The sixth annual Knut Gjerset lecture will be presented by Bill Musser, librarian at Seed Savers Exchange, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall on the Luther College campus.
A reception will follow the lecture in Qualley Lounge of the Center for Faith and Life. The lecture and reception are open to the public with no charge for admission.
Titled "Life in the Freezer: From Seed Savers to Svalbard," the lecture will discuss the ambitious undertaking of Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah and the Svalbard Seed Vault on the Norwegian Island of Spitsbergen. Separated by more than 4,000 miles, the institutions share a common goal—to preserve endangered heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits and flowers.
The lecture, sponsored by Luther's Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, honors former Luther Professor Knut Gjerset. Gjerset served as a professor of history and Norwegian at Luther from 1902 to his retirement in 1934.
Gjerset worked as curator of the collection that would later become the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. He held the titles Knight of the First Class of St. Olav from the Norwegian Government and Knight of the Icelandic Order of the Falcon from King Christian X of Iceland.
Since its founding in 1861, Luther has been heavily steeped in the roots of its Norwegian founders. From Norwegian treats in the Admissions office to visits from Norwegian royalty, Luther remains dedicated to engaging with its cultural heritage and educating both students and the community on Norwegian culture and history.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,400, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the bachelor of arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.