Celebrating the Class of 2022
St. Olaf College celebrated the Class of 2022 with a commencement ceremony on the picturesque lawn in front of Mellby Hall on Sunday, May 29.
U.S. Senator Tina Smith, who has represented Minnesota in the United States Senate since 2018, delivered the charge to the graduating class. She praised St. Olaf students for creating a strong community on campus and for their commitment to what she calls “civic faith” — working to build a better society by helping neighbors in need, fighting injustices, and voting.
“I hope that your civic faith remains strong as you travel through the world. I hope that you’ll learn to enjoy the challenge of improvising when the path forward is unclear. And I hope you’ll remember to be a good teammate wherever you go,” she told the graduates. “Because the truth is, you can fill the pages of your life any number of ways. But if you get to laugh, and you get to learn, and you get to serve, and you get to do it all with people you like, you’re going to be proud of the book you write.”
The truth is, you can fill the pages of your life any number of ways. But if you get to laugh, and you get to learn, and you get to serve, and you get to do it all with people you like, you’re going to be proud of the book you write.U.S. Sen. Tina Smith
The senior commencement address was delivered by Rafa Al-Helal ’22, a nursing major from Jakarta, Indonesia. She said the day was for celebrating not only how far the Class of 2022 had come, but all the people who had helped shape their journey — from roommates who provided rides and shared winter coats to professors who provided support and encouragement.
“If there is one thing that I will sorely miss upon my departure from the Hill, it will be the community that I have built, and that has, in return, built me,” she told her classmates.
If there is one thing that I will sorely miss upon my departure from the Hill, it will be the community that I have built, and that has, in return, built me.Senior Speaker Rafa Al-Helal ’22
In addition to the commencement ceremony, the graduating class celebrated with several other events throughout the weekend, including the Baccalaureate Service, the Illumination Ceremony, the Commencement Weekend Concert featuring the St. Olaf Band, St. Olaf Choir, and St. Olaf Orchestra, and the Last Lecture and Parting Words featuring remarks by Associate Professor of Political Science Anthony Lott and Vice President for Human Resources Leslie Moore.
As St. Olaf seniors enjoyed their last weeks on campus, they shared some of their favorite memories from their time on the Hill. From traveling the world on study-abroad programs to bonding with athletic teams to late-night chats with friends, the Class of 2022 has memories to last a lifetime. Read more of their reflections on the St. Olaf Instagram page.
“My favorite memory from St. Olaf has always been Omkara! It’s been incredible to have such a strong community on campus that I can feel comfortable expressing my cultural identity!” — Rhea Alley, psychology and Asian studies major
“I had the opportunity to travel abroad on Global Semester the spring of my senior year. Living and learning abroad in three different countries was the experience of a lifetime. I’m so grateful for the lifelong friends I met and the adventures we shared together. Um Yah Yah!” — Emma Boehm, sociology and anthropology major with concentrations in media and management studies
“My favorite memory at St. Olaf would have to be getting admitted into the St. Olaf Choir. Getting into that ensemble was a goal of mine from the start of my first year, and being able to share music over the past three years with all of my friends (a shout-out to the tenor section!) is something I will cherish for the rest of my life!” — Alexander Famous, computer science and Latin major
“My favorite memory from St. Olaf is dancing with Krush Dance Crew. Before coming to St. Olaf, I never danced but always wanted to learn. From participating with the Krush Dance Crew, I learned a lot of skills from everyone, was also able to lead dance projects that were meaningful to others, and developed my leadership skills as a president, which just feel like leading a mini venture.” — Ying Zhou, computer science and mathematics major with a management studies concentration
“My favorite thing about St. Olaf is living surrounded by friends — I never feel alone.” — Fricka Lindemann, race and ethnic studies and political science major
Congratulations, Class of 2022!