"Sometimes it is hard for fathers and daughters to get together, just the two of them," Tim Zager said, who came from Duluth to see his daughter Ellen Zager '05.
St. Olaf recognizes the importance of keeping the bond between parents and their children strong, and both Zager and his daughter appreciate the effort. Ellen Zager mentioned that her parents also come to the St. Olaf Band and Orchestra concerts to support her, but spending time with just her father is nice.
Bruce Sederberg, another father from Duluth, described the brunch as "way better than sending e-mails" and that the event was a great occasion to visit his daughter.
"These little isolated moments which mark your relationship with your daughter are very important," Larry Block, another St. Olaf father, said. He called this event a "little memory mark during college time."
Block's daughter, Katie Block '08, saw the brunch as a wonderful opportunity to bring family and school together. Although she has been living on her own for a couple of months now, she said she doesn't want to lose her close family connections.
Having a strong relationship was one of the points made by keynote speaker Chris Meidt, head football coach at St. Olaf.
"Things don't last - a relationship lasts," Meidt said, while calling his two daughters "the joy of my life."
Meidt encouraged fathers to celebrate their daughters' uniqueness.
"Celebrate who your daughter is, in her unique giftedness," he said. "She needs you to affirm her. Give your daughter your time and attention."
Appealing to the nobility of fathers, he said that "a daughter needs her dad to be her hero." A father, he said, is irreplaceable.
Meidt encouraged daughters to let their fathers know that they are the best and that they are proud of them.
"A daughter has a spot in her dads' heart that no one else has," Meidt said. He added that fathers need to know that their daughters want to be with them.
"Daughters have great power over their dads that they should use in life-changing ways," Meidt said
He concluded his speech with more encouragement for fathers. "Being a dad to your daughter is one of the greatest gifts," Meidt said.