Welcome Back, Oles!
This week we’re welcoming St. Olaf College students back to campus for the start of spring semester.
We know that we’ll need Oles to have the same level of diligence and commitment to safety they demonstrated throughout our successful in-person fall semester.
Read messages of welcome below from President David R. Anderson ’74, Vice President for Student Life Hassel Morrison, Professor of Music and St. Olaf Band Conductor Timothy Mahr ’78, Piper Center for Vocation and Career Director Leslie Moore ’77, and Athletic Director Ryan Bowles.
Welcome back and happy Black History Month! Over the past several weeks, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, I have been thinking a lot about Nelson Mandela’s words: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
As the Vice President for Student Life at St. Olaf College, I am committed to ensuring our college continues to work to make our nation and world a better place by seeking meaningful ways to advance democratic values and to build more diverse, inclusive, and supportive spaces and communities through the programs we develop, the conversations we engage, and the outreach we provide.
Likewise, I care about your well-being and ask that you lift up our shared commitment in keeping the campus safe. As community members, I believe we have a tremendous responsibility and an obligation to care for one another. Though this can be exhausting and challenging, we must continue to engage in safe practices so every person has the opportunity to thrive.
— Vice President for Student Life Hassel Morrison
Welcome back, everyone!
I couldn’t be prouder of how our college conquered the challenges of last semester. At first, the sum of everything we knew we had to accomplish seemed overwhelming. We eventually lived in community, learned in new ways, and loved the chance to just be with one another.
Our music making in the St. Olaf Band, following such a long time apart, was highly charged, quite emotional, and it oddly felt comfortably centered while also being wildly different. The power of making art — together —was as intense and meaningful as it had ever been. As a college, we all modified our approach to life, and it worked. We completed the semester!
We need to make these same efforts again with an increased vigilance. I encourage you to model informed, responsible behavior during this very serious moment in our lives. Help others make good decisions. We can do this!
— Professor of Music and St. Olaf Band Conductor Timothy Mahr ’78
Welcome Back, Oles! It is so wonderful to have each and every one of you back on the Hill. Campus reaches its peak when our students are here, together and learning. I commend each of you for your resiliency and perseverance in navigating the challenges presented to you last semester. Job well done. I’m also confident that you will once again rise to the challenge, collectively and make the very best of spring semester 2021. We only get one crack at it, so let’s make it one that we will remember forever. Um! Yah! Yah!
— Athletic Director Ryan Bowles
Welcome back to the spring semester. The good news is that, despite the cold, we’ll have over 10 hours of sunlight each day starting this week!
February is a great time to put reflection into action. You know what interests you and what you like doing with your time. You know your values. You also know what you don’t like, which is just as important.
Are you curious about what you might do? How to find what you want? Come talk with us at the Piper Center about where you’re going. We’re here to help you find what’s next.
— Piper Center for Vocation and Career Director Leslie Moore ’77
Welcome back to campus. I’m so proud of the way as a college we came together to take care of ourselves and one another last fall so that we could be in residence, in person, in community on campus. We all rose to the occasion. Let’s do it again this spring.
Late this winter and into the spring we will begin work on the Ole Avenue Project: a new 300-bed residence hall on the south side of St. Olaf Avenue and new town houses across the street on the north side. Occupancy in the Fall of 2022. It’s an exciting time.
I’m glad you’re back.
— President David R. Anderson ’74