Junior Letter

Spring 2017

Dear Parents of Luther Junior Students,

Your spring update from the Parents Council comes in lieu of an in-person meeting (for the first time in seven years, our “spring” meeting was cancelled due to blizzard warnings). While the weather got the best of the plans, there is a lot of positive news and insight to relay to you all. Here's a summary:

  • At the time of the scheduled meeting in late February, Luther applications were running 11 percent ahead of last year based on an all-time high count of 4,051;
  • Paid deposits were standing at a four percent year-on-year increase;
  • A new alumni recruitment program is scheduled to be rolled out in July.

This session of the Parents Council was also set to focus on the strategic planning process. You may have already seen a survey targeted to your student or yourselves. After a number of meetings, workshops, and a May retreat, the plan is for the Strategic Planning Committee to present goals and priorities to the Luther College Board of Regents in October. One of the guiding questions for this process represents the core of this update, and it set us to thinking about the Luther experience, as we are past the midway point of this junior year:

  • What aspects of Luther drew your child here, and what is the value of the education that Luther provides?

Key to answering this question was some really valuable insight gained from Luther's commitment to its Strengths-Based Servant Leadership Program that is provided to students during their first year. The program’s assessment tool provides a foundation of self-understanding and a shared language across campus for students, faculty, and staff. Over 78 percent of the Class of 2018 have participated in this process so far (as did Parents Council members; the summary results provided to us were most insightful).

The survey is developed and implemented by Gallup Inc., and there are several guiding principles around its findings (which are called themes). It’s important to understand that themes—or categories of talent—are neutral, and there is no inherent valuing or labeling placed on the talent themes, as they are all equally important. You can learn more about the Gallup Strengths Assessment at https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com.

In fact, the aim of this broad, campus-wide assessment effort is to understand that differences are an advantage when developed and used wisely. The survey instrument provides a framework to help explore the powerful contributions your student has the potential to make.

Similarly, the focus of "Roots and Wings" is to make—and keep—Luther the place it is. As you know, we do have a special mission as parents. The weather for our spring Parents Council meeting may have been inclement, but the message and outcomes of our "virtual meeting" were really strong: recognize our strengths, embrace the opportunity to make the most of them, and use the resulting success to sustain and promote others. For those of you who have made gifts in the past, your investment helps to ensure Luther’s success. Luther’s Parents Association directly supports the Luther College Annual Fund, and you can always help at givenow.luther.edu. A higher percentage of parent participation in giving attracts additional giving from foundations, so please consider making a gift of any size as a vote of confidence in Luther, and a further investment in your student’s strengths.

Thank you,

Leofwin and JoBeth Clark [email protected]  

Greg and Peggy Miller  [email protected]                   

Michael '85 and Susanne Carney   [email protected]

John Kleeman and Gayle Christmas  [email protected]

Thomas '82 and Linda Floden  [email protected]

Dates to Remember         

2017    Apr. 14-17                   Easter vacation
            May 15-18                   Final exams
            May 21                        Commencement
            Aug. 30                        Fall semester begins
            Sep. 22-24                   Family Weekend
            Oct. 6-8                        Homecoming
            Oct. 13-17                    Fall vacation
            Nov. 22-26                   Thanksgiving vacation
            Nov. 30-Dec. 3            Christmas at Luther
            Dec. 11-14                    Final exams 


“There are but two lasting bequests we can give our children.  One is roots, the other, wings.”

Roots and Wings—how often we think about these gifts as we guide and nurture our children through those first years. As parents, we have a special mission.

The roots are planted as we help them establish a firm foundation for life, a definition of who they are and where they came from, the security of family and a sense of community.

The wings emerge as we gradually let them go, allowing them the freedom to fly—to take what they have learned and soar to new heights, to reach beyond existing boundaries, to seek and find their place in this world.

You should have a sense of pride. Under your watchful eye, your child has grown into a young adult with dreams and unlimited potential for the future. And now, you are allowing those dreams to live, by encouraging the opportunity for new growth at Luther College, an institution with deep roots and caring people to assist students as they pursue their dreams and realize their potential.

Please give your child “roots and wings.” Support the Annual Fund through the Luther College Parents Association and enhance learning opportunities for all Luther students.