Faculty Chairs

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Nena Amundson Lifetime Wellness Program at Luther College

Established through the estate of Nena Amundson, class of 1956, the Nena Amundson Lifetime Wellness Program supports campus-wide wellness programs, including but not limited to: student, faculty, and staff fitness and wellness initiatives; student research and presentations in the area of exercise science, wellness, and chemical health education; leadership development activities (with special emphasis on programs for women); and other activities deemed appropriate by the campus wellness committee. Additional, the program provides financial support for Legends Fitness for Life Center programming, the Nena Amundson Distinguished Professor award, and the Director of the Nena Amundson Lifetime Wellness Program.

Warren G. Berg Endowed Chair in Business

Established by William R. Halling, class of 1961, in recognition of Professor Warren G. Berg, class of 1948, whose over forty years of teaching touched the lives of students he taught, and whose dedication and service to the college encompassed more than the classroom, and in recognition of Professor Berg and his wife Jan for their many years directing, as well as initiating, the Institute of American Studies for Scandinavian Educators. The selection for the chair shall be made through the department of business in consultation with the Dean of the college, with final appointment made by the President. The term shall be for two years and may be renewed up to three terms. (Deferred Fund)

Birkestrand Economics and Management Chair

Established by Dennis ’64 and Suzanne Birkestrand to encourage and recognize the importance of free-market friendly perspectives on economic theory, private enterprise, and good business practices being in the classroom discussions, this chair supports a faculty member from the Economics, Accounting, and Management department. The selection is made by recommendation from the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the College with the final approval made by the President. The term of appointment shall be for three years and may be renewed at the discretion of the Academic Dean and President.

Bert M. and Mildred O. Dahl Chair in Free-Enterprise Economics

The Bert M. and Mildred O. Dahl Chair in Economics is named in honor of Bert M. and Mildred O. Dahl, business entrepreneurs who supported the college with financial gifts, including an endowment gift to establish the Dahl Chair.  The award recognizes excellence in teaching economics and the relationship of international political, social and economic issues to world markets.  The Dahl Professor will encourage students to develop sound analytical and critical thinking skills, become active participants in community and civic activities, and understand the importance of incorporating personal responsibility into their work and their lives.

Mark Glessner Endowed Chair in Environmental Studies

Established by Mark Glessner, class of 1981, through a provision in his estate, the Mark Glessner Endowed Fund for Environmental Studies will support the creation of the Mark Glessner Endowed Chair in Environmental Studies. In addition, a portion of the fund will be used to support student research fellowships to students who work alongside the chair holder in a student-mentor capacity to plan and implement research projects in environmental studies. (Deferred Fund)

Wilford A. Johnson Chair in Biblical Studies

Established by Katherine Johnson to honor the memory of Wilford A. Johnson and his son Herbert G. Johnson, alumnus class of 1932 and Regent Emeritus, this chair supports a faculty member in the Religion department. The person appointed to the chair shall have an academic specialization in either Hebrew Bible or New Testament and be prepared to teach a variety of courses in biblical studies. The selection is made by recommendation from the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the College with the final approval made by the President. The term of appointment shall be for three years and may be renewed at the discretion of the Academic Dean and President. (Deferred Fund)

Linnevold-Shaw Endowed Chair for Premedical Studies

Established by Rebecca (Linnevold) ’71 and Robert Shaw through a provision in their estate in recognition of dedicated faculty and quality instruction in the science departments which provide direction and example for premedical students, this chair supports the faculty member that serves as advisor to the premedical studies program. The selection is made by recommendation from the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the College with the final approval made by the President. (Deferred Fund)

Weston Noble Endowed Chair in Music

Established by Ervin and Phyllis Johnson to honor Professor Weston Noble, alumnus class of 1943 and professor emeritus of music, whose professional service of teaching, directing and conducting at Luther, influenced the lives of thousands of students for fifty-seven years, this chair recognizes the value of Christian higher education and the quality of the academic and music programs provided by Luther College. The person selected to hold the chair shall have achieved a level of accomplishment and recognition that will both enrich the education of students at Luther College and bring national attention to the college and its programs. An individual may hold the chair for a term appointment or may be tenured or tenure-eligible at the discretion of the Dean of the College and the President.

Hamlet Peterson Endowed Chair in Physical Education

Established by Helen (Peterson) Hustad, alumna class of 1952, and the Rev. Jack F. Hustad, in honor of Helen's father, Hamlet Peterson, alumnus class of 1922. Hamlet Peterson, affectionately known as Coach Peter, taught and coached at Luther from 1922 to 1967. He died in 1973. In addition to teaching Latin and Greek early in his career, Peterson at one time or another coached all major sports at Luther. He was most well-known for coaching football and basketball, the latter for 40 seasons. He also served for many years as Luther's athletic director and developed the college's health and physical education department. In addition to honoring Coach Pete, the Hustads also intend to honor his wife, Thelma, and Jack's parents, Ferd and Vera. (Deferred Fund)

Orlando W. Qualley Chair of Classical Languages

The first endowed faculty chair established at Luther, the Qualley Chair honors Orlando W. (Pip) Qualley (1897-1988), who served six decades as a Luther faculty member and administrator. Qualley held positions of vice president, dean, professor of classical languages, registrar, basketball coach and football coach. Known for his firmness, directness and drive, he encouraged high academic standards and recruited a faculty devoted to education.

Rohne Endowed Chair in Religion

Established through an estate provision by Wayne Rohne, alumnus class of 1953 and regent emeritus, in memory of John Magnus Rohne, alumnus class of 1917 and professor of Religion from 1923-1932, and in recognition of his contributions to the study of Norwegian-American church history. Selection shall be made by the recommendation of the Dean of the College, with final appointment by the President. The term for appointment shall be for five years and may be renewed at the discretion of the Dean of the College and the President. (Deferred Fund)

Russell R. Rulon Endowed Chair in Biology

Established through the generous support of colleagues, friends, and alumni who were beneficiaries of Rulon’s teaching and mentoring skills, the Russell R. Rulon Endowed Chair in Biology honors Russell R. Rulon, Professor of Biology at Luther College from 1963 to 2000, whose teaching and mentoring skills helped numerous students advance to careers in medicine and established Luther's biology/pre-med program as one of the best among liberal arts colleges. It is awarded to a Luther professor who has demonstrated excellence in teaching biology and dedication to serving as an advisor and mentor to students. The Rulon Chair will devote part of his/her time to a project that will enhance the training of students in science.

Tomson Family Endowed Chair in Norwegian Language and Modern Nordic Culture

Established by O. Jay and Patricia A. Tomson in recognition of the Luther College sesquicentennial and more than 150 years of treasured ties to Norway, this chair serves as the academic foundation of the Richard L. and Judith A. Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies, providing oversight for academic and co-curricular programs, preserving existing partnerships, and creating new collaborative initiatives with educational institutions and scholars in Scandinavia. The term and appointment of the chair is at the discretion of the Dean of the College and the President.