Luther College graduating senior Madeline Lomprey of Waunakee, Wisconsin, received the college's Elizabeth A. and Paul G. Jenson Medal for the class of 2021. The announcement was made during the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16.
Luther's Elizabeth A. and Paul G. Jenson Medal is presented each year to an outstanding senior, selected by the graduating class, who best demonstrates the ideals of the college through service to students and the college community. Established through an endowment gift from Luther alumni, Paul '48 and Elizabeth (Dybdal) Jenson '49, of Vassalboro, Maine, the Jenson Medal supports Luther College's mission of service.
Lomprey was looked to as a leader during her time at Luther, serving as president of the Student Senate and vice president of Collegiate Chorale her senior year. She engaged with the community on many levels: as a diversity ambassador for Admissions where she worked to create an equitable transition for students from high school to college; she was one of the first TedXLutherCollege speakers in 2019 when she spoke about arts-based peacebuilding initiatives; and she was involved in student groups including PRIDE Club, Intersectional Feminist Club and theatre.
"The Luther community is one that will not let you fail," said Lomprey. "Every time I have struggled during my time here, I could always look around to see so many supportive people around me. If it were not for my peers, I would not be the confident leader I am today."
Lomprey graduated with a degree in international studies with a peace and dialogue concentration. Over the past two years, she has done research and presentations on the topic of arts-based peacebuilding, because in her words "the arts are crucial in bringing communities together." This fall, Lomprey will move to Spain to teach English as a foreign language in a bilingual school which will serve as a springboard for her to pursue a graduate degree in peace and conflict studies. She will be half a world away but says she will continue to be inspired by those she met in Decorah.
"When I reflect on the people I’ve met during my time at Luther, I feel so incredibly inspired by each of them. I have watched students from all over the world rally together to make a difference on our campus, in Decorah and Iowa, and in our greater global community. Moving forward, I have no fear of being a leader and taking risks, because I know the people I love from here will always be there to catch me. That is not something you can come across just anywhere, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Soli Deo Gloria."
To view a video of Luther's 2021 Commencement visit www.luther.edu/commencement.
Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.