About the Piper Center


The Piper Center for Vocation and Career provides resources and experiences designed to help students leverage their liberal arts education to achieve their full potential. Piper Center staff and programs help students:

  • Identify their values, interests, skills and abilities
  • Understand how their skills relate to professional life
  • Explore a wide variety of careers that best leverage their skills and interests
  • Develop and pursue a sustainable plan for life after college


The Piper Center innovatively strives to equip St. Olaf students with resources for achieving immediate and life-long career success. The Piper Center aims to raise student awareness of its personnel, programs and career management tools and strengthen student preparedness for transitions after college by increasing participation in vocational discernment and professional development activities. This is accomplished through continuous collaboration with faculty, staff, parents, alumni, employers, and community partners. The Piper Center aspires to become a hallmark of the St. Olaf student experience.


The Piper Center empowers students to achieve life-long career success by committing to the following:

  • We provide first-class vocational and career resources to St. Olaf students and alumni.
  • We offer high quality one-on-one career coaching with highly trained staff and student advisors.
  • We maintain the highest level of confidentiality throughout all of our services.
  • We build and maintain strategic relationships with employers, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and donors in order to maximize opportunities for students and alumni.
  • We provide equal access to internships, externships, fellowships, and job opportunities for all students.
  • We view our services and programs as critical components of the St. Olaf student experience.


The Piper Center for Vocation and Career is named in recognition of a gift from the Piper family in memory of H.C. “Bobby” Piper (1918-1990). Bobby Piper believed that each of us is called to use our gifts and talents for the good of the world, and he challenged those around him to discern how their working lives could fulfill that call. Bobby was the longtime Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Piper Jaffray Companies. He was an active civic leader serving on many boards, including the St. Olaf College Board of Regents from 1986-1990. He was married to Virginia Lewis Piper and had three sons, Harry, Tad, and David. The Piper Center was named and dedicated September 6, 2012.