St. Olaf College | News

St. Olaf welcomes Class of 2020

St. Olaf College’s newest students gathered in Tostrud Center during their first weekend on campus to show off their matching black and gold T-shirts — and their class number, of course.

St. Olaf College recently welcomed the Class of 2020, a talented group of 830 first-year students that is the most diverse in the college’s history.

Hailing from 504 high schools in 42 states and 54 countries, these new Oles include 151 domestic students of color and 77 international students. The class also includes 22 Davis United World College Scholars and 13 National Merit finalists.

Fifteen members of the class were admitted last year and chose to defer, spending a gap year participating in Rotary Youth Exchange programs in Brazil and Indonesia, traveling in Ireland and Norway, taking classes at the National Outdoor Leadership School, teaching music lessons in Africa, and interning at the Smithsonian.

And while these numbers provide some insight into the incoming class, each new group of students is more than just a compilation of statistics and figures. The Class of 2020 also includes:

  • One student who is a competitive rock climber
  • Another who knows every line of every Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film
  • A student who can recite 60 digits of Pi
  • A student who is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and another who is related to one of the signers of the Mexican Declaration of Independence
  • Another who can recite every word in the Lord of the Rings movies
  • A host of students with lofty career ambitions — from becoming the St. Olaf mascot to a Disney Imagineer to the President of the United States to the Secretary General of the United Nations

“I’m excited to welcome the Class of 2020 to campus,” says St. Olaf Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Chris George ’94. “They are bright, enthusiastic, and driven. I look forward to their participation and involvement with the St. Olaf community over the next four years and beyond.”

Watch a video of members of the Class of 2020 settling in on campus: