"Luther taught me the value of relationships and the value of service to things larger than myself."
Since graduation, Eli has worked as a wildland firefighter, and as combat engineer and psychological operations specialist for the U.S. Army. He has also cofounded a nonprofit social venture that employs veterans and has served as a director of grant making for a large foundation.
Eli’s parents attended Luther and introduced him to the school. “I was also interested in the music program and received a scholarship,” he says. “Some of my other co-curriculars included basketball and the Black Student Union.”
Eli still maintains the friendships he made with his peers and professors at Luther and feels they’ve only improved since graduation. “I hope that all current students truly appreciate this moment in time,” he says. “Take stock of where you’re at so you can see how far you’ve come after 20 years. Perspective is invaluable for continued success.”
Luther taught me the value of relationships and the value of service to things larger than myself.
—Eli Williamson '02
Eli co-founded a nonprofit organization called Leave No Veteran Behind with a fellow Luther grad. He was also awarded Luther College's Young Alumni Award for his leadership and creativity in blending life's work with service.