Junior letter

Spring 2014

Greetings, Fellow Parents of Luther Juniors,

Your Luther College Parents Council met on March 1 with a full agenda. As you know, one of the purposes of the Council is to provide a forum in which issues and information important to Luther parents can be discussed with leadership at the college.

First on the agenda was the exciting announcement that the Board of Regents had elected Dr. Paula J. Carlson as Luther’s 10th president. Jeanie Lovell, director of corporate and foundation relations, served on the presidential search committee; she emphasized it was essential to get the right fit and the right person, which we did with Dr. Carlson. She will commence her duties on July 1.

Next we heard from Keith Christensen, vice president for development, who reiterated a point that summed up this period of transition: “We do not want to waste this year.” Recent grants to Luther will benefit the nursing department and the college’s sustainability programs, and ongoing fund-raising initiatives will continue. The current Sustaining the Mission campaign will be extended a year, to give Dr. Carlson time to begin strategic planning as the college moves forward.

Interim President Dr. David Tiede presented information about the benefits of a liberal arts education and the developing disruptors in higher education, including cost, how teaching effectively is measured, and changing student demographics. Determining how Luther should position itself--not just to weather these changes, but also to thrive in them--is the goal of this ongoing discussion within the Luther community.

Our final two presenters were Brenda Ranum, director of the Career Center, and Scot Schaeffer, vice president for enrollment management. Scot shared information regarding issues facing students as they choose a college, and Brenda talked about how Luther facilitates their transitions to vocations to which they feel called. These topics generated significant feedback from Parents Council members, and suggestions were offered about ways to better utilize Luther alumni and parents—in admissions referrals, career networking, and mentoring for our students. While Luther students’ success at obtaining jobs, graduate school positions, and other opportunities is very good, there is always more to be done.

None of these initiatives will be possible without the support of the Luther community, both financially and vocationally. Our experiences (Jeff and MaryEllen’s) with Luther’s externship program have been rewarding and refreshing for us. The perspectives and questions students pose have repeatedly reassured us that Luther students remain first-rate. These students deserve our support; please consider making a gift to Luther’s Annual Fund, to enhance their learning opportunities.

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

Soli Deo Gloria,

Jeff Anderson ’84 and MaryEllen Palmquist Anderson ’84
(515) 270-5347

Susan Anderson-Nelson
(630) 782-6632

Leofwin and JoBeth Clark
(303) 843-6436

Tracey Hirst
(515) 279-0993

Mary Ann Kliethermes
(630) 833-2067

Mike ’77 and Linda Norderhaug
(262) 789-9320

Rich ’74 and Mary (Edwards) Steinberg ’76
(503) 658-6048


“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.