First-Year Letter

Fall 2015

Dear Parents of Luther First-Year Students,

We are honored to be writing you today, as your Parents Council first-year representatives. One of our roles is to keep you connected with what’s happening at Luther through letters we will write twice a year. Our first meeting was during Family Weekend in September. We wanted to take a two-way approach to this letter, as being first-year parents, our minds are just as overwhelmed as our sons’ and daughters’.  We want to know stats, initiatives, and financial positions, but we also want to make sure the new journey we just placed our children on is one paved with solid advancements, sound rationale, and individuals who will help continue our children’s development, as we have.  Dr. Paula J. Carlson, Luther president, focused on a theme that we’re seeing others model from the top down: “courage – do not be afraid.” What a powerful message to hear as very nervous first-year parents, sitting around a room of experienced parents with ease and confidence as their children have already been exposed to the world of Luther. We felt as our kids felt, scared, anxious, and excited. 

We listened to a variety of departments share their information on development, annual giving, admissions, finance, facilities, and endowment.  The common theme clearly was our children, their courage, our courage, and the administration’s courage to allow our children to be open to the best life one can offer them.

Allow us to state the impressive stats of the next generation of the Luther family to you:

●    655 new students this fall

●    23 states represented

●    Increased diversity

●    65 countries represented - 150 students on average

●    Very impressive academic, athletic and liberal arts backgrounds

●    Wide geographic distribution

Now allow us to state the impressive goals set by the administration and staff for our children; the main reason we can be assured our children are where they need to be, where we want them to be and whom we are very excited to see them become.

●    To foster a sense of engagement locally and globally.

●    To challenge a general sense of curiosity.

●    To provide tools to our children, the newest students of Luther, in order to realize their strengths and interests and work to develop them.

●    To become a good critical thinker and to determine what is “real”; take risks, trying everything, learn how to fail and move on.

●    To look at things ethically.

Nancy Barry, Professor of English and Assistant to the Dean for advising, summed it up best, “You can only learn about yourself in the context of doing something.”

There are various resources available to our children for all their needs whether academic, socially or spiritually here at Luther.  To stay connected with everything happening at Luther, please follow the Luther website and the main parents’ page Both pages have links to academics, career development, admissions, athletics, calendars, our letters, the Parent Newsletter and social media,

One way to make sure we can insure the Luther legacy is maintained for many years to come is to consider making a gift of any size to Luther’s Annual Fund.  Your contribution is a further investment in your child’s education, as the Annual Fund provides support for all students in the Luther community through increased scholarships, building and campus improvements, expanded faculty and student programs, and many other important initiatives.

This first year is one of curiosity, purpose, awareness, confidence and above all COURAGE.  Courage that we have as parents and courage that we need to instill along with our Luther family into our children.  We can make this “Our Luther.”

Dates to Remember

2015     Nov. 25-29      Thanksgiving vacation
             Dec. 3-6          Christmas at Luther
             Dec. 14-17       Final exams

2016     Jan. 4-27         January Term
             Feb. 4              Spring semester begins
             March 19-28     Spring/Easter vacation
             May 16-19        Final exams
             May 22             Commencement


Jody and Kevin King
(847) 530-0874

David Finger and Ann Hayden-Finger
(608) 837-5294

Daniel and Naomi Palmquist
(217) 879-8339

Scott and Mary Peters
(507) 386-0186

Benjamin and Elizabeth Stewart 
(708) 784-9491

Peter and Paula Tiede
(612) 978-3728  


“There are but two lasting bequests we can give our children.  One is roots, the other, wings.”

Roots and Wings—how often we think about these gifts as we guide and nurture our children through those first years. As parents, we have a special mission.

The roots are planted as we help them establish a firm foundation for life, a definition of who they are and where they came from, the security of family and a sense of community.

The wings emerge as we gradually let them go, allowing them the freedom to fly—to take what they have learned and soar to new heights, to reach beyond existing boundaries, to seek and find their place in this world.

You should have a sense of pride. Under your watchful eye, your child has grown into a young adult with dreams and unlimited potential for the future. And now, you are allowing those dreams to live, by encouraging the opportunity for new growth at Luther College, an institution with deep roots and caring people to assist students as they pursue their dreams and realize their potential.

Please give your child “roots and wings.” Support the Annual Fund through the Luther College Parents Association and enhance learning opportunities for all Luther students.