St. Olaf College: Monuments and Memories

Tour curated by: St. Olaf College

The Monuments and Memories tour winds its way through the St. Olaf College campus and into downtown Northfield. The sites reflect individuals, traditions, and artistic and natural elements that honor the memory of those associations since the school's founding in 1874.

Unlike historic markers that inform passersby, these tour sites continually engage and evolve as the campus develops. For example, the Flaten Art Barn, originally built in 1932, was removed in 2007 and re-dedicated in 2013 as a multipurpose classroom and gathering space. The ageless St. Olaf Rock continues to anchor the campus green, and it serves as a common backdrop for photographers and rock climbers.

Whether excited football fans gather at the Civil War monument downtown for the "turning of the eagle," or stand teary-eyed under the Wind Chime Memorial Tower, each holds to the spirit of college pride and community.

Locations for Tour

Under a canopy of basswoods and sugar maples in Norway Valley, fifty yards east of the water tower, sits a monument dedicated to Reverend Ole O. Fugleskjel, a member of the St. Olaf College class of 1894. The nine-foot pillar of St. Cloud gray…

“The men who fought in the world war were not heroes in the general sense of the word,” Professor Theodore Jorgenson proclaimed from the pulpit of Hoyme Memorial Chapel on Armistice Day, November 11, 1921. “They were ordinary human beings,…

What do St. Olaf College, Carleton College, and a downtown Northfield Civil War monument adorned with an iron eagle all have in common? Jim Walsh, a blogger for the St. Olaf College Ole Touchdown Club, explained in a blog post after the two rival…

Nearly a century ago, Georgina Rostad ex-'19 posed for a picture standing next to the St. Olaf Rock. From Rostad’s time to the present, countless others have similarly been photographed in front of, on top of and next to the rock, which has the…

"I wanted to make St. Olaf so nice no student would ever have to apologize for it," said John Berntsen, former head of the St. Olaf College grounds. He retired in 1964 after fifty-two years of devoted service. One of his pet projects over…

In the summer of 1932, Arnold Flaten '22 returned to campus after studying art in Europe for two years. Charged with creating an art department, and supported by a generous gift of $5,000 from the Carnegie Corporation to the college, Flaten designed…

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.…

Jeff Barber’s “Para-Pillars” memorializes thirty years of St. Olaf’s Paracollege, which provided innovative, individualized, interdisciplinary learning. The sculptor, class of 1978, is himself an alumnus of the “college within a college”…
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