In his welcoming remarks, President Christopher Thomforde noted the long-standing relationship between Norway and St. Olaf.
"Everyone, every living thing, needs a home from which we can draw our physical origins and our own sense of what's most valuable in life," Thomforde said. "Norway is that place for the community of St. Olaf."
Following the welcome, Prince Haakon gave a brief speech in which he elaborated on the importance of the Norway-St. Olaf relationship.
"Ever since St. Olaf was founded by Norwegian immigrants, it has played a vital role in keeping the ties with Norway alive and vibrant," Prince Haakon said.
Prince Haakon acknowledged St. Olaf's history of "preserving knowledge of Norwegian-American heritage, as well as promoting awareness of its influence in today's American society."
According to Prince Haakon, "Coming to Minnesota is like coming home to Norwegians, especially at St. Olaf."
In his speech, Prince Haakon also addressed the issues of peace and development, and commended St. Olaf for its participation in the annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum.
"Peace concerns us all and it must be made real in the daily existence of every individual," he said. "Peace must be sought because every member of the human family deserves to have a life of dignity and security."
Prince Haakon named poverty as one of the greatest challenges facing the global community, noting the insecurity caused by the growing gap between the rich and the poor.
"We cannot sit patiently while we see people living in despair and poverty," he said.
Prince Haakon emphasized the importance of investing in human resources and harnessing the power of knowledge in order to address global concerns. He encouraged students to channel their learning toward the greater good.
"Being students here at St. Olaf College, you have the privilege to obtain knowledge knowledge that you can use to change the world for the better."
Prince Haakon is the third generation of the Norwegian royal family to visit St. Olaf since the first visit in 1939.