Carleton, St. Olaf make annual donation to City of Northfield

The annual gift, split between the two colleges, dates back to the 1920s.

3 February 2021 Posted In:
Carleton Vice President and Treasurer Eric Runestad and St. Olaf Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Janet Hanson present the colleges' annual donation to the City of Northfield
Carleton Vice President and Treasurer Eric Runestad and St. Olaf Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Janet Hanson presented the colleges’ annual donation to the City of Northfield.Photo:

Carleton College and St. Olaf College made their annual donation to the City of Northfield during the Feb. 2, 2021, City Council Meeting.

This year’s donation is $160,000, split by the two colleges.

City donation Zoom capture
Carleton Vice President and Treasurer Eric Runestad and St. Olaf Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Janet Hanson presented the checks virtually during a Northfield City Council Zoom meeting.

Carleton Vice President and Treasurer Eric Runestad and St. Olaf Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Janet Hanson presented the donation virtually via Zoom to Northfield Mayor Rhonda Pownell and Northfield City Administrator Ben Martig.

The annual gift dates back to the 1920s. Carleton and St. Olaf are among the first colleges in the United States to make such a gift.

Nearly 5,000 college students from the two colleges call Northfield home for the academic year. Northfield provides students with restaurants, shopping, and emergency and professional services. Students enjoy local employment, internships, and volunteer opportunities that expand their academic experience.

Likewise, the community benefits from the students and visitors St. Olaf and Carleton bring to Northfield. The students at both colleges are significant consumers and clients for local businesses, and provide countless volunteer hours for local schools and organizations. Their parents and family members also visit Northfield regularly to attend opening week festivities, athletic competitions, student recitals, music concerts, academic award ceremonies, and commencement weekends. These visitors, as well as the thousands of prospective students and their families who visit the two colleges each year, frequent local hotels, restaurants, and shops. 

In non-pandemic times, both Carleton and St. Olaf invite local residents to experience a wide range of athletic, art, and musical offerings at both colleges. The schools look forward to the time when these events can again be held, mostly free and open to the public.

The colleges are two of the largest employers in Northfield. Carleton and St. Olaf employ more than 1,500 people combined.