Custom Mjölnir Sculpture Installed at ODA’s Uihlein Campus
On Thursday, September 22, 2022, The Out-of-Door Academy community received a remarkable gift, one that will mark a milestone in our school’s rich and evolving history. Thanks to the artistic talent of Libby Soderberg and the generosity of the entire Soderberg family, a gold-tinged bronze rendering of Mjölnir (myawl-nir), the name for Thor’s Hammer, was installed at the Uihlein Campus. The prime location on the corner of the Senior Quad where drop off and pick up occur each morning and afternoon will allow members of our community to appreciate this inspirational piece on a daily basis.
Thor’s iconic weapon, Mjölnir, means “lightning-maker” and, in Norse mythology, is a symbol of protection and blessings. Forged by dwarves in the heart of a dying star, the hammer’s magical qualities made it the formidable weapon Thor used to defend Asgard, the home of the gods in Norse mythology. Thor also used Mjölnir to bestow blessings on mortals.
ODA’s Mjölnir sculpture, as designed by Libby Soderberg, features Old Norse runes that represent honor, loyalty, victory, defense, speed, and energy. These motifs adorn the hammer in reflection and support of ODA’s core values. Those of us worthy of its protection will be blessed as we face life’s daily challenges and contests.
Mjölnir’s location makes it accessible for students to see and touch to summon their Thor-like ODA qualities as they prepare for class participation, tests, papers, performances, practices, and games. At Homecoming, we will gather as a community to commemorate this installation and thank Libby and the Soderberg family for a gift that will serve to inspire ODA students and adults for the next hundred years and more.