News and Speeches

Dr. Bettina Love

In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this day we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., born on January 15, 1929. This year's MLK Day lecture, featuring Dr. Bettina Love, is co-sponsored by Identity Studies, Education, Religion, Paideia, and the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement.

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Dr. Jenifer K. Ward

Election Day

This Saturday, November 7, the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement, in collaboration with the Braver Angels organization and the "With Malice Toward None" project, will host a post-election discussion to process the 2020 election.

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Dr. Jenifer K. Ward

Our Collaborative Approach to Anti-racism Work

In support of Luther College’s commitment to educational access, diversity, inclusion, and other dimensions of equity in higher education, I am pleased to announce that Luther College is joining with the other members of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) to launch a collaborative anti-racism initiative.

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Dr. Jenifer K. Ward

Additional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Steps

In my message to the greater Luther community on June 4, I stated that the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent global cries of anguish and protest were “not an ‘acute’ event to beaddressed by a quick intervention and subsequent recovery. This is chronic. This requires sustained attention and discipline.”

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Dr. Jenifer K. Ward

Message from President Ward

Today marks the first day of my second year as Luther College’s eleventh president. On this day in 2019, I was getting to know people, learning the names of buildings, discovering restaurants and shops in Decorah, and thinking ahead to the promise of new work together to advance the mission of this institution and to affirm its impact both locally and globally.

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Dr. Jenifer K. Ward

Message from President Ward on Action Steps

In my message on Monday I asked us, even in the midst of grief, anger, exhaustion, and sorrow in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, the most recent name in a painful history that has radiated across time and space, to begin by listening. I have listened or reached out to student leaders, international students on campus, alumni, and friends of Luther. I have listened to our faculty and staff, standing with them at local protests. I have shared some of my own reading and self-education on social media, and I have been moved by stories of our students and alumni as they speak out against injustice and act as agents of hope and healing in their home communities and places of work.

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Dr. Jenifer K. Ward

Luther College Spring Convocation 2020

President Jenifer K. Ward remarks:

Good morning! As we enter Black History Month, I want to share with you a passage from a piece by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that has stuck with me over the years:

“We have inherited a large house, a great ‘world house’ in which we have to live together—black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Moslem and Hindu—a family unduly separated in ideas, culture and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace.”

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Inauguration of Jenifer K. Ward

Luther College Inaugural Address

Students; Alumni; Staff; Faculty and Regents, both current and former; Former Presidents and First Spouses; Decorah neighbors; and friends, colleagues, and family, both in this space and watching online:

This moment in today’s program is called “The President’s Response.” Having grown up singing gospel music, I know that a response follows a call, and indeed I have been called to this high honor, to serve Luther College to the best of my ability as your 11th president. Thank you. Thank you, as well, to all who have worked to make this weekend possible.

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Dr. Jenifer K. Ward

Luther College Service of Dedication

Good afternoon!

HERE I STAND. I CAN DO NO OTHER. It seems fitting to start a state of the college—this college—a Lutheran college—with a declaration associated with our namesake, Martin Luther. On the other hand, I have not yet been asked to recant anything. So in the spirit of adaptation for a new time, let me repurpose the phrase to mean this: HERE I STAND—at a Lutheran college in 2019, with a brilliant past and a bright future. HERE I STAND—in Decorah, Iowa, in the driftless region of the midwest, in a place that depends on us, and on which we depend. HERE I STAND—chosen as your 11th president and choosing to yoke myself up to this people, pulling with you and pulling for you.

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