Senior Letter

Spring 2015

Dear Parents of Luther Senior Students,

Graduation is right around the corner, and when our daughter receives her diploma, it will be the culmination—or finale—of 45 years of the Steinberg family’s presence on this campus. Rich began his freshman year way back in 1970, and Maggie is the fourth (and last!) of our children to attend Luther. The quality, tradition, and outstanding reputation of Luther College has always been a source of pride to us. When the 2015 graduates take their next steps, a Luther College education will be front and center, opening many doors to future careers and vocations.

Speaking of next steps, at our recent Parents Council meeting we heard from Dan Marlow, assistant director of experiential learning in the Career Center. Sixty-eight percent of last year’s graduates are employed, 17 percent are in graduate school, 6 percent are serving in service organizations, and another 6 percent are enrolled in continuing education or certification. This is great data for parents of graduating seniors to hear! Student internships during J-Term and fall break have been excellent opportunities for students to explore career options, make connections, and begin networking. The Career Center is always looking for host companies and mentors for student internships, so even though your child is graduating, keep Luther students in mind if you know of possible internship opportunities.

Corey Landstrom, vice president and dean for student life, informed us of the college’s increasing use of the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment tool. This quick online assessment reveals a student’s top five talent themes. Early recognition and attention to these talents allows for development of strength fluency, integration of strengths into current work, and identification of future opportunities.

There is good news from Scot Schaeffer, vice president for enrollment management: Student visits, applications, and deposits are up significantly from last year. Kudos to the admissions team for the array of new recruitment strategies that were implemented. It is hoped that almost 700 new students will be enrolled next fall.

President Paula Carlson gave us an overview of the many activities, programs, and changes on campus. This is a big year for faculty and staff retirements, so there are many goodbyes to be said and many hirings to be made. Luther continues to attract high-quality applicants for positions. One math position had 400 applicants! The next big upgrades on campus will be Main Building as well as the Regents Center and athletics facilities. Planning for these renovations and expansions will incorporate the original campus landscape plan from 1911 by renowned landscape architect Jens Jensen. Since Luther College is considered a “legacy campus,” changes or additions will be mindful of Jensen’s original vision in the development process. This beautiful campus must be an inspiration to students, as they remain busy, involved, and productive. Dr. Carlson gave us quick overviews on sports (women’s basketball to the nationals!), music (Messiah performances planned for Decorah and Minneapolis in late March!), Fulbright scholars (Luther has been recognized as a top producer with four alumni overseas this year!), and graduation (Michael Danforth ‘95 from NPR’s Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me will be the commencement speaker).

The Development Office also had positive news. The 2014 calendar year comprehensive fund-raising totals exceeded $10 million. The $1.35 million raised so far this fiscal year for the Annual Fund is unrestricted and has a direct impact on students. Any contributions you make through Roots and Wings to the Annual Fund add to this critical source of scholarships and campus improvements.

It has been an honor to serve on the Parents Council these past four years. We have always looked forward to our biannual trek back to this inspirational place to see and learn about Luther's activities, progress, and plans. We hope you and your young graduates will remain as connected and committed to Luther as we have been over these past 45 years, and for many years to come.

2015 Dates to Remember

Apr. 3-6            Easter vacation
May 18-21         Final exams
May 24              Commencement


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

Susan Anderson-Nelson
(630) 782-6632

Mary Ann Kliethermes
(630) 833-2067

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

Leofwin and JoBeth Clark
(303) 843-6436

Tracey Hirst
(515) 279-0993

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


“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.