Sophomore Letter

Spring 2016

Dear Parents of Luther Sophomore Students,

Greetings from your Parents Council! We met on campus in March, and here are some highlights from our meeting:

President Paula Carlson shared the Luther College 2016-18 Priorities document with us, which has been endorsed by the Luther College Board of Regents. The priorities include offering a more fully integrated learning experience, developing a comprehensive plan for maintaining fiscal strength, fostering the well-being of all at Luther, and finalizing a comprehensive strategic plan. She also shared that Luther has been invited by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to be featured in a book about integrated applied learning, stemming from the college’s very successful Paideia program, and that Luther was contacted by the American Council on Education for inclusion in a study of schools that have stable and strong fiscal foundations. Upcoming campus projects include the renovation of Main and the athletic facilities.

We learned from Scot Schaeffer, vice president for enrollment management, that significant changes to the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) process have been made, and students will be able to file a 2017-18 FAFSA much earlier (as early as Oct. 1, 2016), and report income information from an earlier tax year. Scot also suggested that parents and students use the Data Retrieval Function Tool from the IRS when completing your FAFSA. 

Luther’s new registrar is Professor Kristin Swanson, a member of the religion faculty. She provided information to us about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and reminded us that Luther is required to abide by federal laws regarding student and parental rights. Kristin recommended that we talk to our students about gaining access to their restricted information. The Registrar’s Office is a resource for parents as well as students and provides transcripts, transfer course pre-approvals, enrollment verification, and an online tool for program evaluation.

Ann Sponberg Peterson, director of development-principal gifts, and Maria Smith, director of annual giving, updated us on happenings in their department. Luther’s comprehensive fundraising totals for the past year show 2014-15 as the second-best year for fundraising in Luther College history. Despite the challenging economic climate, donors to Luther contributed $14.84 million. This is wonderful testimony to the distinctive value many of us have come to know in a Luther College education. The week after our meeting, Luther held its first-ever Giving Day, which you may have noticed on social media. Thanks to more than 1,800 gifts, from alumni, parents, and friends, $574,809 was raised for the Annual Fund that day, March 10. Thank you to all of you who contributed!

As your representatives on the Parents Council, we encourage you to join us as we strive to keep Luther a great place for our children. As you know, tuition payments cover only a portion of the total cost of a Luther education, and we think Luther is an excellent and worthy candidate for our charitable giving. If you didn’t already make a gift to Luther during Giving Day, please consider making your gift now! Thank you.


Dates to Remember 2016

May 16-19                            Final exams                                         

Oct. 14-18                            Fall vacation

May 22                                 Commencement                                                 

Aug. 31                                 Fall semester begins           

Sept. 16-18                           Family Weekend                                

Oct. 14-18                            Fall vacation

Nov. 23-27                         Thanksgiving vacation

Dec. 1-4                               Christmas at Luther College

Dec. 12-15                            Final exams




John Kleeman and Gayle Christmas
(541) 882-4141

Leofwin and JoBeth Clark
(303) 843-6436

Michael ‘85 and Susanne Carney

(515) 255-8073

Thomas ‘82 and Linda Floden
(641) 424-3240       

Greg and Peggy Miller
(563) 583-9272 


“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.