In keeping with a nearly century-old tradition, representatives from St. Olaf College and Carleton College presented the city of Northfield with an annual donation that this year totals $157,000.
Each college gifted its host city $78,500. Carleton Vice President and Treasurer Fred Rogers and St. Olaf Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Janet Hanson presented the checks to Northfield Mayor Rhonda Pownell and Northfield City Administrator Ben Martig.
The gift dates back to the 1920s, as Carleton and St. Olaf are among the first colleges in the United States to make such a gift.
Nearly 5,000 college students from the two colleges call Northfield home for the academic year. The city provides the students with a wide array of services, including restaurants, shopping, emergency and professional services, plus employment and other opportunities to expand their academic experiences with internships in local professional settings. Northfield, in turn, benefits from a large base of potential clients and consumers for its businesses, and volunteers for local organizations and schools.
Local citizens also are able to enjoy a wide range of athletic, art, and musical offerings from both colleges — most of which are free and open to the public.
The two colleges are among the largest employers in Northfield, with more than 1,500 employees combined.