Announcements

Clue Online

 

 

New Minowa Players’ online performance of Clue Stay At Home starts this Sunday, April 18 at 12:00 am and ends Wednesday, April 21 at 11:59 pm. Tickets are $15, with a service charge of $3.95, and are only available online at https://www.broadwayondemand.com/series/2TX9WtRNiNMI-clue-stay-at-home-version–new-minowa-players. Tickets can be purchased in advance or they can be purchased at the time a person wishes to view the show.  One ticket allows viewer to watch the show on one device at any time and as many times as desired between April 18 and April 21 .  The process for buying a ticket and watching the show are these: follow the link; create a Broadway on Demand account; purchase ticket. If purchasing the ticket previous to the show dates, return to the Broadway on Demand site, using the same link, between April 18 and 21 sign into the account to access the recording.

The cast and crew have been using Zoom rehearsals to bring to life the characters of this wacky whodunit.  Anyone familiar with the board game, or the 1985 movie based on the board game, will recognize the characters and the plot: who killed whom, where and with what?  Was it Professor Plum, in the hall, with a revolver or perhaps Colonel Mustard, in the lounge, with a wrench?  Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock, Miss Scarlet and Mr. Green round out the pool of suspects. Join us for this hilarious murder mystery and find out for yourself.

The Sponsors for Clue are: Decorah Bank and Trust, Family Table Restaurant, Iroc Web Design Services, Modish, Pizza Ranch, Rick and Sheryl Scheffert, Sogo Snacks and JoAn Stevenson and Steven Nelson, Singing Hammers Construction.

Luther College Society of Physics Students chapter receives national award

The Luther College chapter of the national Society of Physics Students has received the 2020 Outstanding Chapter Award. This is the highest award, granted to only 15% of chapters annually, and recognizes Luther’s chapter for its involvement and outreach on campus and in the larger SPS community.  

 “SPS is a way for students who are interested in physics and engineering to get together and have fun doing small construction projects and design competitions,” said Erin Flater, Luther College professor of physics and SPS advisor. “It’s also a chance to learn more about physics, about summer research and internship opportunities, and about what scientists and engineers do in their careers.” 

Luther’s SPS chapter is open to any student interested in physics and enables them to develop leadership and problem-solving skills, become immersed in a professional community and learn more about careers in physics. 

“Being a member of our SPS chapter makes me very proud,” said Dalton Ludington ’22, SPS vice president. “We all know that the past year has provided some interesting challenges. In leading this program, I have learned problem-solving skills and how to think outside of the box. Physics really is fun and we try to capture that.”

In addition to receiving the Outstanding Chapter Award, Luther’s SPS chapter leaders were invited to write an article for The SPS Observer. The Observer is the magazine of the Society of Physics Students and is printed quarterly by the American Institute of Physics. The article, “Hot Wheels, Cloud Chambers, and 3D Printing: A Hands-On Approach to Chapter Meetings,” was written by Abbigail Fahrenkamp ’20, Owen Johnson ’21 and Flater. 

“Prior to writing the article,” said Johnson, “I assumed that all SPS chapters had meetings similar to ours: gatherings where we do physics activities like building balloon cars and Rube Goldberg machines. However, that is apparently not the case – our approach is pretty unique among chapters.” 

The article highlights how, despite the virtual nature of meetings in 2020, the Luther SPS chapter student leaders planned meetings that engaged their members. The leaders provided members with supplies so they could participate in virtual spaghetti-bridge building competitions and other activities that made sure members felt connected to their Luther chapter. 

“I am so proud of our SPS students. The engaging activities they are creating are getting national recognition,” said Flater. 

Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu. 

Luther College adopts new socially responsible investment strategy

Luther College endowment approaches $200 million with new ESG considerations

DECORAH, Iowa – As the Luther College Endowment approaches $200 million, the college is now incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into its investment approach. 

In its initial steps, Luther has made revisions to its investment policy statement to recognize new Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) goals. SRI is any investment strategy that considers both financial return and social/environmental good to bring about positive social change. The approach is to consider ESG factors broadly. Portfolio management decisions will continue to be made with the long-term return and support of the college as a primary objective.  

