Junior Letter

Fall 2016

Greetings, Parents of Luther Junior Students,

Your Parents Council gathered together the Saturday morning of Family Weekend. Given the recent flooding and stormy weather, the sunny morning was tremendously appreciated. During our meeting, President Paula Carlson shared Luther’s 2016-2018 priorities. Luther leadership is well poised to enhance the college’s success by emphasizing efforts in four areas: offering students a more fully integrated learning experience across their four years at Luther; developing a comprehensive plan for achieving and maintaining maximum fiscal strength; fostering the well-being of those who study, live and work at Luther; and finalizing a comprehensive strategic plan by 2018.

President Carlson also told us about Luther’s yearlong celebration, running February 2017-December 2017, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We are fortunate that ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton is able to join Luther to kick off the celebration.

Jim Jermier, vice president for development, introduced new team members Andrew Peter ’14 and Nate Ersig ’98, who thanked us for our participation and input. Jim shared recent highlights from the Development and Alumni Office. Luther had its 3rd highest giving year last school year, which included the very successful first-ever Giving Day. Next year’s Giving Day will again be held in March. There was a 2 percent increase in alumni participation in giving this past year. An anonymous $1M+ gift will be used to renovate and resurface the outdoor tennis courts. A $1.5M gift from Dennis ’64 and Suzanne Birkestrand has established the Birkestrand Chair in Economics and Management. Finishing touches on the renovation of the softball and baseball stadiums are being completed; seats from the Metrodome in Minneapolis are being used. Jim also reported that planning for Homecoming was well underway, with more than 60 activities and 17 class reunion events scheduled. Luther’s Alumni Council continues to work on the Alumni Ambassador Program, which, in conjunction with the Career Center, provides internship and networking opportunities for Luther students.

We concluded our meeting with the Family Weekend Panel for Parents session, which featured Nancy Barry (professor of English and assistant to the dean for advising), Brenda Ranum (director of the Career Center), Kelsey Boyce (2006 grad and interim assistant dean for Student Life), and Christopher Lovagnini (2016 grad and Center for Global Learning intern). The panel discussion illuminated the multitude of resources available to Luther students to support whatever growth they desire—academic and career advising, study abroad opportunities—and optimize their residential campus and social growth experiences. We were reminded to encourage our student to leverage all the opportunities Luther has to offer.

As your representatives on the Parents Council, we encourage you to join us as we give our children "roots and wings."  Your participation in Luther’s Annual Fund is a vote of confidence in Luther and a further investment in your student's education. The college is grateful to the many parents who have made gifts in the past. A high percentage of parent participation helps us to attract foundation and corporate donors. A gift of any size will boost our percentage of parent participation. Gifts from Luther parents (current and past) totaled nearly $2.8M last fiscal year. The Annual Fund provides support through scholarships, building improvements, and expanded faculty and student programs.


Dates to Remember

2016    Oct. 14-18                   Fall vacation

            Nov. 23-27                  Thanksgiving vacation

            Dec. 1-4                       Christmas at Luther

            Dec. 12-15                   Final exams

2017    Jan. 3-26                     January Term

            Feb. 1                          Spring semester begins

            Mar. 18-26                  Spring vacation

            Apr. 14-17                   Easter vacation

            May 15-18                   Final exams

            May 21                        Commencement

We’ll write again in the spring,

Greg and Peggy Miller  [email protected]                   

Michael '85 and Susanne Carney   [email protected]

John Kleeman and Gayle Christmas  [email protected]

Leofwin and JoBeth Clark [email protected]       

Thomas '82 and Linda Floden  [email protected]



“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.