Alumni Board member Diana Halbrook gave the bulbs to St. Olaf in a goodwill donation. Her dream is that when the bulbs bloom in late May, graduating seniors will be able to look to the flowers as they walk to commencement. Halbrook had seen the idea done at different colleges, and thought the flowers would be a nice, new addition to St. Olaf tradition.
Each year, daffodils will be planted in the fall in honor of the class that will be graduating in the spring. This years number of planted flowers represented the year of graduation for current seniors.
Sennigen, the senator that works with the Alumni Board as a student representative said, "Planting the daffodils was very special for me. To be involved in the planning, and knowing that in May those daffodils will bloom in honor of my classs commencement is really exciting. "
Other graduating classes have also been very receptive to this new tradition. Dave Stoy, 05 said, " I think its great that alumni are contributing to the beautification of the campus. I hope that this garden will encourage and remind current St. Olaf students of the strong and important role of alumni support in our community."
Christine Weible 07 feels the same way. "Being new to the campus, hearing of the daffodils struck me as being so cool! Its so neat to think that when my peers and I graduate, the flowers on the hill will remind us of every fellow Ole who has left the school for greatness," she said.
Normally, daffodils bloom in early spring, and have a relatively short life. Halbrook purposefully bought a breed of daffodils that would bloom in late May, perfect for graduation ceremonies.
The flowers are planted on the hill left of the Manitou Fieldhouse. This spring, only a section of the hill will be covered in daffodils, because this is the inaugural planting of the flowers. However, in the years to come, as each graduating class has flowers planted in their honor, the whole hill will be full of in daffodils as seniors leave St. Olaf.