"Luther Beginnings, Inspired Endings" [5/10]

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A note from Aaron Schmaltz '12, Inside Giving intern

The atmosphere inside Carlson Stadium this Sunday will undoubtedly be bittersweet. Commencement not only signals the end of four magnificent Luther years, but also the uncertainty of the world beyond Decorah.

After talking to several seniors about their experiences, I was encouraged to hear that not one of them felt unprepared.“

Luther is all about quality education, and introducing students to diverse environments,” said Eli Wallace ’10. Being a biology major, Wallace spent quite a bit of time in the new Sampson Hoffland labs. Simply having these facilities for students to use is invaluable.

To Koji Hayakawa ’10, becoming an alumnus of Luther College is only the beginning. He plans to go to graduate school in London, after having experienced England firsthand in the Nottingham Program during his junior year. Often Hayakawa reminisces about his time at Luther. “I chose a small campus school because it is a community in itself. I have the support of my friends, and access to many resources.”

Reflected in these students are the outstanding academic programs, talented staff and faculty, and the endless experiential learning opportunities that can be found at Luther College.

Personally, I used to fantasize about graduating. I imagined an extravagant ceremony, shaking the president’s hand. But there in the background, at the edge of my peripheral vision, were my friends and colleagues.

Because of the small size of Luther, it is easy for students to bond and build a sense of community. I’m only in my Sophomore year, but I know I would be lost without my support system. They helped me create and find myself.

And while the world beyond Decorah may be vague and abstract at first, students will proceed regardless, entirely prepared to handle whatever comes next.I imagine that leaving Luther will be like parting ways with a friend. There will not be any goodbyes because there will always be a place to come back to.

Aaron Schmaltz ('12) is a Sophomore at Luther. He is an English major and aspiring writer.  Come fall, Aaron will move to England to participate in Luther's Nottingham Year abroad.  Stay tuned for updates from across the pond.

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