BLAIR (KPTM)- For the third time in 125 years, Danish royalty was given a Nebraska welcome. Hundreds filled the gym at Dana college Tuesday afternoon, to celebrate the school's 125th anniversary, and give an honorary degree to Denmark's Prince Frederik.
For members of the school choir, it was a chance like no other. "We found out we were singing a month ago. We were given the king's national anthem, and they said, 'here! You have to memorize it in Danish is about three weeks!'" said Amanda Sladek, Rebecca Winger, and Megan Reppert, members of the Dana choir.
For school officials, getting the prince and his wife to come to Dana was no easy task. "There were a lot of things we had to follow. Lots of procedures, everything had to be passed through the embassy. Security was so tight, only a select few were given the chance to meet the prince," said Dana communications official Nikki Kinsey. "My experience with him was laid back. Shook my hand, laid back is a great way to describe him," said Dana student Marcus Sladek.
"They had background checks, a lot of things they needed to do. Bios on every person that talked to them - it was a very short list," said Kinsey. A short list of hand shakers, that quickly made an impression on the prince. "The fact that Denmark is important to the spirit of the college is something I'll take back with me and tell whoever wants to hear about it," said Crown Prince Frederik.
When asked, "what's the biggest difference between Nebraska and Denmark?" the prince answered, "the landscape for sure. But, the weather isn't that much different. I feel very much at home here." Dana officials say, the college is one of only two in the country founded by Danish immigrants. Prince Frederik's mother came to the school 33 years ago, and his grandfather came back in 1939.