First-Year letter

Spring 2014

Dear Parents of Luther First-Year Students,

We—William and Roberta—are privileged to be writing to you this semester, to discuss the many wonderful things that have been taking place at Luther the past several months, since your last Roots and Wings letter. We are thrilled that our daughter, Julia, has had a great year at Luther and has made many new friends. Watching her choir performances, including Christmas at Luther, has been wonderful, and our family members who were unable to attend the December concert were able to watch it broadcast live—streamed—from Luther’s radio station.

We braved the cold, wind, and snow of Winter Storm Titan on Saturday, March 1, to attend our second Parents Council meeting of the academic year, where we learned more details about an exciting piece of news that had just been announced the day before: Luther’s 10th president, Dr. Paula J. Carlson, was elected, and she will begin her new position at Luther July 1.  Dr. Carlson is currently vice president for mission at St. Olaf College.  She and her husband visited campus recently, and many students attended the reception to meet and greet them.  At Saturday’s meeting, one of the members of the presidential search committee—Jeanie Lovell-director of corporate and foundation relations, and campaign co-director—provided us with an in-depth look at the search process.

Keith Christensen, vice president for development, reported to us on Luther’s “Sustaining the Mission” fundraising activities, and it has been a very good year in terms of gifts to Luther. Important grants have also been received, which will go toward funding high-fidelity simulation equipment for the nursing program and sustainability initiatives.

Interim President David Tiede spoke about the Luther College ROI (return on investment), and how studies are showing that a liberal arts education really does prepare students for successful careers. He presented statistics showing that while the initial salaries of liberal arts majors may be lower than more specialized degrees (such as engineering), by mid-career, they can catch and even surpass the other salaries. We will be sorry to see Dr. Tiede go. He has done a wonderful job as interim president, being involved with the students and able to communicate with them very well. Our favorite memory is from Family Weekend, seeing Dr. and Mrs. Tiede at a large table in Marty’s surrounded by students and having a lively conversation during a crowded Jazz concert.

Following lunch, Brenda Ranum, director of the Career Center, discussed the services her department provides. Luther students have excellent post-graduation placement: 90 percent are either employed or seeking further degrees or certifications. The Center provides counseling and advising, job fairs, mock interviews, internships, and many other services. It also has an alumni connection network that may be expanded to include parents and relatives of Luther graduates, and newer technologies, such as Linkedin, are being used as well.

Our final speaker was Scot Schaeffer, vice president for enrollment management. He spoke about recruitment efforts in the Admissions Office: plans for increasing referrals, organizing additional bus trips, and attending college fairs in Saudi Arabia. Scot also touched on the importance of alumni and parents in helping to recruit students; the need for better explaining Luther’s Lutheranism; and how the biggest factor leading students to choose Luther is the campus visit.

We hope your students are enjoying their first year at Luther. And we hope you will consider making a gift to Luther, to supplement the academic and co-curricular programs. It is truly a great cause and will further the education of our children.

Dates to Remember

May 19-22            Final examinations
May 25                 Commencement
Sept. 3                 Fall semester classes begin                                         
Sept. 19-21          Family Weekend                                               
Oct. 10-12            Homecoming               
Dec. 4-7               Christmas at Luther


Bill and Roberta Curtis
(636) 519-0403

Robert ’86 and Peggy (Ganske) Carr ’85
(641) 777-6770

Lee ’84 and Linda (Rosholt) Hash ’85
(920) 202-3382

Todd and Maria (Spieker) Mickelson ’89
(507) 433-3933

Jim and Terry Morrill
(847) 439-5702

Todd and Michelle Wildenauer
(612) 840-3569 


“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.