to share,
we’d like to hear from you.
You may email us at:

Or, send photos, announcements, and news to:

Sue Newland
Department of Philosophy
St. Olaf College
Northfield, MN 55057