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ISSUE 115 VOL 21 PUBLISHED 5/10/2002

Time travel with VARIETY

By Anonymous
Contributing Writer

Friday, May 10, 2002

The school year 2001-2002 could have easily passed slower than a ride on the Minnesota Zephyr or could have thrown you across campus as quick as Tarzan raids the jungle. Either way, St. Olaf has experienced a whirlwind of events in the past year, many that have been scarcely known by students and faculty alike. Such events have touched many students and faculty and have also extended to the broader St. Olaf community. September: Sept. 15 marked the first time since 1986 that St. Olaf football reined over St. John’s. Sean Koomen’s 22-yard field goal with 41 seconds left gave the Oles a 31-28 upset over last year's Division III national runner-up, St. John’s University. November: Senator Paul Wellstone spoke in chapel on Nov. 5 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Peace Corps and the establishment of a new endowment for St. Olaf. The event marked the establishment of the Kloeck-Jenson Endowment for Peace and Justice, instituted to honor the life and work of "a tireless crusader for peace and justice, and a servant leader." Scott Kloeck-Jenson, a 1987 magna cum laude graduate of St. Olaf, was killed in a car accident while vacationing in Lesotho, Africa. The endowment also provides ongoing support for Peace Prize forums. St. Olaf ranked fifth in the nation among the small colleges and universities that have provided volunteers to Peace Corps and leads Minnesota for the number of Peace Corps volunteers currently in service with 18 volunteers. In November there were 21 alumni serving overseas with the Peace Corps. December Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was the featured speaker on the topic of "Legal Action Against Giant Animal Factories" on Dec. 7. His stop was the last of a seven-city Water Keeper Alliance Tri-State Whistle Stop Tour through three Midwestern states and the only stop in which Kennedy appeared. The Harvard graduate has a reputation of defending the environment, having prosecuted the government and companies for polluting the Hudson River and Long Island Sound. Kennedy won settlements for the Hudson Riverkeeper and sued sewage treatment plants to comply with the Clean Water Act. Millions of fans throughout the world were able to tune into St. Olaf's 90th Christmas Festival concert, thanks to the underwriting support of Lutheran Brotherhood. Twin Cities Public Television broadcast the concert nationwide, while St. Olaf College's radio station along with radio stations nationwide also broadcast the performance. The timing was perfect after St. Olaf's Christmas concert earned a spot as “one of the ten Christmas events in the United States not to be missed,” according to the New York Times. Side note: Guests at the popular St. Olaf Christmas Festival last year consumed 750 pounds of lutefisk and 850 pounds of meatballs prior to hearing the 2001 event, "Love Divine, Illumine Our Darkness," performed by the St. Olaf Choir, the St. Olaf Cantorei, the St. Olaf Chapel Choir, the Manitou Singers and Viking Chorus, as well as the St. Olaf Orchestra. January: St. Olaf receives grant money totaling $1.3 million, being paid to the college over four years, from the Freeman Foundation. The grant will support a new faculty position in Asian studies, helping students further their knowledge of the Asian cultures that impact our nation economically and politically. Other derived benefits include new technology to help students study Japanese, improved Asian-studies library resources, and a student exchange program between St. Olaf and an East Asian University. February: St. Olaf was graced by Janet Reno's presence on Feb. 12. Skoglund Athletic Center was filled with nearly 1,600 people to hear Reno speak about subjects such as personal integrity and early childcare. The Political Awareness Committee and Megan Shea ‘03 who helped to bring Reno to St. Olaf believed she would be a great fit for St. Olaf, since she is "a person who people seem to have an opinion about." Paralleling her “Saturday Night Live” skit, Reno hosted a dance party in the Pause, after her speech. April: The St. Olaf Choir earned its first ever international recording contract with Linn Records of London, England. Their CD, to be released in both the United States and in England next December, will feature works by Charles Ives, including “The Celestial Country,” representing Ive’s early romantic period. St. Olaf’s Tragedy Relief Program, started by students, raised $4,000 to contribute to the families of firefighters and medical personnel who lost their lives in New York City on Sept. 11.

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