Luther College celebrates Commencement May 26

Luther College will celebrate Commencement at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 26, in Carlson Stadium, where President Paula Carlson will confer the Bachelor of Arts degree on Luther's class of 2019. Luther alumna Vanessa (Grima Baldacchino) Frazier, Maltese ambassador and humanitarian, will receive an honorary degree and give the Commencement address.

Frazier, who graduated from Luther in 1990, began her career as a student diplomat in 1992 and has been a member of the diplomatic corps of Malta since 1994. While serving as Director for Defense Matters in the Office of the Prime Minister for Malta, Frazier and her directorate helmed Malta's consolidated response to the Arab Spring and the crisis in Libya. Her efforts included the creation of the Humanitarian Hub in Malta, which proved one of the most important Maltese efforts dedicated to resolving the Libyan crisis. She was praised for her work during this time by a number of world leaders, and her team was applauded for its "twenty-four hour availability and can-do attitude to solving problems," which was considered the driving force behind Malta's success in supporting the UN Resolutions on Libya.

Following these accomplishments, Frazier was appointed Ambassador for Immigration and later Secretary of State at Malta’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She then held ambassador positions to Belgium, Luxembourg and NATO and to Italy, San Marino and Rome-based UN bodies.

Tickets are required to attend the Commencement ceremony. Guests with tickets should be seated by 8:45 a.m. Guests without tickets can view a live stream of the ceremony in Luther’s Center for Faith and Life Main Hall or in Marty's in the lower level of Dahl Centennial Union. The ceremony will also be streamed live at stream.luther.edu.

Luther Commencement weekend events begin at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 23, with a Senior Send-Off in the Cafeteria and Marty's in the lower level of Dahl Centennial Union.

Nordic Choir, conducted by Andrew Last, Luther director of choral activities and associate professor of music, and the Luther College Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Diego Piedra, visiting assistant professor of music, will perform a Showcase Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 24, in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall. The concert is open to the public with no charge for admission and will be streamed at stream.luther.edu/music.

Events on Saturday, May 25, include a 9:30 a.m. Nurse Pinning Ceremony for nursing graduates in the class of 2019 in the Noble Recital Hall of Jenson-Noble Hall of Music; a Social Work Program Celebration 10 a.m.-noon in the Helen Farwell Lounge in Farwell Hall; an Education Department Senior Recognition Open House 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the atrium of the Center for the Arts; and a Senior Athlete Recognition Ceremony 10:30 a.m.-noon in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall.

Concert Band, directed by Joan de Albuquerque, Luther director of bands and associate professor of music, and Jazz Orchestra, directed by Juan Tony Guzmán, Luther professor of music and director of the jazz program, will perform a Showcase Concert at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life. The concert is open to the public with no charge for admission and will be streamed at stream.luther.edu/music.

A Senior Art Exhibition Reception will be held in the Kristin Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Center for the Arts.

Baccalaureate will be at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall. Guests should be seated by 7:45 p.m. The ceremony will be streamed live at stream.luther.edu. Audio recordings will be available upon request from the Office of College Ministries, [email protected] or (563) 387-1040. A freewill offering will be taken and designated to local and global charities in honor of the senior class. The celebratory worship service includes hymns, prayers and blessings for graduates and their families, as well as special anthems sung by Collegiate Chorale, directed by Jennaya Robison, Luther associate professor of music. This ecumenical service includes prayer petitions that celebrate the diversity of religious traditions represented in the graduating class.

The weekend concludes with the Commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 26, in Carlson Stadium.

The rain location for the ceremony is the Regents Center. For weather-related announcements, check the Luther College Facebook page, https://luther.edu/commencement or the Luther College Twitter feed, or call (563) 387-1732 after 6 a.m. Sunday, May 26.

Following the Commencement ceremony, Commencement Lunch will be served 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Cafeteria in Dahl Centennial Union. Cost for lunch is $10; no reservations are required.

For a full schedule, including updates and detailed information, view the Luther College Commencement website: https://www.luther.edu/commencement/schedule/.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, 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.

Vanessa Frazier