Luther Aquatic Center project exceeds $1 million challenge goal

May 16, 2012

Luther College President Richard Torgerson has announced the $1 million fund-raising challenge in support of the Luther College Aquatic Center has been met and exceeded.

Thanks to the generosity of Luther alumni, parents, friends and area businesses, the college is now within $900,000 of reaching the overall project goal of $5.9 million.

With college resources and new commitments totaling nearly $5 million, the Luther College Board of Regents will be asked to authorize the groundbreaking for the project at its May 11 meeting. If authorization is granted, construction on the new aquatic center will begin in summer 2012.

"The Resources and Facilities Committee of the Luther Board of Regents has unanimously approved this construction project, and will present a formal resolution to the full board for their vote on May 11," said Keith Christensen, Luther vice president for development.

Pending the regents' authorization, a groundbreaking ceremony is planned for Friday, May 11 at 5:30 p.m., while the board is on campus. The ceremony will be held at the project site on the northeast side of the existing Regents Center. The public is invited to attend.

In November 2011, David E.G. and Patricia Miller of Fort Myers, Fla., framed their $500,000 commitment to the aquatic center as a challenge to other donors, matching one dollar for every two dollars contributed by September 2012. The college met the challenge in less than six months.

"Luther College is deeply grateful for the Miller Challenge gift, which created the momentum we needed to move this project forward," said Christensen.

The Millers, formerly of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are long-time supporters of Luther College. The challenge contribution is a naming gift for the competition pool for swimming and diving within the new aquatic center, which will be named the David E.G. and Patricia Miller Natatorium.

Construction of the new Luther College Aquatic Center is a priority for intercollegiate competition, physical education, and fitness and wellness programs for students and community members. It will be used by thousands of competitors from colleges and high schools, Luther students and community members of all ages.

The Miller Natatorium will feature a competition pool with eight lanes of a consistent eight-foot water depth and a 14-foot-depth diving area. The plan also includes a shallow pool for swimming lessons, adaptive physical education classes and water aerobics.

Luther swimming and diving teams are perennially among the best in the Midwest in NCAA III. The new aquatic center will boost the program with technologically advanced starting blocks with state-of-the-art timing mechanisms, a larger deck and diving space, and accommodations for 250 spectators, allowing Luther to host larger and more prestigious competitions.

For information about supporting the Luther College Aquatic Center, contact the Development Office at (563) 387-1862 or go

Luther College Aquatic Center May rendering