St. Olaf College | News

St. Olaf announces 2019 Alumni Award winners

St. Olaf College recently announced its 2019 Alumni Award winners: Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Nathan Lindgren ’63, Alumni Achievement Award recipient Karine Swensen Moe ’85, and Outstanding Service Award recipients Jerry Appledoorn ’67, Douglas Tate ’70, Robert Gehringer ’71, and John Mittelsteadt ’81.

Every year, the St. Olaf Board of Regents and the St. Olaf Alumni Board, in recognition of outstanding achievements, bestow the St. Olaf Alumni Awards on those alumni whose accomplishments have brought honor to self and to the college; whose service and leadership have exemplified its ideals; and whose concern for St. Olaf has supported and strengthened its program.

Receiving the Alumni Award is a tremendous honor, and it’s an opportunity for the college to recognize alumni whose actions, work ethic, and motivation bring the St. Olaf mission to life. Award recipients demonstrate the best of what you can do with a St. Olaf education.

Read more and watch a video of each of this year’s recipients below.

Nathan Lindgren ’63
Physicist Nathan Lindgren ’63 is committed to serving the world beyond his Upper Midwestern roots, and his professional achievements include 40 years as an expert researcher in national defense technologies.

Lindgren was among the United States’ first contingent of Peace Corps volunteers, serving in Sierra Leone shortly after graduating from St. Olaf. He taught high school math and science courses, led young men in a Boy Scout troop, and later taught physics at the University of Malawi.

The majority of Lindgren’s career was spent as a researcher in radar studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory, a federally funded center that researches and develops advanced technologies to meet critical national security needs. He was known for his expert physical intuition, as well as his mentorship of younger colleagues and staff. 

Lindgren is proud of his Norwegian heritage, and together with his wife, Denise Picard Lindgren, is a member of St. Olaf’s Norwegian-American Historical Association. They also contribute to the college’s Lindgren-Lohre Scholarship Fund.

Karine Swensen Moe ’85
Karine Swensen Moe ’85 is provost and dean of the faculty at Macalester College. Her B.A. degree in economics from St. Olaf was the foundation for further education, including a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota.

Moe has spent her entire career at Macalester, beginning in 1995, when she was hired as an economics professor. Moe’s teaching interests have focused on labor economics, gender, and poverty, and her research is centered on issues related to how women’s use of time affects labor market outcomes. 

Her leadership contributions at Macalester include restructuring its Institute for Global Citizenship to better integrate multiculturalism and inclusion into the institute’s programs. She has also led efforts to improve Macalester’s hiring of faculty of color, to develop an entrepreneurship program, and to build a new $32 million theater, dance, and classroom building.

Jerry Appledoorn ’67, Douglas Tate ’70, Robert Gehringer ’71, John Mittelsteadt ’81
Jerry Appledoorn ’67, Douglas Tate ’70, Robert Gehringer ’71, and John Mittelsteadt ’81 have made significant contributions in developing and sustaining St. Olaf’s Peruvian Medical Experience, a life-changing experiential learning opportunity for students who are planning careers in health care.

These four service-minded medical professionals have shared their expertise in the health sciences and mentored scores of St. Olaf students. Through their involvement with the Peruvian Medical Experience, they have assisted students in vocational discernment while guiding them in providing basic medical and dental care to impoverished Peruvian communities. They’ve engaged students in service learning to understand how poverty and culture interact with medical access and care, and continue to support students in their career development. 

Their own careers reflect their compassion and commitment to serving others, from participation in international medical service work to the founding of nonprofit organizations focused on health care for underserved populations.

Do you know an Ole that would be an excellent candidate for an Alumni Award? Submit an Alumni Award nomination for next year today!