Rick Torgerson


First year at Luther: 1999

Notorious habit: Grabbing seats for himself and his wife, Judy, at nearly every musical ensemble performance and athletic contest.

Off-campus avocations: Golf, biking, and hanging out with his grandkids.

Current collaboration: Building an aquatic center for use by Luther's swimming and diving teams, Decorah schools, and the regional community.

Rick might joke about having imperfect hearing, but it's clear there's one sound he never misses--opportunity knocking.

It first came calling when he was in graduate school--a mentor invited him to conduct entomological research in Panama as part of a National Science Foundation grant. The exposure led Rick to a career as a faculty member in the field.

"You get excited about a couple professors and the research they're doing, and that's how it happens," he explains.

Now in his second term of another life-changing opportunity--accepting the presidency at Luther--Rick shoulders the task of helping students, faculty, and staff utilize their gifts to make differences for others.

"This is a 24/7 job--there isn't a minute that I'm not the president of Luther College. It's my responsibility to have the people, programs, and facilities that create a deep sense of belonging in this place."

Rick often sees opportunities to emphasize campus sustainability, meaningful community, and the connection of faith and learning with the larger world.

"Luther fosters enduring relationships more than any place I've ever been. People connect for life and continue to get together, unprompted, unfacilitated, through every stage of maturity."