As campus minister at Northland College, David Saetre delivered the baccalaureate address to graduating seniors for twenty years. Last year, he retired to teach—and so delivered his last address.
Students are now calling him back to the stage. Since 2006, seniors have voted on a faculty member to deliver the last lecture of their undergraduate careers. This year they chose Saetre, naming his brilliant oratory skills.
“Seeing as this is the first year in a while that David won’t be giving an address to the senior class, I (very selfishly) would love to hear whatever he wants to contribute in the form of a last lecture,” wrote one student.
Sponsored by the Northland College Student Association in cooperation with the College’s commencement committee, Saetre will present “Nature Boy: Thoughts on Love and the Poignant Wonder of Being,” Friday, May 27, at 4:30 p.m. at the Alvord Theatre. The public is invited.
Saetre served as campus minister at Northland College 1996 through 2015, where he has counseled, married, buried, and baptized students, faculty, and staff members. He has refereed conflicts and arbitrated agreements, guided the community through tragedy, and helped to celebrate successes and accomplishments.
The last lecture has dual purposes: it is the final lecture graduating seniors will hear at Northland College and it’s theoretically the last lecture the speaker would give knowing it may be his last.
“However, my lecture is meant to be a postscript to a Northland education and also to a career of teaching about the things that give meaning and depth to our lives,” Saetre said. “In other words, a few thoughts distilled from lifetime of thinking about big questions and encouraging others’ worthy dreams.”