Vol. 3, No. 13 / Dec. 4-Dec. 10, 2000
Nancy J. Ashmore

Capital campaign soars past $100 million mark

In the most ambitious fund-raising effort in its 125-year history, St. Olaf has reached the $100-million benchmark in its Fram! Fram! Forward St. Olaf capital campaign. It is the largest amount ever raised by a Lutheran college — 80 percent of the $125-million goal. The milestone was reached one year after the campaign was announced.

The success of Fram! Fram! Forward St. Olaf is due in large part to the outstanding volunteer efforts of scores of St. Olaf alumni, parents and students, according to Vice President for Advancement Gordon D. Soenksen. “We are very thankful for the efforts of our volunteers, faculty and staff who have worked so hard to make this possible,” he said. “We are also grateful for the wonderful generosity of all who have graciously contributed to the campaign to make the $100-million milestone a reality.”

Soenksen gave special credit to the volunteer leaders of the campaign, cabinet co-chairs Truxtun and Adrienne Morrison of Wayzata, Minn., and Jerrol and Alleen Tostrud of Sunfish Lake, Minn. “This campaign is special because we have so many families involved as volunteers raising funds,” he said. The Morrisons are the parents of two Ole graduates; the Tostruds are alumni whose three children also attended St. Olaf.

Adrienne Morrison said, “We fell in love with St. Olaf through the eyes of our children. The college did a wonderful job of continuing the values we tried to give them. From the very first, we never left the campus without feeling enriched and fulfilled.”

The Tostruds issued a $1.45 million Challenge to their fellow alumni, because they recognized that strong alumni support is critical to the long-term health and vitality of the college. Alleen commented, “We have been truly blessed to be part of the St. Olaf family. Without the generosity of others, neither Jerry nor I would have attended St. Olaf. We see this as our opportunity to give back to an institution that has meant so much to us and our family.”

The campaign’s lead gift — $26 million for the Buntrock Commons — was given by alumnus Dean and Rosemarie Buntrock, alumnus Clayton Buntrock and other members of the Buntrock family.

Interim President Martin E. Marty said, “St. Olaf College has always aspired to reach beyond the ordinary to achieve the extraordinary. The campaign will provide resources to enhance the college’s strengths as a superb residential liberal arts college, as a teacher of sound values and as an academic leader. We are extremely confident that we will surpass our goal.”

The campaign will allocate $74 million to endowment, $34.5 million to capital improvements and $16.5 million to annual operations.