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ISSUE 117 VOL 5 PUBLISHED 10/17/2003

This week at St. Olaf: 1953, 1983, and 1993

By Bethany Jacobson
Staff Writer

Friday, October 17, 2003

This week in 1953…

Famous West End actor Claude Rains gave the opening talk in the St. Olaf Artist and Lecture Series. Rains performed in many plays by George Bernard Shaw and starred opposite Vivien Leigh in the 1944 screen version of “Caesar and Cleopatra.” He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Captain Louis Renault in the film “Casablanca.”

The senior ladies of Hilleboe Hall held an “At Home” night; they served refreshments in the common room from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for anybody who might like to stop by and tour the residence hall.

Exchange students from Switzerland were shocked that “vain” Ole girls didn’t wear stockings in the winter. “Swiss girls get dates too,” one girl told the Messenger, “even if they do wear wool or silk stockings when it’s cold out.”

In 1983…

The Sussman Lawrence Outdoor Concert, held on Hoyme lawn, kicked off a month of musical performances on the Hill.

During the concert, Northfield residents, especially those living in the Northfield Retirement Center, called in complaints about what they thought was a “noisy radio” in Rand. The concert was shortened from two 50-minute sets (with an intermission) to 90 minutes, but was still hailed as a great success by the event’s organizers.

The Student Activities Committee’s generous sound equipment budget was fingered by students in the know as the reason for the unexpected loudness and clarity of the performance.

“Kingdom Come,” a play based on the novel “Giants in the Earth” by O.E. Rolvaag, was put on in the Kelsey Theater. The play was the second (and more successful) adaptation of Rolvaag’s novel about the trials and triumphs of Norwegian immigrants.

The novel on which the plays were based was originally written and published in Norwegian. And yes, this is the very same Rolvaag for whom the library is named.

In 1993…

No, college students have not always played Ultimate Frisbee. The St. Olaf Ultimate Frisbee Club was only a toddler in ‘93, beginning its third year of existence here on the Hill.

Professor of English Rich DuRocher published the first ecological readings of Paradise Lost from an environmentalist point of view. He studied the early scientific poems of the Greeks and Romans in order to see how Milton might have been influenced by these early worldviews.

Chemistry professor Janet Nelson received a $15,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to design and build a new type of air–tight chemistry equipment in order to modernize the St. Olaf labs. She chose, ordered and assembled the parts with her own two hands.

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