"In the Luther Loop" 5, June 24, 2014

To: The Luther College Community

From: David L. Tiede, interim President

This is my final brief communication to keep all of us “In the Luther Loop” during this interim year. Let me “close the loop” with a few words of gratitude, a glimpse of the future, and a story.

My wife Muffy and I are deeply grateful to all the wonderful faculty, staff, students, regents, and Luther loyalists for your gracious hospitality during this interim, and we are thankful for Luther’s splendid student-centered educational mission. Week upon week this spring, we were privileged to participate in recognitions of student research projects and achievements, to cheer the Norse in weather-challenged athletic events, to be stirred by chapel, and to be enveloped in music—vocal, band, jazz, and orchestra. Baccalaureate and Commencement culminated the year, complete with the faculty applauding our graduates as they recessed through the traditional “gauntlet of glory” on a gorgeous May Sunday in the Oneota Valley. Thank you for hosting our interim role on Luther’s grand stage.

Since the February election of Dr. Paula Carlson as Luther’s 10th president, the campus is eager for her to assume the office on July 1, with her formal inauguration scheduled for October 10, during Homecoming weekend.

Last week, President-elect Carlson joined Luther’s administrative cabinet for a workshop at our home in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Cabinet members responded to her questions: “What do you hope to see at Luther College in three years? And what three things do you believe must happen for your visions to become realities?” All of them are confident of Luther’s strengths, and they are informed by the challenges facing undergraduate education, notably in enrollments.  And their visions are beyond personal. Each leader serves a primary Luther constituency. As the Deans spoke, it was as if the students entered the room, then the faculty. In the other senior administrators’ voices, we could hear Luther’s prospective students, their families, and our graduates; those who steward our campus and financial resources; Luther’s publics; and, ultimately, all who have a stake in the educational mission. Our living room was virtually crowded by all of you, including the regents. It was an inspiring glimpse of the future.

Now the story.

Dean Kevin Kraus tells about when his brother-in-law drove around Winneshiek County with an experienced neighbor to help him find land. No “For Sale” signs were posted, but maybe one of the farms could be purchased. When they passed an attractive property, he asked, “What about this one?” “Don’t think so,” drawled the neighbor, “that place is in strong hands.”

As the 10th presidency begins on July 1, 2014, all of you hold this wonderful place in trust. Luther College is in strong hands. Soli Deo Gloria!