Luther College President Paula Carlson announced that Luther alumni Chris Gade and Chip Norris will join Luther's Board of Regents.
"We are honored to welcome Chris Gade and Chip Norris to the Board of Regents," said President Carlson. "These two engaged alumni are proud of their Luther background and as regents will continue to steward the college's message, mission and goals."
The regents serve as trustees and stewards, ensuring that Luther fulfills its mission and that the needs of students, faculty, staff and other college constituents are being met.
"I am thrilled and deeply honored to serve Luther College in this way," said Gade. "I believe what distinguishes Luther College, both when I was a student and today, are its values and profound sense of community—a community where people work together for common good, shaping young people to live lives of purpose and meaning."
After graduating from Luther College in 1986 with degrees in public communication and English, Gade went on to earn his master's degree from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs in 2012.
Gade has nearly 30 years of experience in public affairs, with more than 27 years at Mayo Clinic. He currently serves as Chair of the Mayo Clinic Department of Public Affairs. The department includes five areas of focus – communications (internal and external); community and government engagement; brand strategy and the Creative Studio; marketing; and Mayo Clinic Health System public affairs. With more than 250 staff, the department is responsible for Mayo Clinic strategies to elevate the brand/reputation of the organization, generate targeted demand and engage staff. Gade is part of the executive leadership team and leads the team that provides operational support for meetings of the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees.
Gade has served his community through the years with membership at Zumbro Lutheran Church in several ways, including as a member of the Brass Ensemble, the chair of several different committees, the director of the youth musical and a confirmation mentor. He served as a member of the Rochester Downtown Alliance and as president and on the Board of Directors of both the Rochester Figure Skating Club and Rochester Civic Theatre.
He is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and was on the Minnesota 2018 Super Bowl Host Committee.
He has served Luther as a class agent and as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.
Gade and his wife, Marne, are the proud parents of a son, Mitchel, a 2017 graduate of Augustana University, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and resident of Coralville, Iowa, and daughter, Meredith, a junior nursing major at Luther College. In their spare time, they enjoy time together as a family, hiking and gardening, and are sports enthusiasts.
"I am honored and genuinely humbled to be asked to serve Luther in this capacity. I have always admired those serving on Luther's Board of Regents, so being nominated to serve with people of this caliber is without a doubt a highlight in my adult life. Luther is a special place, and the Luther experience is one that I describe as 'sticking to one's ribs for life.' Private liberal arts colleges face unique challenges in today's higher education landscape, and their relevance and survival couldn't be more critical. I look forward to contributing to this effort to the very best of my abilities," said Norris.
Norris has served Alerus Financial Corporation—a chain of financial institutions headquartered in Grand Forks, North Dakota—for the past 11 years. As group president of Alerus' Minnesota, North Dakota and Arizona markets, Norris oversees business development and branch management efforts in each of those markets. His sales force team provides customer solutions in commercial banking, private banking, retirement plan administration, investment management and employee benefits. He also serves on the company's Senior Leadership Council.
Prior to joining Alerus, Norris spent more than 20 years in leadership positions at banking and financial industry institutions. His past roles include senior vice president and division manager in midmarket commercial banking, as well as vice president and regional manager for merchant services, corporate card sales and SBA lending.
Norris graduated from Luther in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and business.
He serves his community on the North Hennepin Community College Foundation Board and has held leadership positions on the board of directors for both the Afton Marina and Yacht Club and the Pinky Swear Foundation. He volunteers for the Minnesota Special Olympics and is a fundraising team leader for the Minnesota Multiple Sclerosis Society. Norris is a past president of the Brooklyn Center Rotary and recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award in Brooklyn Center.
A member of Heritage Club, Norris also served the college as a member of his 35th Reunion Committee. He was honored as a Distinguished Service Award recipient in 2012.
Chip and Jari Norris reside in their home in Champlin, Minnesota, and enjoy spending time with daughters Jennifer and Angela, and grandchildren Ethan, Emma and baby Evren.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, 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.