"In the Luther Loop" 2, Sept. 19, 2013

Sept. 19, 2013

To:       The Luther College Community

From:   David L. Tiede, interim President

In July, I alerted you that as the transitions of this interim unfold, I plan to send brief communications to keep all of us "In the Luther Loop."  Here is #2!

On move-in day for new students, Muffy and I welcomed alumni parents to the President’s home. They had just dropped off their sons and daughters. While many eyes were still moist, we asked them to write down, “Why is Luther College the right place for your student?” My file for future speeches now has 34 wonderful comments. Listen to this one:

“She chose it … and the first time she arrived on campus she instantly felt at home. She couldn’t have made a better choice for herself. It is odd arriving so many years later as a parent, and seeing things from a new perspective.  I realize what a gift this school was to me and the many things I have carried with me through life that came from here. I am excited to watch her journey.

That speech file also now includes comments from the Des Moines Lunch Connection event and the adult forum at First Lutheran Church in Decorah. At those gatherings, we discussed the changes coming to higher education, and I asked people to envision Luther College doing what it does best in our upcoming 10th presidency. Many of you are well aware of the challenges, but you are also confident of Luther’s enduring benefits. Your rich statements already frame the president’s speeches. How about this one:

“Inspiring students to live lives of worth and service. Equipping students to see the world differently and take action from that perspective.”

On campus in the midst of busy course loads, faculty teams are preparing for an October Regents workshop on sustaining our distinctive strengths amid the disruptive forces in higher education. Luther College intends to welcome its 10th president to lead us with creativity and courage.

Our Board chair, Paul Torgerson, and vice-chair, Sandy Lee, report that the presidential search committee will soon gather. You are encouraged to submit nominations to our search consultant, Dr. Bruce Alton, bta@agbsearch.com.

Last Saturday, Luther hosted the cross-country All-American Invitational, an Associated Colleges of the Midwest volleyball tournament, an alumni tennis meet, and St. Olaf for our home opener in football. It was an exciting game with an estimated crowd of 2,300. And we won!

Yesterday, we recorded 2,466 as our official enrollment for the fall term, 668 of whom are new students.  This is almost exactly the number of students we were ready to welcome, and the quality of the entering class is superb!

We are off to a great start of the year. The best is yet to be!

P.S.  Did I mention that we beat St. Olaf in football?