Junior Letter

Spring 2016

Dear Parents of Luther Junior Students,

Your Parents Council met on campus in early March, and President Paula J. Carlson shared a good amount of information. We extend our congratulations to Sandee (Neitzel) Joppa ‘87, who, along with her spouse, Jon ’85, represent senior parents on the Council—Sandee is now a member of Luther’s Board of Regents.

We were pleased to hear that our “hopes and dreams for our children,” which we shared with President Carlson at our fall meeting, have found their way into her remarks at many Luther events across the country. Other exciting news from President Carlson was that the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) invited Luther (one of only 13 invited, out of 1,300 AAC&U member schools) to be profiled in a book on integrated applied learning. Luther’s top-notch Paideia program is what prompted the invite. Luther also was contacted by the American Council on Education to be included in a study of schools that have stable and strong fiscal foundations.

We learned from Scot Schaeffer, vice president for enrollment management, that significant changes to the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) process have been made, and students will be able to file a 2017-18 FAFSA much earlier (as early as Oct. 1, 2016), and report income information from an earlier tax year. Scot also suggested that parents and students use the Data Retrieval Function Tool from the IRS when completing your FAFSA. In other news from the Admissions Office, nine new staff members have been hired, which means the office is back to being fully staffed. International recruitment will focus on Germany, Vietnam, and Brazil, and the states of Colorado (where an admissions counselor has been placed), California, Texas, and Florida will receive more attention.   

Luther’s new registrar is Professor Kristin Swanson, a member of the religion faculty. She provided information to us about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and reminded us that Luther is required to abide by federal laws regarding student and parental rights. Kristin recommended that we talk to our students about gaining access to their restricted information. The Registrar’s Office is a resource for parents as well as students and provides transcripts, transfer course pre-approvals, enrollment verification, and an online tool for program evaluation.

Ann Sponberg Peterson, director of development-principal gifts, and Maria Smith, director of annual giving, updated us on happenings in their department. Luther’s comprehensive fundraising totals for the past year show 2014-15 as the second-best year for fundraising in Luther College history. Despite the challenging economic climate, donors to Luther contributed $14.84 million. This is wonderful testimony to the distinctive value many of us have come to know in a Luther College education. The week after our meeting, Luther held its first-ever Giving Day, which you may have noticed on social media. Thanks to more than 1,800 gifts, from alumni, parents, and friends, $574,809 was raised for the Annual Fund that day, March 10. Thank you to all of you who contributed!

Don’t forget: Family Weekend is September 16-18, 2016. We look forward to seeing you all back in the fall!


Dates to Remember 2016

May 16-19        Final exams                            

May 22              Commencement                      

Aug. 31             Fall semester begins                

Sept. 16-18      Family Weekend                     

Oct. 14-18        Fall vacation

Nov. 23-27       Thanksgiving vacation

Dec. 1-4            Christmas at Luther College

Dec. 12-15        Final exams


Jim and Terry Morrill
[email protected]
(847) 331-4852

Robert ’86 and Peggy (Ganske) Carr ’85
[email protected]                               
(641) 777-6770

William and Roberta Curtis
[email protected]
(636) 519-0403

Lee ’84 and Linda (Rosholt) Hash ’85
[email protected]
(920) 202-3382

Maria (Spieker) ‘89 and Todd Mickelson
[email protected]
(507) 433-3933

Todd and Michelle Wildenauer
[email protected]
(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.