St. Olaf College
St. Olaf College was founded in 1874 by a group of Norwegian immigrant pastors and farmers, led by Pastor Bernt Julius Muus, as a coeducational, residential, four-year private liberal arts college and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
St. Olaf enrolls nearly 3,000 students, and its academic divisions provide 38 Bachelor of Arts and four Bachelor of Music degree programs at the undergraduate level. This college offers pre-professional preparation in architecture, dentistry, engineering, law, medicine, pharmacy, social work, theology, and veterinary medicine.
St. Olaf's music program, founded by F. Melius Christiansen in 1903, is world-renowned. Its band, choir and orchestra tour the continental U.S annually and have made several critically-acclaimed international tours. The St. Olaf Band was the first American college musical organization to conduct a concert tour abroad when it travelled to Norway in 1906. The band is also credited with introducing the saxophone and the game of baseball to Norway. The orchestra was the first college orchestra ever to be a part of the Community Concert series.
The St. Olaf Choir, founded by Christiansen in 1907 as the St. John's Lutheran Church Choir, is regarded as one of the premier a cappella college choirs in the United States. It has toured Europe several times, as well as China, Korea, and Australia, performing before heads of state and producing over a dozen recordings. The choir performs in the nationally-broadcast annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival along with St. Olaf Orchestra and 5 of the college's other choirs.
The following is a quote from St. Olaf's promotional material:
- St. Olaf, a four-year college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, provides an education committed to the liberal arts, rooted in the Christian gospel, and incorporating a global perspective. In the conviction that life is more than a livelihood, it focuses on what is ultimately worthwhile and fosters the development of the whole person in mind, body, and spirit.
St. Olaf is a traditional athletic and academic rival of its neighbor across town, Carleton College.
St. Olaf is mentioned in the works of Minnesotan F. Scott Fitzgerald (Jay Gatsby of "The Great Gatsby" attended briefly and worked as a janitor) and in Garrison Keillor's radio program "A Prairie Home Companion."
| Colleges and universities of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
|Augsburg | Augustana (Rock Island, Illinois) | Augustana (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) | Bethany | California Lutheran | Capital | Carthage | Concordia | Dana | Finlandia | Gettysburg | Grand View | Gustavus Adolphus | Lenoir-Rhyne | Luther | Midland | Muhlenberg | Newberry | Pacific Lutheran | Roanoke | St. Olaf | Susquehanna | Texas Lutheran | Thiel | Wagner | Waldorf | Wartburg | Wittenberg|
|Edit this list|