Contact Information

Lydia Slattery
Media Relations Specialist

Phone: 563-387-1417

Luther College to celebrate Homecoming Oct. 5-8

Luther College will celebrate Homecoming 2017 Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 5-8, bringing more than 5,000 friends and alumni back to campus to partake in class reunions, sporting events, musical concerts and more.

Luther extends an invitation to the Decorah community to join in the celebration, as many Homecoming events are open to the public, including Homecoming chapel at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 6, in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life. Two Luther ensembles will perform at this chapel service: the Wind and Percussion Ensemble directed by Joan deAlbuquerque, and Collegiate Chorale directed by Jennaya Robison, class of 1996. Preacher is the Reverend Heidi Borkenhagen, class of 2002.

The Luther College Distinguished Service Awards and Class of 1967 Reunion Gift Presentation are presented during the Alumni Dinner at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Dining Hall in Dahl Centennial Union. Admission to the dinner is $30 per person.

Distinguished Service Award recipients are Sheldon Hermanson, class of 1952; Larrie Wanberg, class of 1952; Jan (Engle) Gray, class of 1962; John Helgeland, class of 1962; Julie (Braastad) Wurtzel, class of 1977; Susan (Livingston) English, class of 1982; Mike Harman, class of 1987; and Sujay Lama, class of 1992.

Directed by Juan Tony Guzmán, associate professor of music, class of 1990, and Jon Ailabouni, Luther music faculty, class of 2010, the Luther College Jazz Band, Luther College Jazz Combo and Luther College Jazz Orchestra will perform from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday in Marty’s in Dahl Centennial Union. This event is open to the public with no charge for admission.

The traditional Luther Homecoming Parade starts at Decorah High School at 10 a.m. Saturday. The parade route follows Water Street to College Drive then turns onto the Luther campus. Parade marshals are Amanda Bailey, head women’s basketball coach, and Andrew Last, class of 1997, assistant professor of music and conductor of Nordic Choir.

Jonathan Drake, class of 1982, will give this year’s Hoslett Memorial Lecture, titled “Science and Law and the Endangered Species Act,” held at 11:15 a.m. Saturday in Valders Hall of Science Room 206. This lecture is open to the public with no cost for admission.

The Luther Tailgate will take place in the Dining Hall of Dahl Centennial Union at 11 a.m. Saturday, following the parade and lecture. Cost is $9 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-10, and free for children under age five.

The Outdoor Ropes Challenge Course will be available to use 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. It will be available for walk-in participation, as availability allows. Anyone 18-years-old or older may climb; ages 10-17 must have a parent/guardian present to climb.

A sustainability tour of Luther College’s renewable energy sites will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Twenty-two spaces are available for this tour, and is on a first-come, first-served basis. The tour leaves from the front of Dahl Centennial Union.

The Luther College Book Shop in Dahl Centennial Union will host four book signings Saturday, Oct. 7:

  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Jerry Johnson, former Luther director of public information, will sign copies of his books “Ivory and Gold,” “Hunting Birds,” and the essay collections, “A Limit of Coot,” “Old Coots Never Forget,” “Coot Stews,” and “Crazy Old Coot,”
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Keith Lesmeister, Luther class of 2001, will sign copies of his book “We Could’ve Been Happy Here,”
  • 1-3 p.m. Books written and signed by author Jerry Twedt, Luther class of 1957, including “Just a Thought or Two,” “Holiday Stories,” and “Land of Promise, Land of Tears,” will be available as he cannot attend
  • 1-3 p.m. Marvin Slind, Emeritus professor of history, will sign copies of his new book “Ivy,” 1-3 p.m.
  • 3:30-5 p.m. Kurt Clopton, class of 1992, will sign copies of his book “Super Guy,”

Several alumni matches will be held throughout the weekend:

  • Flag football, 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Legacy Field
  • Softball, 11 a.m. Saturday, softball diamond
  • Swimming and diving, 11 a.m. Saturday, Aquatic Center
  • Men’s rugby, 11 a.m. Saturday, athletic field

The Luther vs. Nebraska-Wesleyan University football game is at 1 p.m. Saturday, in Carlson Stadium. Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for students, $3 for seniors 65+, and free for children five and under. Tickets will be available at the gate, and the game will be live-streamed at: The Class of 1967 reunion gift presentation and recognition of the Athletic Hall of Fame inductees will take place at halftime.

Immediately following the football game, a faculty reception will be held in Bentdahl Commons on the Luther College campus, with a rain location of the Center for Faith and Life Lobby.

A showing of the documentary “To This Day: Remembering Nordic Choir’s First International Tour,” will be shown in the Noble Recital Hall in Jenson-Noble Hall of Music  at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Athletic Hall of Fame Reception will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, in the Mostrom-Bahe Lobby in Jenson-Noble Hall of Music, with the ceremony to follow at 5 p.m. in the Noble Recital Hall in the same building. Inductees include: Gary Lowmiller, class of 1964; Rochelle Swiggum, class of 1987; Rick Burke, class of 1992; Melanie House, class of 1992; Steve Stokes, class of 1992; Chris Mitchell, class of 1997; Julie (James) Modjeski, class of 1997; Lynn Dalhed, class of 2002; Nate Hansen, class of 2007; and Matt Pyle, class of 2007.

A Festival Eucharist will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life. The Reverend Mike Blair will preside. Luther’s Cathedral Choir, Aurora, Cantorei, Collegiate Chorale, Norsemen, and Luther Ringers will perform.

The Homecoming Concert for Luther College is 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life with Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band and Nordic Choir performing. There will be a presentation of the Theodore Presser scholarship award, Richard C. and Joann M. Hemp Family Prize, Carlo A. Sperati Award, and Weston H. Noble award.

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:

Contact Information

Lydia Slattery
Media Relations Specialist

Phone: 563-387-1417