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David Anderson, this club is for you

By Amy Lohmann '14
December 8, 2011

Members of the David Anderson Club include (clockwise, from left) St. Olaf President David R. Anderson '74, David Frank Anderson '12, David Frederick Anderson '15, and David H. Anderson '15. Photos by Thomas Dunning '15.

"The mail room loves us," David H. Anderson '15 says sarcastically.

David is referring to himself and his three fellow members of the David Anderson Club, which has been officially recognized this year as a student organization.

"The club was spontaneously generated at a 'David Anderson breakfast' one day this fall," says President (of St. Olaf College, not the club) David R. Anderson '74. "The most important rule is that you have to be named David Anderson. Our purpose is to gather for food, fun, and fellowship."

According to the official constitution of the club, members must be current students, faculty, or staff at St. Olaf College named David Anderson. Any individuals fitting this description are automatically enrolled in membership.

"When I was a student at St. Olaf there were also four David Andersons, but we didn't have the vision to create a club," says President David Anderson, adding that he did room with two other D.A.s.

The club meets for breakfast two or three times a semester to discuss "any and all matters related to David Andersons," whether that includes future goals for the club or the various interests of each David.

While each David has individual interests and areas of expertise, there is some overlap within the group. Two of the Davids are first-year students, two are majoring in church music with additional focus on the organ, and two even share the same middle initial. These areas of similarity within the group may be confusing, so the Davids have identified what sets them apart from the crowd of D.A.s.

"I am different from the other D.A.s because I am 6 feet 9 inches tall," boasts David Frank Anderson '12 of Charlotte, North Carolina. David H. Anderson, from Littleton, Massachusetts, is the only blond member of the group, while President David Anderson touts his Ph.D. as his differentiating quality. "Some people might find my academic interests unusual relative to the other Davids, as I don't play the organ," says David Frederick Anderson '15, from Oak Park, Illinois. "But above everything else, I'd like to consider myself an artist and a thinker."

The three student David Andersons share a post office box in Buntrock Commons, which has led to plenty of confusion. "The mail room loves us," David H. Anderson '15 says sarcastically.

Despite their many differences, the D.A.s of St. Olaf College have had their fair share of mix-ups and confusion.

"Emails are not really a problem; it's much more often regular mail," says David Frederick Anderson. "Three of us, the students, share a mailbox, which we've also designated as the club's mailbox. Things can get confusing there sometimes."

"Once I had a pair of shoes delivered to the school and they ended up in President David Anderson's office,"  says David Frederick.

And that isn't the only thing President David Anderson has mistakenly received. "Two of the Davids are musicians," he says. "I got some interesting emails about last year's organ major visit to New York. Sounds like they had fun."

The David Anderson Club is ever brainstorming for ways to expand the group. "Maybe an endowed scholarship for potential David Andersons," muses David Frank Anderson.

Contact Kari VanDerVeen at 507-786-3970 or