According to the Star Tribune, a fisherman saw Harter's body on the shore of the Mississippi River near St. Paul on Sunday morning, about three miles downstream from the site of the accident. The fisherman called 911, and authorities later confirmed that the body was indeed that of Harter.
Brian Harter, Nic's father, called Dean of Students Greg Kneser Sunday afternoon to tell him the news.
"No one really knows the right thing to say," Kneser said, mentioning the relief expressed by the Harter family and friends.
What is still unclear is how Harter's body, which was found in full scuba gear, drifted three miles from the accident site. "There was a fear that, with the suit, his body would be weighted down and would never be found," Kneser said.
The river water clears out every spring, and there was hope that Harter's body would be found eventually.
As the waters clear out, the snow melts, spring comes to Manitou Hill and students must continue without one of their own.
When a St. Olaf student passes away $25,000 goes into a fund, to be used as a scholarship in the deceased student's name. St. Olaf works with the family of the student to decide qualifications for the scholarship. Harter's death is no exception, and the Nicholas M. Harter Memorial Scholarship has already been created.
As both a tribute to Harter and a way to increase funds for his honorary scholarship, male cafeteria workers put together a calendar entitled "Men of the Caf: Feast Your Eyes on 2005." The calendar, a spoof of "beefcake" calendars, was sold to students and faculty outside Stav Hall, and all proceeds went into Harter's Memorial Scholarship Fund.
The idea for the calendar was a long time in the making.
"The calendar idea came about three years ago just as a fun idea," Evan Sundquist '05 said. "We finally made it a reality this year."
The photo shoot was held the Wednesday night before Harter's accident.
"I was completely shocked and in disbelief when I heard of Nic's accident," Ben Terpstra '06 said. "Nic was a great guy to work with and his absence in the Caf has really been felt."
Sundquist, a fellow Stav Hall worker, echoed similar sentiments. "His passing was very shocking to everyone in the Caf," Sundquist said. "[Nic] is a friend and co-worker who cannot be replaced."
Both Terpstra and Sundquist were featured in the calendar with Harter.
"Because of Nic's death, we decided that all the profits made on the calendars should be donated to the formation of a scholarship in Nic's name," Terpstra said.
"Men of the Caf" calendars can still be purchased. Any interested party can contact email@example.com for more information.