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Boldt family gift provides support for career development

By Kari VanDerVeen
September 20, 2012

The Boldt family, including (clockwise from bottom left) former St. Olaf Regent Thomas Boldt '74, Renee Boldt, Oscar C. Boldt, and former St. Olaf Regent Patricia Hamar Boldt, recently provided St. Olaf College with a $250,000 gift that will be used to establish the Boldt Fund for Career Enhancement.

St. Olaf College students will soon find even greater support for developing their career plans thanks to a $250,000 gift from the Boldt family.

The gift, provided by contractor Oscar C. Boldt and his wife, former St. Olaf Regent Patricia Hamar Boldt, and Thomas Boldt '74, also a former St. Olaf Regent, and his wife, Renee Boldt, will be used to establish the Boldt Fund for Career Enhancement. It will support programs and activities in the college's Piper Center for Vocation and Career that enhance career opportunities for students and alumni.

To further increase the impact of the Boldt family's generosity, the gift will be doubled through the college's Strategic Initiative Match program. The program provides matching funds for certain gifts above $50,000 that support the college's strategic plan.

Piper Center Director Branden Grimmett '03 says the Boldt family's gift will be used for professional development programming designed to support students entering a variety of career fields.

"This gift will help equip St. Olaf students with essential career management tools as they enter the workforce," he says.

The newly established Piper Center — the successor to the college's Center for Experiential Learning — provides resources and experiences for St. Olaf students as they discern their vocations and plan their careers.

"Our family is a big proponent of a liberal arts education. We believe it prepares students for an increasingly complex world. And we're going to need leaders who have the perspective and the capacity to take on many daunting challenges — whether it's in business or in other fields," says Thomas Boldt. "It's exciting to see the energy around the Piper Center, and we wanted to encourage as well as help the college with the initiatives they've started."

The Boldts have been enthusiastic and generous supporters of St. Olaf for years. In 1994 Oscar and Patricia Boldt established an endowed chair that is offered to a current St. Olaf faculty member whose scholarship and professional endeavors advance the teaching and learning of humanities at the baccalaureate level. Most recently, the Boldt family provided a $200,000 gift to establish the Margaret Boldt Anderson Endowed Scholarship, which provides St. Olaf students who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to study abroad with the resources to do so.

Oscar C. Boldt is chairman of The Boldt Company, a family-owned consulting and construction firm headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Contact Kari VanDerVeen at 507-786-3970 or