St. Olaf College | News

St. Olaf to host Queen Sonja of Norway

Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway is set to make a stop at St. Olaf College during a visit meant to highlight the strong ties between Norway and Minnesota’s Norwegian-American community.

During her visit to the college on Friday, Oct. 14, Queen Sonja will meet with St. Olaf students, faculty members, the Board of Regents, and members of the Norwegian-American Historical Association. Her Majesty will also participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Special Collections vault at Rølvaag Memorial Library that will include student readings and performances of archival materials related to Norwegian-American history. The events are limited to invited guests and not open to the public.

The visit will be Queen Sonja’s fourth to St. Olaf; she previously traveled to the college with King Harald V in 2011 and 1995, and first visited in 1978 as Crown Princess of Norway.  During her four-day stay in Minnesota, the Queen is scheduled to meet with Gov. Tim Walz and to participate in a centennial event for the Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, or “Mindekirken,” in Minneapolis. She’ll also open a new building adjacent to the nearby Norway House, a center for Norwegian art and culture. 

St. Olaf College was founded in 1874 by Norwegian immigrants and has hosted members of the Norwegian royal family on several occasions. In addition to Queen Sonja’s previous appearances with King Harald V, other Norwegian royal visits include Princess Astrid in 2008; Princess Märtha Louise in 2006, Crown Prince Haakon in 2005 and King Olav V in 1987.