St. Olaf College | News

The Boldt Family: Readying Students

The Boldt Family
Thomas ’74, Renee, Pat, and O.C. Boldt
Home: Appleton, Wisconsin
Gifts to For the Hill and Beyond:
  • $250,000 for the Boldt Fund for Career Enhancement, which supports professional development programming for students entering a variety of careers
  • $460,000 for the Margaret “Peg” Boldt Anderson ‘78 Endowed Scholarship, which supports students who study abroad, established to honor O.C.’s and Pat’s daughter who passed away after a decade-long battle with cancer
  • St. Olaf Fund Leadership Circle and Loyalty Society members
  • Manitou Heights Society Members

“We need leaders who have the perspective and capacity to take on many daunting challenges—in business or in other fields.”


Each year the Boldt Fund for Career Enhancement supports approximately eight internships and related opportunities. The Margaret Boldt Anderson Endowed Scholarship annually provides financial aid to approximately 26 qualified students who study abroad through St. Olaf sponsored programs.


“Our family believes a liberal arts education best prepares students for an increasingly complex world,” shares Tom. “We need leaders who have the perspective and capacity to take on many daunting challenges—in business or in other fields. My sister Peg and I valued our education on the Hill, and we all wanted to provide the same for other Oles. We hold St. Olaf as a model liberal arts college and appreciate its affiliation with the church.”

On the Hill

Pat and O.C. have generously supported numerous St. Olaf campaigns and established its first interdisciplinary faculty chair, The Boldt Chair in Humanities. Tom majored in English and French, was engaged in the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, and studied in Avignon, France for a semester. His and Renee’s son Phillip ‘18 is a philosophy major, a participant in the Great Conversation, and a member of the golf team.


Initially Tom worked in France at a prep school—“though immensely enjoyable, I found teaching wasn’t my thing.” After two years he returned to the Boldt Company and eventually served in a number of management positions before becoming its CEO. Founded by his great-grandfather, it’s now one of the largest professional construction firms in the country. Tom has served as a St. Olaf Regent as has Pat; the Boldts also actively support their Wisconsin community.

Of his time on the Hill

“St. Olaf was exactly what I sought in a college experience—its variety of classes, quality of campus speakers, and international study that immersed me fully in a different culture. The student body was full of interesting people from across the country and the world—I made lifelong friends.”

Why they give

“Providing liberal arts education and leadership skill development are two of the best ways to build strong communities. My parents are great role models on how to live a meaningful life. Charitable causes and giving in various ways have long been a family affair—it’s enriched our lives.”