John A. Nunes urged members of the class of 2017 assembled to “take a stand and stand out” during his rousing address at Luther’s Commencement on May 21. Nunes is president of Concordia College–New York. An ordained Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod minister, Nunes was president and chief executive officer of Lutheran World Relief, 2007–13. He and Øyvind T. Gulliksen, professor emeritus of American literature and culture at the University College of Southeast Norway in Bø, Telemark, Norway, received honorary degrees from Luther at the ceremony. During his sabbaticals, Gulliksen has served as visiting professor of Scandinavian studies at Luther. The author and editor of dozens of books and articles, Gulliksen’s work has greatly enriched the understanding of the life and cultural achievements of the people who shaped Luther College and the broader Norwegian American community.
Five hundred thirteen members of the class of 2017 walked across the stage to receive their degree.
The Young Alumni Award recognized the vision and creativity of brothers John Meyer ’08 and Scott Meyer ’05, founders of 9 Clouds and Lemonly, digital marketing companies using visual storytelling.
The Jenson Medal, established by Elizabeth (Dybdal) ’49 and Paul Jenson ’47, goes to a senior, elected by the senior class, who best demonstrates the ideals of the college through service to students and the college community. This year’s recipient was Luigi Enriquez ’17, who served Luther through Student Senate, as a resident assistant, Launching Luther Leaders, and Dance Marathon, among other activities. The music education major was also the recipient of the 2016–17 Brudos Family Opera Prize. “What a sweet way to finish my time here at Luther. I honor my family, friends, professors, and mentors with this award; they have shared their time, their wisdom, and allowed for meaningful experiences over the past four years. I am forever grateful,” says Enriquez. “I am taken aback by the honor my peers have given me, and I am thankful for their thoughtfulness in this recognition.”