St. Olaf kicks off the academic year with Opening Convocation


St. Olaf College ushered in a new academic year on Thursday, September 6, with its annual Opening Convocation in Boe Memorial Chapel.

Faculty processed in academic regalia, and Student Government Association President Sarah Freyermuth ’19 welcomed the congregation.

Professor of Mathematics Paul Zorn delivered an Opening Convocation address titled “Prove All Things.”

Zorn grew up in the then-verdant hills of South India, where he graduated from Kodaikanal International School. He holds an A.B. degree in mathematics and English from Washington University in St. Louis, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from the University of Washington in Seattle.

In 1981 he joined the faculty of St. Olaf’s Mathematics Department, which later became the Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science (MSCS) Department. Zorn has taught courses in mathematics, science writing, first-year writing, and the Great Conversation. Zorn has chaired the MSCS Department for six years, in two stints.

In 2014 he was awarded the Marie M. Meyer Distinguished Professorship. The fact that Marie Meyer was a professor of English literature, not mathematics, made this a special honor for Zorn.