Luther College establishes Black Alumni Association Scholarship in memory of slain victims of racism

July 28, 2020

A new scholarship opportunity will soon be available to African American students at Luther College. The Black Alumni Association Scholarship was established this summer in memory of slain African Americans who fell victim to racist violence in America.

    "Emmett Till, George Stinney, Jr., George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Elijah McClain and other unknown victims of racism. These are only a few of the names of African American males and females, some of whom were still in their teens, murdered within the context of racism and injustice," said Perran Wetzel IV '79 and Loretta Dooley Wetzel '80, co-presidents of the Luther College Black Alumni Association. "As supporters of Luther College and the liberal arts education it offers, it is time for us to take a stand for Black lives."

The Black Alumni Association Scholarship will be awarded annually to African American students who are in need of financial assistance, with preference given to those who are active in community engagement.

"We recognize that providing this scholarship is a concrete step that Luther College can take to make it possible for all students of high academic promise to study and thrive here," said President Jenifer K. Ward. "I am grateful for the leadership of the Black Alumni Association and for the generosity of regents and friends of Luther in recognizing this opportunity to welcome and support Black students as they pursue their studies and have an impact on this great college."

This endowment was established by Perran Wetzel IV '79 and Loretta Dooley Wetzel '80 and Willie '84 and Denise Davismckennie '82, co-presidents of the Alumni Council, along with Sherry (Braun) Alcock '82, Rufus '74 and Debra (Hopson) Glasper '73, Douglas '82 and Shelly
Kintzinger, J. Robert '78 and Barbara Paulson, Corey '98 and Tonya (Schwers) Schmidt '97, Arne '80 and Ruth Sorenson, Jenifer K. Ward, James '82 and Constance Whitesell, and through gifts from regents, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of Luther College.

So far, the college has raised just over $100,000 and welcomes additional gifts to support more students. The scholarship will be available to students in the fall of 2021. 

"We must continue to expand our ways of thinking and replace self-serving concepts of truth and justice to fulfill a promise our country was founded upon over 200 years ago and never met"”that all are created equal," said Perran Wetzel IV and Loretta Dooley Wetzel.

Luther College is home to more than 1,900 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