Sophomore Letter

Spring 2017

Dear Parents of Luther Sophomore Students,

We bring you greetings and news of your Luther College Parents Council. Our meeting was scheduled for the weekend of February 25, but was cancelled due to the weather forecast of a major snow storm.

One of the topics that was to have been discussed at the meeting was the Luther College strategic planning process and next steps. The emerging themes are

•       Institutional sustainability

•       Diversity and inclusion

•       Articulating our distinction

•       Investments in faculty and staff

•       Curriculum review

In February, surveys were emailed to parents of current students. If you did not receive a survey, send any thoughts you'd like to share to Brad Chamberlain or Terry Sparkes, who serve as co-chairs of the strategic planning committee. You might consider the following as guiding questions: What aspects of Luther drew your child here? What do you see as the value of the education that Luther provides? Did you have any concerns about Luther or the Decorah community before your child enrolled at Luther? If yes, do you still have them? Why or why not? If no, have any concerns arisen since your child enrolled at Luther?

Brad and Terry welcome any ideas or comments you think the committee should consider as the college moves to the next stage of identifying goals and priorities for the next 3-5 years. Brad's email is [email protected]; Terry's is [email protected].

Admissions and Financial Aid Update:

  • Aid awards for new students started being mailed out the week of November 7 and continuing students will be emailed starting mid-April. The college has processed more FAFSAs to date than year-end 2016.
  • Luther hired a new regional admissions counselor for the Denver, Colorado area—Andrea Russell—who started March 6.
  • Meetings about recruitment strategies were held in Des Moines with pastors, current parents, young alumni, and more seasoned alumni. An updated plan of action is being developed.
  • A new alumni recruitment program will be rolled out in July.

Luther’s second annual Giving Day was held March 9, and it was a big success, raising more than $500,000. If you made a gift that day, perhaps in response to the Parents Council Challenge, thank you so much! A higher percentage of parent participation in giving could help the college attract additional foundation and corporate gifts, which are so necessary for maintaining and improving Luther.  If you didn’t make a gift on Giving Day, or during this academic year, please consider doing so now. A gift of any size to the Annual Fund will help to increase the percentage of parents who support the college.  Your participation in giving is a vote of confidence in Luther and a further investment in your student’s education. Thank you!

Please feel free to contact any of us with questions or concerns. The latest information and news can also be found at, and the main parent page, 


David Finger and Ann Hayden-Finger   [email protected] 

Scott and Mary Peters   [email protected]                                                                           

Jody and Kevin King  [email protected]

Daniel and Naomi Palmquist  [email protected]

Benjamin and Elizabeth Stewart  [email protected]                      

Peter and Paula Tiede  [email protected]

Dates to Remember

2017    Apr. 14-17                   Easter vacation
            May 15-18                   Final exams
            May 21                        Commencement
            Aug. 30                        Fall semester begins
            Sep. 22-24                   Family Weekend
            Oct. 6-8                        Homecoming
            Oct. 13-17                    Fall vacation
            Nov. 22-26                   Thanksgiving vacation
            Nov. 30-Dec. 3            Christmas at Luther
            Dec. 11-14                    Final exams


“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.