End of Year Festivities

30 November 2023

The holiday season is a great time for community-building. Staff and faculty on campus can sample home-baked treats and do some holiday shopping at the Craft Fair and Custodial Bake Sale, join colleagues from across campus at the Employee Holiday Party, or support local businesses and visit with Northfield neighbors at the city’s Winter Walk. 

Here in Laird Hall, the various offices get kind of competitive with our holiday potluck, and this year we are hosting a progressive, building-wide putting contest in which every office will build a putting green out of cans and boxes of items to be donated to the Community Action Center food shelf. Had I known that I would be a college president one day, I would have made a point of learning to golf, but as it is I don’t expect to be much help to my team.

This weekend, Carleton will host the annual Laura Baker Services Association Gala here in the Weitz Center. One of the area’s biggest charity fundraisers, it brings together people from across the community to support LBSA’s mission of supporting people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Carleton students have volunteered at LBSA for many decades, and we are glad to help sponsor and host the gala. I always enjoy this great see-and-be-seen event for Northfield (which is a bit dressier than Defeat of Jesse James Days)!

I also look forward to hosting College friends and neighbors at a big Community Holiday Party in Great Hall that is a chance to thank local leaders and community members for their partnership and support of the College. I have been touched by the number of folks in town who mention throughout the year that this event is a holiday highlight. 

Finally, we try to demonstrate our partnership with the City of Northfield in more tangible ways as well. This afternoon, Eric Runestad and I will join St. Olaf President Susan Singer and Chief Financial Officer Mike Berthelsen in presenting Mayor Rhonda Pownell with checks for $80,000 from each college, an annual donation that commemorates our deep bond with the city, and our recognition that a strong Northfield community helps keep the city’s two colleges strong as well.

Featured in Carleton Today, November 30, 2023.