Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 05.10.2012

May 10, 2012

Today’s Program| Leo Fanton, Our Exchange Student from Brazil (Quinnell)

Birthdays: Charlie Cogan and Mark Henke (5/6) and Ivan Imm and David Halsor (5/7)

Next Week: St. Olaf College President David Anderson (Koenig)

Last Week:
Bob Craig’s been around. His career as an academic found him crisscrossing the United States and either studying or teaching in places like Scotland, China, Norway and Central America. His rap sheet, I mean vitae, is at least two pages long, and that’s in small type.

He blended interests in religion, politics and history for a rich and varied academic career. His international travels provided him personal insight into some of the major political and cultural waves of our time.

A product of California, Bob attended University of California at Santa Barbara. There, on a blind date, he met the woman who was to become his wife of now 49 years. He attended Howard Divinity School, Union Theological Seminary and New College in Edinburgh, Scotland, but preferred academic pursuits to a pastoral career.

The Civil Rights Movement and his experiences in Central America during the late 1970s and early 1980s shaped Bob’s personal and political philosophy. He calls them defining chapters of his life.

He taught in Costa Rica from 1978-1982 when Central America was one of the world’s hotspots. Some of his colleagues and students were exiles from Nicaragua and El Salvador, both cauldrons roiling with civil strife. These were dark and brutal times, and many of Bob’s friends, who supported the poor and marginalized in their home countries, were murdered because of their commitment to social change.

“If there is one thing I’ve learned over my life,” he said, “is poverty is human made, and humans can change it.”

Bob retired from an academic position at St. Scholastica in Duluth, and he and his wife moved to Northfield to be closer to family. He said Northfield is a place to call home.

He and wife like to hike. An 87-mile walk in Scotland is on their calendar. They have also gone on an African safari. Bob has jumped into civic life in Northfield. He is a member of the Northfield Heritage Preservation Commission.

Mini Classification

Rick Estenson grew up in Hector, Minn, the son of a teacher and a high school principal. He attended Luther College, a family tradition, graduating with a degree in accounting.

He worked for the Chicago Board of Trade, Piper Jaffrey and Wells Fargo, before joining First National Bank in 2004. He and his wife, Kris, moved here in 1991. They have two children, Sam and Maria, who enjoyed the benefits of the Northfield school system, Rotary’s exchange program and a supportive community. Rick finds Northfield an interesting place to live and appreciates its global perspective. He also appreciates this club’s energy and “get it done” attitude.

Guests:  Randy Johnson (Ophaug), Aish’s family (Aish)

Scholarship Enhancement: Devon Barnes

Chris Weber reported that five local students are finalists for Rotary’s Global Grant Scholarship. They are Caleb Harrison and Sarah Melcher from St. Olaf and Oumar Diallo, Stephen Grabowski and Lipi Gupta from Carleton. Five finalists will be interviewed for the $30,000 award for international study.

David Koenig’s wife, Jennifer, is being treated for a malignant brain tumor. Liz Lathrop is coordinating family support. There is a Caring Bridge site for Jennifer at “jenniferkoenig”

Today is the last day to submit your nominations for the Marston Headley Service Above Self Award. They can be turned in to Jim Pokorney, Candy Taylor of Scott Richardson.

Coming Up:

May 17 – St. Olaf College President David Anderson (Koenig)

May 24 Rob Bierman, Jane Fenton, Clarice Grabau – Returnees from Thailand – (Clarice Grabau)

May 31 – Legislative Session summary  – Senator DeKruif, Representative Woodard  (Hoschouer)

June 7 – Lori Sturdevant, Star-Tribune Opinion Columnist (Kyte)

June 7 – Graduation Party for Exchange Students, 5:30 – 8:30 PM – Estenson Entertainment Center