Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nordic American Thanksgiving Breakfast: An Interview With Dr. Anderson

Today is the last day to purchase your tickets for the 2013 Nordic American Thanksgiving Breakfast and to mark the occasion we bring you an interview with St Olaf President, Dr. David Anderson. Not only is Dr. Anderson speaking at the event on the subject of Family & Friends, he's bringing the entire St Olaf Choir with him to perform for attendees. Keep reading to get a sneak preview of his presentation for next week!

SofN: Please tell us about your connection to the Nordic American community.

DA: On both my mother's and my father's side, my family emigrated from Norway in the 19th century, settling on both sides of Wisconsin, one in Westby, WI and the other near Columbus, WI.  I grew up eating lutefisk and lefse!  I belong to Torske Klubben, the Norwegian American dining society.  And I have the honor of serving as President of St. Olaf College.

SofN: Can you give us a sneak peek into what the audience can expect from your presentation?

DA: A short story about an adventure the mother's family had on their voyage to America from Norway followed by some thoughts on what light that experience might shed on our world today.

SofN: A person in your position is sure to have a very busy schedule. Can you tell us a little about what convinced you to speak at this year’s event?

DA: At St. Olaf we treasure our Norwegian-American heritage.  It is an honor to represent the College at this important event for Norwegian-Americans in the Twin Cities.

SofN: You’re this year’s speaker on the topic of Family & Friendship. Why is this an important topic to you?

DA: Family and friendship sustained the Norwegians who emigrated to America, many of them arriving with little more than hopes of a better life for their family.  Family and friendship continue to sustain the Norwegian-American community today.

SofN: This year the world renowned St. Olaf Choir will be performing at the Nordic American Thanksgiving Breakfast. Can you tell us about the choir and their upcoming performance? 

DA: The St. Olaf choir is one of the country's pre-eminent a cappella choirs. Last June the choir toured Norway, marking the 100th anniversary of its first tour to Norway.  The tour concluded with a magnificent concert in Trondheim Cathedral.  "A Christmas in Norway," a program recorded at the cathedral during that tour, will be broadcast on public television stations across the country this Christmas.  When not making beautiful music, the students in the choir are studying everything from music to chemistry, from physics to French.

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