From the Storting to the Ambassador’s Residence

By Michael Kyle ’85

Anton Armstrong '78 leads choir members in an impromptu performance in Oslo.

Anton Armstrong ’78 leads choir members in an impromptu performance in Oslo.

With jetlag settling in we started our first full day in Oslo with a visit to the Storting, or Norwegian parliament.  The Storting (in Norwegian: Stortinget) is the supreme legislature of Norway.  The unicameral parliament has 169 members, and is elected every four years based on party-list proportional representation in 19 plural member constituencies. The assembly is led by a presidium of a president and five vice presidents.

The Constitution of Norway established the parliament in 1814 and meets in the Parliament of Norway Building, designed by Emil Victor Langlet.  We enjoyed a tour of the building and met with a number of officials who provided insight, answered questions, and were particularly helpful orienting the students to the Norwegian system of government.

Visiting the U.S. ambassador's residence in Oslo.

Visiting the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Oslo.

A highlight from Wednesday was the reception at the U.S. ambassador to Norway’s residence in Oslo. The St. Olaf Choir was last at the ambassador’s residence in 1980, when Sidney Rand, president of St. Olaf from 1963-80, was ambassador. We enjoyed warm greetings from the embassy staff, had a chance to mingle with alumni living in Norway, and also to extend a formal welcome (complete with “Um! Yah! Yah!”) to Andreas Ensrud, a new incoming first-year student from Norway along with his parents and grandfather. The rain mostly held off and we were so grateful to be in such a wonderful house, filled with memories and memorabilia, with such kind and gracious people.

Michael Kyle ’85 is vice president for enrollment and college relations at St. Olaf.