1954 graduate honored at Dec. 7 ceremony on campus
Luther College will name the atrium of the Jenson-Noble Music Hall after Curtis Reiso, Luther class of 1954, during a reception and plaque unveiling in the Jenson-Noble Music Hall atrium from 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.
The Decorah and Luther communities are invited to attend.
A highly visible, integral space in Jenson-Noble, the main atrium is a place for students to gather to play music, study and fellowship with friends.
Reiso served Luther College from 1954-94, much of that time as a development officer, raising funds for major campus building projects. He also served as Luther's music tour coordinator, leading 86 concert tours. Reiso has contributed major gifts and an estate commitment to fund projects such as the Curt Reiso Staff Development Endowment as well as his recent commitment of $1.2 million to support Luther's new aquatic center and two endowments for music—one to support the international touring expenses of Luther's Concert Band, Nordic Choir and Symphony Orchestra, and a second to support building operations in Jenson-Noble.
Reiso is also a recent recipient of the Pioneer Memorial Award, given at the Heritage Club Dinner in Decorah in spring 2013. The Pioneer Memorial Award was established in 1988 to honor individuals who characterize the spirit of Heritage Club and whose generous support serves as an inspiration to others. It is for his visionary commitment and steadfast support to Luther that the college presented the 2013 Pioneer Memorial Award to Reiso.
While serving as associate director of development, he oversaw all alumni activities, including homecoming and Alumni Council, and he raised funds for projects such as the Field House, Valders Hall of Science, Preus Library, and the Center for Faith and Life.
After Reiso was promoted to the position of executive director of development and later to associate vice president, he planted the seeds for many of the department's current programs as he coordinated alumni development boards throughout the country and initiated parent, class agent and donor-recognition programs. His work responsibilities also grew to include public relations, public information, corporate and foundation activity, and planned giving.
A talented musician and athlete, Reiso arrived at Luther in 1950, after graduating from high school in Scarville, Iowa. His tenor sax-playing abilities and baritone vocals paved the way to musical success, earning him membership in the Norsemen Quartet and Luther College Choir all four years. He served as choir president and tour manager his senior year.
After graduating in 1954 with a business administration major, Reiso began his career at Luther. He was sidelined for two years after being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1955, where he completed guided missile radar training and served in the 13th AAA Missile Battalion. Over the years, he organized countless performances, itineraries, and regional and international tours for Luther's Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra and Nordic Choir. In 1995 he retired, but continued to stay involved with Luther activities, and in his support of the college.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,500, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the bachelor of arts degree in 60 majors and preprofessional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: www.luther.edu.