St. Olaf College | News

Tomson Hall dedication set for Friday

St. Olaf College will dedicate its newest facility, Tomson Hall, during a ceremony Friday. The dedication will immediately follow the Honors Day Convocation.

The much-needed renovation of the 1960s-era Science Center transformed the building into a modern facility that encourages connections between academic and administrative functions and promotes cross-disciplinary interactions. The building is named in honor of O. Jay Tomson ’58, former chair of and currently a Senior Regent on the St. Olaf Board of Regents, and his wife, Patricia McCarthy Tomson ’59. The Tomsons provided a $5 million gift for the renovation of the facility and have given years of service to the college.

Since its opening in January, Tomson Hall has been home to the Education Department and the college’s six language departments, as well as the World Languages Center. It also houses a number of offices that serve students, including Admissions and Financial Aid, International and Off-Campus Studies, Residence Life, Health Services, the Registrar, the Dean of Students, and the Center for Experiential Learning. The offices of the President and Provost are located in the building as well.

Tomson Hall plays an important role in the Main Street Initiative, which takes its name from the “main street” that runs on an east-west axis on the campus level of the building. That corridor — with the Admissions Office on the west end and the Center for Experiential Learning on the east, and resources such as the Office of International and Off-Campus Studies in between — in many ways mirrors the academic journey of St. Olaf students. The Main Street Initiative aims to connect the first and last days of a student at St. Olaf through a thoughtful, integrated sequence of curricular and co-curricular programs designed to teach students how to shape and implement a vocation and career plan that aligns with their talents and interests.