Why Rochester? Why now?

Gift Amount
  • Rochester is expected to experience unprecedented economic and population growth in the next 20 years due to the $5 billion+ public and private investment in the Destination Medical Center and the city. These expansions will increase and diversify experiential learning opportunities for Luther students.
  • Rochester's largest employer, Mayo Clinic, has a mission and set of values that aligns with many of the Luther's core strengths. This alignment will enhance student opportunities.
  • Luther already has major components of a 'hub' in Rochester through longtime connections with Mayo Clinic for our nursing majors, biology student interns, and science majors completing allied health affiliations. Thus the proposed Rochester Semester will begin from a position of strength and expand learning opportunities in more disciplines throughout the Rochester area.
  • Rochester's close proximity offers unique flexibility for students enrolled in the Rochester Semester because they can remain connected to Luther's campus when necessary. This will offer a study away and experiential learning opportunity for students whose on-campus commitments prevent them from distance-learning experiences.
  • The Rochester area is home to more than 1,000 Luther alumni and friends employed in diverse and important fields. These connections area a major human resource asset for identifying and developing student experiential learning opportunities. The semester will increase Luther's presence and visibility in the fast-growing Rochester area.
  • While there are several educational institutions in Rochester, currently none has a primary focus in the liberal arts. Given our academic strength, an opportunity exists for Luther College to make distinctive and valuable contributions to the educational infrastructure in the Rochester area.

"I get excited as I think about how Luther students in all areas can continue their learning in experiential ways via the Rochester Hub. Though my teaching is primarily in the Religion Department, I also teach courses in our interdisciplinary environmental studies and Paideia programs. Studying in a city with extensive religious diversity and unprecedented levels of anticipated growth, Luther students will have an excellent opportunity to explore the challenges of interfaith engagement and urban planning. Likewise, I can't imagine a better place than Rochester to teach a Paideia 450 course on Ethical Choices in Healthcare."

- Jim Martin-Schramm, professor of religion and director of Luther's Center for Sustainable Communities