In his inaugural speech, Thomforde emphasized curiosity, creativity and sacred passion as pillars for the St. Olaf mission statement. Curiosity leads to a life of clarity, hope and honesty. Creativity forces us to "see the world and our lives from a new angle." And sacred passion amplifies curiosity and creativity as "faithful responses by us to the Passion of God for us." Thomforde projected, "The lights of intellectual curiosity, creative expression and sacred passion have been burning brightly from this hillside since the founding of the college. Let them shine brightly into the future." The inaugural reception concluded with fireworks. Aflame on the hillside, the college-owned natural lands caught on fire. And so the torch was passed to develop a new community of Oles.