Dr. Soren Olaf Kolstoe was born in Norway and arrived in the Midwest in 1891. He attended the University of Minnesota and received his M.A. degree from the University of North Dakota (UND) on July 30, 1920. He earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from UND on August 6, 1931. Soren taught at Valley City State University for 27 years and was chair of the Education and Psychology Department. He was a recipient of the UND Sioux Award in 1973. He is also the author of "Lyrics of the Prairie," a collection of poetry largely inspired by North Dakota.
Soren's son, Dr. Ralph Kolstoe, was born in Valley City, North Dakota. He attended Valley City State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Education. He went on to receive a Master of Science degree from UND in 1950 and his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Washington State University in 1953. He became a faculty member at UND in 1957, remaining until 1990. Following closely in his father's footsteps, Ralph became the chair of the Department of Psychology at UND. His success at the University was widely recognized, indicated by the many awards he received.
UND Alumni Review, April 1973; "UND Doctoral Candidate and Cap, Gown and Hood Have Long UND Family History"
UND News, "The Ralph Kolstoe Colloquium Endowment" (pamphlet)