Luther College alumnus Hans Becklin has been selected by the Lutheran Historical Society of the Mid-Atlantic to receive the 2016 A.R. Wentz Prize in American Lutheran History. Becklin was selected for his paper titled "Herbjorn Gausta's Good Shepherd (1895) at First Lutheran Church, Decorah, Iowa: Printed American Visual Culture as Painted Norwegian-American Propaganda."
Abdel Ross Wentz, for whom the award is named, was a leading figure in 20th century Lutheranism. The Wentz family established an endowment to provide prize money for the best historical paper on Lutheranism in North America. The prize can be awarded each year in two categories: first-degree seminarian and M.A or Ph.D. graduate students. The prize is in the amount of $2,500. Read more about it on the Society web site: www.lutheranhistoricalsociety.com
Becklin, a lifelong Lutheran and 2014 Luther alumnus, was raised among Norwegian Lutherans in south-central Wisconsin. He was interested in history and research from an early stage and majored in history at Luther, focusing on the history of Lutheranism in America and the history of art. These two areas combined well during his grant-funded research on First Lutheran Church in Decorah, Iowa, the Norwegian Synod and Herbjørn Gausta. His work was supervised by Luther associate professor of art history Kate Elliott and associate professor of history Edward Tebbenhoff.
As a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Council, Becklin continues to explore church history. He is the council's representative to the Moravian Church in North America and is preparing for ordained ministry in the ELCA with his wife, Marissa.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.