St Olaf in film

St Olaf may be well known as a premier liberal arts school in the upper midwest, but that recognition doesn’t always translate to destinations further afield. So when Betty White claimed it as her alma mater in the Golden Girls sitcom there was a seven-year span of possible name-dropping. To say nothing of the glow of being associated with the comedic charmer, the bright as a penny, the class act who was Betty White.

Apparently the local college in the town know for cow colleges and contentment also made an appreance in the Cohen Brothers’ (Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, True Grit) film A Serious Man.

Was it the beautiful Hogwartian campus? Was it the Lutheran chapel with Scandinavian overtones? No, it was a lecture hall and a mega-sized black board chock-full of physics equations. I came across this interesting tidbit when I was trying to track down a former St. Olaf biology professor, Jim Cedarberg. He helped the stage set fill the board.

Written by Mike Roe, a St. Olaf Alum.

The college will never be known for its sports records. It will always be lauded for the St. Olaf Choir. And now it has appeared in two cinematic ventures.