Message from Corey Landstrom, Vice President and Dean for Student Life

Amazingly, spring break is just around the corner—meaning that the spring semester is halfway complete. Spring baseball training is underway, and opening day inches ever closer (good news for baseball fans), a great harbinger that spring is close. The Luther spring sports season has begun and planning has begun for other spring semester events and experiences. These include a concert by The Masked Singer winner, T-Pain, and a great program that is part of the “Next Steps for Sophomores” program (more on that below).

I anticipate you have heard your son or daughter remark how quickly the semester has seemed to go. For first-year students, the final draft of their Paideia research paper is due next week. They have been investing time and energy into developing their paper with the support of their professors and others.

Most students have begun identifying opportunities they wish to pursue for next year. Application processes for on-campus leadership positions such as resident assistants (RAs), admissions ambassadors, Student Activities Council, Student Senate positions, and others are in process. Students will be learning whether they have been selected for or elected to such positions.

Some students may be seeking summer opportunities such as internships, meaningful work experiences, or research. Over the past several weeks, the Career Center has hosted a career fair and two summer camp fairs during which students were able to directly engage with hiring managers and representatives from a host of organizations that are seeking the talents and strengths our students offer. Feedback the Career Center received suggests our students presented themselves well and were prepared to engage.

Those of you with students who are seniors are likely looking forward to late May, when we will celebrate their accomplishments at the Commencement ceremony as well as at many other events during Commencement weekend. I’ve written previously about my experience with our daughter’s college search process; the weekend of Luther’s Commencement,  she will graduate from Decorah High School with her college plans finalized. I know that this final weekend of the school year is coming quickly for you even if your student is a first-year student. It will come quickly for me even if May 2023 seems a long distance away; I am sure May 2019 also seemed far away for those of you who are parents of seniors.

But the good news: we have half a semester remaining. There is plenty of time for students to get the most out of this year. Have they checked off items on their personal Luther bucket list? Have they thanked a professor or staff member for the support they’ve provided to them this year? Have they reflected upon what they have learned about themselves this year? What are they looking forward to as the year draws to a close, and what about their next year most excites them?

If your student is a sophomore, do they plan to attend the Sophomore Slowdown on April 4th? Hint: they should! The goal of this great event is for sophomores to pause and engage in "big questions" about the rest of their Luther experience and beyond. Of course, you don’t need to be a sophomore to engage in such big questions. There are plenty of resources to support students in exploring big questions, including academic advisors, faculty mentors, and the Career Center staff.

Each year I have closed my orientation welcome address by advising the first-year class to make the most of their experience. The class of 2019 received this recommendation: you have 1,366 days until your Commencement in 2019. My best to you to make the most of each one! Whether a student has 75 or 1,167 days remaining, there is yet time to make the most of their experience. Thank you for your support and encouragement in helping them to do so! Hopefully, they have also thanked you for your support during this or past years.