The Tostrud Center
Recreation.Wellness.Physical Education.Athletics

Jerrol and Alleen Tostrud Announce Recreation Center Gift

St. Olaf College announced today (June 30, 2001) that Jerrol and Alleen Tostrud will give the college $12 million to build a recreation center on the St. Olaf campus. The center is designed to promote life-long health and fitness and will include an aerobics training facility, state-of-the-art exercise machines, a weight-training facility, an elevated walking and jogging ring, a six-lane, 200-meter track and a 48-foot rock-climbing wall.

The college expects to break ground for the new center in July and the facility is expected to be completed by September 2002. The $12 million will fully fund the construction of the facility and is unique in that it will also provide an additional endowment to help support the day-to-day operations of the facility.

Jerry and Alleen Tostrud, as well as their three children Eric, Jon and Karen (Tostrud) Hoffman, and Eric's wife Laurie (Sagedahl) Tostrud, all attended St. Olaf. Jerry Tostrud has served on the St. Olaf Board of Regents since 1996, and he chaired the search committee that recently selected Christopher Thomforde to serve as the tenth president of the college. He and Alleen Tostrud also serve as co-chairs of "Fram! Fram! Forward St. Olaf," the $125-million capital campaign currently underway at the college. That campaign has already raised $118 million in pledges and gifts. The new, 95,000-square-foot recreation facility will be located adjacent to the Skoglund Athletic Center on the northwest side of the St. Olaf campus.

In making this gift the Tostruds said, "We are delighted to be in a position to support the St. Olaf community in this way. Recreation, physical education and athletics are an important part of the liberal arts educational experience, and it is our hope that this new recreation center will serve as one of the cornerstones to fulfilling the St. Olaf mission of developing the whole person in mind, body and spirit."

St. Olaf President Christopher Thomforde said, "We are extremely fortunate to be the recipient of such a marvelous gift. Jerry and Alleen have been long and faithful servant-leaders of the college, and this generous gift marks another milestone for which we are deeply indebted." Thomforde went on to say, "Healthy living, wellness and recreation are crucial to freeing young men and women to become whole. Through this new center we will provide our students with a terribly important resource in which to learn and grow. What better gift to give young men and women than the appreciation of lifelong health and fitness."

Jerrol Tostrud retired as executive vice president from West Publishing Company in 1996, following 36 years of service. A 1960 graduate of St. Olaf, he has served on the college's board of regents since 1996. He currently serves on the boards of the St. Paul Foundation and the American Judicature Society, where he is board chair. He is a former board chair of the William Mitchell College of Law. Alleen Tostrud graduated from St. Olaf in 1961 and is a homemaker and a former public school teacher. She is active in numerous church and civic projects.

Martin Marty, chair of the St. Olaf Board of Regents, and Thomforde accepted the gift on behalf of the college following the regents' approval at their regular June meeting. St. Olaf is a four-year liberal arts college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) with a student enrollment of 2,950 and a full-time faculty of approximately 250.

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