Athletics Meritorious Service Award Recipients

Elliott Christen
Elliott Christen

Elliott Christen '55 - Presented 2014

  • 1955 graduate of Luther College
  • Has been volunteering his time at Luther College Athletics for the past 32 years
  • His efforts have included working with Luther's student radio station KWLC as a mentor and play-by-play announcer from 1982-1992
  • Since 1992, he has been the public address announcer for football, basketball, baseball, softball, swimming, and indoor and outdoor track
  • He has also helped with play-by-play for the sports information department's video streaming of home swimming and diving meets since 2007
  • He also volunteers his time in the Decorah community at the First Lutheran food pantry an Meals on Wheels
  • He retired from the Decorah school district after serving from 1970-1994
  • During his tenure he served as an instructor, junior high football coach (140-17), athletics director and principal
  • Served in the U.S. Army - 1955-57
  • News and Sports anchor KDEC radio - 1957-60
  • Instructor and coach at Northwood-Kensett Schools, Iowa - 1961-63
  • Instructor and coach at Newton School, Iowa - 1963-70
  • He and his wife Bev have been married for 56 years and have two children, Jana '85 and Kyle
Vernon Spilde

Vernon Spilde - Presented 2016

  • 1944 graduate of Decorah High School
  • Retired from Luther College on Feb. 1, 1992 after 35 of years of working facilities management/grounds.
  • During his time at Luther, Vern would go to the baseball and softball diamonds each day after he was done with work and team practices were over and he would drag the fields, pick up garbage, and clean up the dugouts. He knew that if this was not done and it rained, the fields would be a mess and hard to get smooth again. He did this outside his regular duties.
  • In retirement he volunteered his time for six years taking care of both the softball and baseball fields.
  • Vern and his wife "Kay," were loyal Norse fans and attended almost every home event together until her death in 2014.
  • They are parents of Luther alumni Cheryl (Spilde) Dignan '73 and Criag Spilde '76 and grandparents of Stephen Dignan '10.