The family recently visited St. Olaf College. (See two earlier posts, “Remembering WCAL” and “A Professor, an Art Barn and a Lifetime of Enjoyment.”) I had not been on campus for a while. We went, specifically, to see what St. Olaf did to Boe Memorial Chapel to improve its acoustics and to look at the new Regent’s Hall Science building and find out what happened to the Flaten Art Barn and the old science center. We liked what we saw. The center of the campus is automobile free and the open lawn now has lots of shade trees and a good deal of public art. The lawns and the new buildings have “pocket lounges” where students can talk and plot. This is something I could have used when I was a student during the long Minnesota winters.
Brian, Kevin, Liz and I all are St. Olaf grads. Liam, my grandson, who is three, especially enjoyed a piece of lawn art that allowed him to move a ship across a table and a sculpture outside the Art Center that his Uncle Kevin used as a set of bongo drums when he was a student, driving, I understand, others nuts. Kevin showed Liam how to do the same.
The one thing that struck me is how much “richer” St. Olaf looked. It has lost some of the austere nature it had when I was a student. We, of course, rebelled against that austerity but looking back, (“Back in my day.”) Well, perhaps (no certainly) I am just getting older.