Is it possible that it’s been 47 years since we first gathered as a class on campus? I recall sitting in a circle on the lawn in front of Preus Library, discussing, The Immense Journey, by Loren Eisley. (I confess, I don’t remember who else was in the circle, or even what the other books were. You?)
I don’t know about sitting on the grass, but new Luther students still come to campus with an armload of books. This year’s summer list includes an old classic, The Odyssey, by a new translator, Emily Wilson – the first by a woman. And even though it’s been a long time, you can still join in – the discussion guide is available online: luther.edu/paideia/program/summer-reading/the-odyssey
Those new students will experience their first Homecoming Weekend, October 26-28, with some significant events. The Black Student Union is celebrating their 50th year. The nursing program is also marking 40 years at Luther. Earlier in the week, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt will deliver the Farwell Distinguished Lecture, “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting up a Generation for Failure.” It is not only the title of his book, but also an article in the September, 2015 issue of The Atlantic.
As you may have heard, Dr. Paula Carlson has announced that she will be retiring at the end of the current academic year. During her time at Luther, President Carlson added several academic programs to the college, renewed outdoor facilities, expanded Luther’s Career Center services, developed and launched the “Next Steps for Sophomores” program, added a dean of institutional equity and inclusion to Luther’s staff, and achieved Luther’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent by the end of 2015, among other things. While I am sad to see her leave Luther, I do not begrudge retirement to anyone!
My retirement – along with my move to the Pacific Northwest – continues to go well. I am starting yoga teacher training (I took my first yoga class at Luther!) in October. The bishop has convinced me to take an interim position at a local church. And I am discovering how much I miss the mountains when I leave. So, I am adjusting very well to life here, although I am still surprised when I see, “Washington,” on my car license plate!
Life goes on! And Luther goes on – thanks to your generosity! Last year, Luther topped $20 million in gift commitments, for only the fourth time in the school’s history! Thanks for your support and thanks for all you do!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Chris S. Lee-Thompson
1975 Class Agent
18100 Fir Island Road
Mount Vernon, WA 98273-7107
Bonita (Bohning) Bock retired as director of Wartburg College West in Denver.
Kevin Nelson of West Des Moines, retired as an IT specialist at NASCO last year. He celebrated with a trip to the United Kingdom and now enjoys spending time with his granddaughter.
Ramona (Feller) Nelson retired at the end of the 2017-18 school year after 28 years working in the accounting and management department at Luther College.
Chuck Storla of Marietta, Ga., published his first book, Zen and the Art of Christmas Letters. It is available on Amazon.