Wind Chime Memorial Tower

In the wake of the death of St. Olaf College Professor of Religion and Philosophy William “Bill” Narum in May 2000, his family established a fund to honor his belief in community cooperation and to promote integration between faculty and staff. The Wind Chime Memorial Tower, supported by the Narum fund, was designed to encourage the college community to construct a lasting structure commemorating students whose lives were cut short while they were enrolled at the school.

At the time of the dedication on September 28, 2003, 109 memorial wind chimes hung inside the finished memorial, each inscribed with the name of a deceased student. Names were included from the time the college was founded in 1874 to the time of the dedication. Since then, nine chimes have been added to the tower for those students who have died since or whose names were originally missed.

Consideration was put into each phase of the tower’s construction. The framing comprises forest salvaged trees that lived their lives and died naturally in place—appropriate for a student memorial. No nails are used; each piece was carefully crafted to allow for support, as each gives and takes a little. The design resembles a Nordic stave church, recalling St. Olaf’s heritage.

A group of fifteen faculty and staff members traveled to the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota, where they took classes in timber framing and built the memorial components. Greg Kneser, then dean of students, wrote: “Maybe it was the painting [inscribing] of their names on the chimes … definitely it was seeing the look on the faces of the families as they saw the chimes raised at the the dedication. … Whatever it is, the sadness is leaving me. In its place is a nearly constant beautiful melody that sings a greeting to me every morning as I walk with my coffee to my office. … It is not a sound of mourning or grief … it is a song of peace, joy, and comfort.”

Students remembered in the Wind Chime Memorial Tower:

Aaby, Chris
Anderson, Alfred Serenus
Anderson, George L.
Arntzen, Clifford E.
Beavers, Joseph S.
Benson, Robert Maurice
Berge, Fritjof
Bergman, Donald
Birkenes, Thorsten
Bjoraker, Sylvia Brynelle
Blair, Beverly
Bohle, Robert K
Bonde, Anna
Buntrock, Joyce
Callies, Jon
Cashin, Tim
Cochran, Julian
DeCorsey, Pam
Duea, Margaret Marie
Eidsvold, Janet M.
Ekern, Martha
Erickson, Gregg
Eriksen, Sophie
Estrada, Jocelyn
Ferguson, Sarah
Finseth, Arne K.
Finseth, Levi Stanley
Forshaw, Dwight
Frank, Greta
Fresk, Diane
Gannon, Philip Sidney
Geer, Everett
Gesme, Thomas J.
Gilbert, Nellie Emilie
Gilbertson, Alma Marie
Glenn, Susan
Goldberg, Mary Lynne
Green, Christian Alexander
Groth, Barbara
Hager, Van
Halseth, Oluf H.
Hansen, Larenzo
Hanson, Edward Erling Jr.
Harter, Nicholas
Haugner, James
Heitman, Sarah "Sally"
Henderson, Ole
Hendrickson, Haakon
Hersrud, Jeanne Ellen
Hoppe, Christopher
Hulberg, Clarence Elmer
Indergaard, John Ernest
Jensen, Martin Samuel
Johnson, June B.
Johnson, Kathleen Rae
Johnson, Thomas E.
Johnson, William A.
Kimer, Amanda
Kjosness, Gustav Donald
Kloster, Leif Richard
Knudsen, David Stephen
Knutsen, Edward
Krueger, John R.
Larson, Larry David
Lertsachanant, Pongsakorn
Lostegaard, Sharon L.
Lowe, LaVerne Frank
Lund, Norman
Marjanen, Kelly L.
Mead, Christin
Mohagen, Oscar
Morics, Cassandra V.
Muus, Jens
Mydland, James L.
Nasby, Astrina Eleonora
Naugle, Molly
Nelson, Donald
Nelson, Helen Mae
Nerison, Karl
Norvold, Ruth L.
Olson, Bradley J.
Olson, Dean Kaatrud
Ose, Alvan S.
Peterson, Celius
Peterson, David Hoover
Priest, Marc
Rasmussen, Archibald P.
Rasmussen, John Charles
Reinertson, Peter
Reynolds, Meredith Leigh
Richmond, Howard Lee
Rowberg, Leland Rollag
Sandbo, Ole J.
Schmidt, Waldemar
Schockemoehl, John
Schrader, Veronica
Siverson, Ralph
Smaagard, Carl
Smith, Elizabeth "Betsy"
Steiner, Anne
Sterr, Richard J.
Stolee, Paul
Struxness, Arthur Hugo
Swanson, Paul, William
Swensen, Paul Eugene
Tandberg, Joseph
Tripp, James
Tveten, Morten J.
Vevle, Floyd Martin
Vevle, Lloyd Oliver
Viall, Robert Emmitt
Vogel, Matt
Wade, John Scott
Wales, Beryle Evelyn
Walker, Laura M.
Wiederhoeft, Michael J.
Wold, Edward Bernhard
Ytterboe, Einar Norman

