Junior Letter

What beautiful weather we had on Family Weekend, September 21-23 in Decorah!  Our Fall Parent’s Council meeting occurred that Saturday morning- we are pleased to share with you what we learned as your junior class representatives!

Luther College is in the first implementation year of a very exciting and comprehensive strategic plan.  We are excited to see how the ideas being planted now will blossom in future years! Priorities for this first year include:

  • Creation of Experiential Working Hubs (creating off-campus learning destination sites) in cities such as Minneapolis-St. Paul, Rochester, and/or Des Moines
  • Create Innovation Incubators (spaces on campus to encourage students to experiment, create, make and work)
  • Create an on-campus Center for Teaching and Learning (intended for faculty to support experimentation, growth and professional development) and
  • Re-think diversity, where inclusive excellence is the goal.

Due to President Carlson’s announced retirement at the end of the academic year, a presidential search committee has been formed.  This committee of diverse members are committed to a search process that is inclusive, transparent and confidential. Steve Holland, Professor of Economics and member of the search committee, did a wonderful job explaining the search process.  Ultimately, the committee will forward a name for consideration to our Board of Regents, who will make the final decision. The college is, and will continue to be, in good leadership hands!  We are thankful for the leadership President Carlson has provided during her tenure!

Mariah Smith, director of development, current giving, led us in a brainstorming session about increasing parent giving.  All of us on the council certainly understand the balance between paying tuition to Luther College, but also supporting this wonderful institution with additional gifts.  One thing that was emphasized is that no gift is too small!  You are able to recognize a special professor or learning program when you give, perhaps someone or some program that has been significant to your child at Luther College.  We have enjoyed giving in honor of our daughter and special professors in her life :)  We encourage you to invest in the future of Luther College, for your student and for all future students. Visit givenow.luther.edu to make your gift online or return the enclosed response card with your donation.  Thank you and GO NORSE!

Scott Schaeffer, vice president for enrollment management shared that student enrollment is up from the previous two years, which is exciting!  Demographics show that although the majority of our students come from the Midwest, we also have 58 students from other states and 55 international students in our first-year class!  We welcome the wide variety of experiences all the students bring to the campus!

Corey Landstrom, vice president and dean for academic life, shared some policy updates that went into effect due to incidents that occured on campus during the last academic year.  The language used to communicate about bias incidences, hate acts or crimes, discrimination, and harassment has all been updated. It was reassuring to hear how Luther staff and students responded to these incidents. We are confident in the proactive approach for the future.

Aimee Viniard-Weidemann, vice president for communications and marketing, gave a very informative and dynamic presentation on the brand work that is being done at the college.  She and her team are working very hard to create a brand that:

·         Resonates with, and is relevant to, prospective students and parents

·         Is authentic and meaningful to our internal audiencs: alumni and friends

·         Clearly communicates how Luther is distinct and different from competitors

We are excited to see how this unfolds in the future.  In the meantime, be sure to share your positive stories about Luther College with prospective students!  Nothing beats that personal connection :)

We want to be sure to mention our Luther College Woman’s Club, and their wonderful treat delivery. Your student can receive a treat for any occasion and the proceeds go directly to student scholarships!  They will accommodate any dietary needs- we have been very pleased with this fun way to surprise our daughter. luther.edu/parents/treats-for-students.

Be sure to check out visitdecorah.com when you are planning your next visit.  In addition to fun things on campus, there are many fun things to do in the area!  Personal favorites of our family are visits to Dunning Springs, Mabe’s Pizza, and shopping in fun little local shops.  

Please feel free to contact us, or any of the other parent representatives with any questions, ideas or concerns.  We do have a Luther College Parents Facebook group that we encourage you to join.

May your remaining months of 2018 be filled with things that are meaningful to you and your family!


Todd and Jennifer Saner

P.S. Please know, lists for each class letter are generated by the number of credit hours a student has earned, not by senior, junior, etc. status. If you would like to receive a different class letter, please contact Annette Laitinen at 800-225-8664 or [email protected].

Junior Class Parents Council Members:

Michael and Dina Barron
Munster, IN
(219) 237-4236
[email protected]

David and Colleen Bolthouse
Palatine, IL
(847) 312-1345
[email protected]

Larry ꞌ87 and Connie (Foxworthy) Logeman ꞌ88
St. Cloud, MN
[email protected]

Todd Saner ꞌ90 and Jennifer Munn Saner ꞌ89
Onalaska, WI
(608) 781-8033
[email protected]

William J. “John” and Vickie Sharp
Iowa City, IA.
(319) 351-1653
[email protected]

2018-19 Dates to Remember

Nov. 21-25                Thanksgiving vacation
Nov. 29-Dec. 2          Christmas at Luther
Dec. 10-13                 Final Exams
Jan. 7-30                   January Term
Feb. 6                 
Spring semester begins
March 23–31     
Spring Vacation
April 19–22        Easter Vacation
May 20–23          Final Exams
May 26                Commencement