Welcome Back, Welcome Home: St. Olaf celebrates Reunion Weekend
St. Olaf College welcomed more than 1,000 alumni and their families back to campus June 2-4 to celebrate Reunion Weekend.
In addition to gatherings for each class year, the weekend featured fun-filled events for everyone that ranged from the All-Class Rally to the silent disco on the Campus Green. With plenty of warmth and sunshine on the Hill over the weekend, Oles also took advantage of fun new additions such as the Icicle Tricycle ice cream cart and a trolley — dubbed the Tr-Ole — that circled around campus.
Erin Cochrane Huntoon ’18, who lives in Chicago now, says the best part of the weekend was simply the opportunity to reconnect with her friends. She also enjoyed seeing what’s changed in the five years since she’s graduated — including the new Ole Avenue Project that has transformed housing on campus. “I loved everything,” she said about her weekend on campus. “There’s such a community here that you just make memories that last a lifetime.”
Erin Cochrane Huntoon ’18There’s such a community here that you just make memories that last a lifetime.
Lauren Melcher Meyer ’08 said she had a blast at her 5-year and 10-year reunions, which prompted her to return this summer for her 15-year reunion. “I have loved seeing friends that I haven’t seen in a while and also people that I did not know very well in my class that I’m getting to know better now. And it’s been really cool to connect with those people now that we’re older,” she says.
And, she says, being back on campus comes with a sense of nostalgia and pride for her alma mater. “I always get chills when we sing Fram! Fram! I loved singing it as a student. It really made me feel like a part of the college. So now to come back as an alum to still get to sing it, it just makes me feel like part of a big community,” she says.
That sense of community was on full display over the weekend. Oles had the opportunity to watch an outdoor movie on the Campus Green, listen to the Ole band Shotgun Jeans featuring members from the Class of 1993, take part in a 5k walk/run or Ole Yoga, or join a tour of campus or the St. Olaf Natural Lands. President Emeritus David R. Anderson ’74, who retired this spring after 17 years of leading the college, delivered his last State of the College Address.
Sue Perkins ’73 says it was a joy to return to the Hill for her 50th reunion and spend time with friends on a campus that is even more beautiful than she remembers. She notes that while many things have changed, what hasn’t changed is the way Oles continue to use their voice to make a difference — much as her class did decades ago. “It was a time of great social change when I graduated. It was tumultuous, but this was a very safe and supportive place to go,” she says. “We were able to give voice to our concerns in this environment that felt really supportive.”
Thank you to all of the alumni who attended Reunion Weekend this year. It was a joy to welcome you back, and welcome you home.