Luther College Moment in History #64

The day Laur Larsen began his career as an academic professor is the day Luther College celebrates as Founders Day, October 14. 

In 1936, Luther College celebrated its 75th anniversary, also called the Diamond Jubilee, and there were a number of changes happening at the school. Coeducation was introduced, the articles and bylaws of the college were revised, the Pioneer Memorial behind Koren Hall was erected, the Olaf Angelo Sperati Memorial Organ was presented, a new education course was introduced to the curriculum, and a large financial gift called the Diamond Jubilee Chest was given to the college by alumni and friends. Additionally, Karen Larsen's biography of her father Laur. Larsen was published and Peter Strømme's novel of early life at Luther College was translated into English. 

The 1936 Founders Day week-long festivities drew crowds of up to 10,000 to the campus. More than 60 of the 69 classes of graduates were represented and some attendees could even recall the cornerstone laying and dedication of the first Main building in 1864-1865. The Pioneer memorial was dedicated and Laurits S. Swenson, (class of 1886) quoted Laur Larsen as follows: "Our people want to hold fast to that which is good in the old heritage and let it be of benefit to this new nation. Therefore we will all guard our old memories. … The pioneers have represented our nationality at its best, and they have brought to this new land forces that should influence its history. They have already done so, and the mark they have made will never be erased."

[Luther College 1861-1961, David T. Nelson, p 271-273]

Moment 64