Images

St. Olaf College Wind Chime Memorial Tower, est. 2003

St. Olaf College Wind Chime Memorial Tower, est. 2003

Created to honor the 118 students in the college's history who have lost their lives before graduating. | Source: St. Olaf College Archives View File Details Page

Poem, ...Every Life Matters (part i)

Poem, ...Every Life Matters (part i)

Source: St. Olaf College Archives | Creator: Professor A. Malcolm "Mac" Gimse, 2003 View File Details Page

Poem, ...Every Life Matters (part ii)

Poem, ...Every Life Matters (part ii)

Source: St. Olaf College Archives | Creator: Professor A. Malcolm "Mac" Gimse, 2003 View File Details Page

Heavenly Wind Chimes

Heavenly Wind Chimes

The chimes, tuned to the key of D (the key of Beautiful Savior), are engraved with the names of those students. On windy days, the sound of the chimes can be heard almost everywhere on campus. | Source: St. Olaf College Archives View File Details Page

Students Never Forgotten

Students Never Forgotten

Built by members of the St. Olaf community during the summer of 2003, this Scandinavian-style wooden tower commemorates the lives of students who have died while enrolled at St. Olaf. At the time of the dedication on September 28, 2003, 109 memorial wind chimes hung inside the finished memorial, each inscribed with the name of a deceased student from the time the college was founded in 1874 to the time of the dedication. | Source: St. Olaf College Archives View File Details Page

Student Body Walking With Those Departed

Student Body Walking With Those Departed

Since the dedication of the chime tower in 2003, nine chimes have been added to the tower for those students who have died since or whose names were originally missed. | Source: St. Olaf College Archives View File Details Page

Memorial In Progress

Memorial In Progress

A group of fifteen faculty and staff members traveled to the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota, where they took classes in timber framing and built the memorial components. | Source: St. Olaf College Archives View File Details Page

Wind Chime Crew

Wind Chime Crew

At North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota. | Source: St. Olaf College Archives View File Details Page

Helping Hands

Helping Hands

Bruce Benson, then-college pastor, assisting with the installation of the Wind Chime Memorial Tower. | Source: St. Olaf College Archives View File Details Page

Coming Together

Coming Together

No nails are used for support; each piece was carefully crafted to allow for support, as each gives and takes a little. The design resembles a Nordic stave church, recalling St. Olaf™s heritage. | Source: St. Olaf College Archives View File Details Page

Audio

Professor A. Malcolm "Mac" Gimse Comments on Wind Chime Memorial

Many in the St. Olaf College community were emotionally moved when the chime tower was constructed, including Professor Gimse. | Source: St. Olaf College Archives | Creator: Professor A. Malcolm "Mac" Gimse. Recorded April 23, 2015 View File Details Page

Poem, Ever Life Matters, recited by author, Professor A. Malcolm "Mac" Gimse

Source: St. Olaf College Archives | Creator: Professor A. Malcolm "Mac" Gimse. Recorded April 23, 2015 View File Details Page

Every Life Matters in Song

Creator: Steven Peinovich, music; A. Malcom "Mac" Gimse, lyrics View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Emily Hoar, “Wind Chime Memorial Tower,” NorthfieldHistorical, accessed May 26, 2017, http://northfieldhistorical.org/items/show/87.
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