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Goodbye…For Now!

St Olaf Bound!As parents of a college freshman, my wife and I had the privilege of taking our daughter to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., this past Saturday. For those of you who follow my weekly blogs, I typically refrain from writing about personal and non-numerical subject matter – but I must make an exception with this week’s blog.

I will, however, spare you the extremely emotional part of taking our oldest child to a place three-and-a-half hours away. Let me just say that I will deeply miss not having our daughter at home. A new chapter begins in her life…and ours. We are sincerely delighted for her to begin this ‘new normal’ of higher education and whatever follows in her life.

What specifically caught my eye this weekend at St. Olaf was something that greatly impressed me. In May 2013, the St. Olaf College Student Government Association adopted a creed outlining what each Ole student will practice as an enrolled student. The creed is very simple, yet touching, especially to us new Ole parents! The creed states:

As an Ole, I will practice:

  • Passion for learning and pursuit of vocation,
  • Respect for the worth and dignity of all people,
  • Integrity at all times, in all circumstances,
  • Dedication to a life of service, and
  • Engagement with my community and the world.

In the ever-changing world in which we live, the challenges to our society are growing on a daily basis, and the complexities continue to mount – without any relief in sight. Our communities need (and frankly, demand) to have more of a civil discourse when it comes to the problems we face in this shrinking and uncertain world. Establishing a ‘home base’ for the generations that follow us will be critical to our communities – both socially and economically.

As I was driving home from Northfield, I had time to ponder the significance of this creed, and how it can possibly help provide a ‘home base’ for those who will eventually take our place in this unpredictable world. I must say, it is comforting to know there remains a hefty dose of hope when our youth can teach us about re-dedicating our lives to serve others.

Emma, I miss you immensely already, but your first day away from home was a great start to a promising future!

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  1. Kathy Krogmeier says


  2. This cannot be possible. It just cannot. However, despite my disbelief, I feel confident knowing she is our future.

  3. Thanks for your thoughtful words. Ah, it opened the floodgate of memories, experiencing that first college day for my children (and myself as well, quite frankly) and the empty house/nest. Our children ARE our future. Hats off to the St. Olaf’s, the Augustana’s and al the other liberal arts colleges of the world for all that they do in these extremely challenging times.

    • Your comment, Jan, is spot on! Thanks so much for sharing your experience, as I suspect we are not alone! My best to you!

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