“While we have considered ESG and SRI in the past, we are excited to more formally incorporate them as part of our investment process,” said Connie Plaehn, chair of the Luther College Board of Regents Investment Committee. “The Investment Committee intends for these actions to be the first step in incorporating ESG and expects to refine the approach and implementation over time as the ESG landscape and investment options available evolve. While future investment decisions will be made considering the lens of SRI principles, our role as fiduciary of the endowment will remain paramount.”

Luther has also shifted away from asset allocation in natural resources and moved into infrastructure, and has recently hired a manager with an investment strategy built around ESG factors.

“Sustainability is integral to the management of an endowment that is intended to support the mission of Luther College long term,” said Andrew Bailey, vice president for finance and administration. “Recent changes to the college’s investment policy statement acknowledge that consideration of ESG factors aligns with the investment committee’s fiduciary responsibility to generate a sustainable financial return.”

Luther’s endowment has grown from $56 million in 2000 to nearly $200 million today. 

“A growing endowment is indicative of the impact that Luther College has had on so many lives, representing generous contributions from donors to support transformational experiences for current and future students,” said Bailey. “The growth from new gifts and strategic investments increases funding for scholarships, internships, research opportunities, program enrichment and other practices centered around the student experience.” 

Moving forward, Luther’s newly created Responsible Investment Advisory Committee will interact with the Board of Regents’ investment committee to help the wider campus community learn more about Luther’s attention to ESG considerations and its commitment to socially responsible investments. Composed of students, faculty and staff, the advisory committee is chaired by the director of Luther’s Center for Sustainable Communities.

Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.

Luther College urges Biden administration to set strong 2030 U.S. climate target

DECORAH, Iowa – Luther College, along with 74 other colleges and universities, is calling on the Biden-Harris administration to set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% below 2005 levels by 2030. 

A letter to the White House states, “We (the college and university signatories) know that we need to address the climate crisis at the pace and scale it demands. Climate science, much of which is generated at our institutions, tells us that the United States must adopt an emissions reduction target that will place the country on a credible pathway to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.”

The Biden-Harris administration has reentered the Paris Agreement and subsequently must submit a carbon emission goal. The signatories of the letter urged the administration to set and meet a goal of 50%, which will put the U.S. on track to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. 

“Luther College’s educational mission calls us to be good stewards of the earth and responsible citizens,” said President Jenifer K. Ward. “We have a concrete plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, operate more efficiently, and use renewable energy to heat, cool, and power our campus, so our signature on this letter takes that local commitment and joins it to a national effort that can have a global impact.”

Luther is one of 16 institutions in the Midwest to support this 2030 climate target.  

Luther College has been recognized as one of the top 10 baccalaureate colleges in the U.S. for campus sustainability. The college is committed to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70% and becoming carbon neutral by 2030. To date, Luther has reduced its overall carbon footprint by nearly 60% from its peak emissions in fiscal year 2004.

Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.

Luther College celebrates Climate Justice Week

Luther College celebrates Climate Justice Week
All are welcome to attend virtual lectures by Sandra Henry and Susan Crate

DECORAH, Iowa – Luther College will celebrate Climate Justice Week, April 18-24, with a lineup of events focused on social equity in our changing climate. The goals of this week are for participants to walk away with an understanding of how climate change and social inequity are connected, a new or renewed commitment to creating positive change, and clarity about each person’s individual role and responsibility to our environment. 

Students Salomé Valdivieso and Sydney Frank worked to organize the events. To see the complete lineup, visit luther.edu/climate-justice-week.

“This week is important to me because our Mother Earth needs us,” said Valdivieso. “We live in a time of consumerism, harming our environment by consuming and exploiting resources, most of which we don’t need. We all need to realize that our role in society affects others. I also hope this week brings awareness to the intersectionality of privilege, acknowledging that our social justice goes hand in hand with environmental awareness and care.”

Two events to note of public interest are virtual lectures by Sandra Henry and Susan Crate.

 

“Environmental Justice and Clean Energy” by Sandra Henry
7 p.m. Tuesday, April 20

Environmental justice and energy democracy are vital for the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy systems. Guest speaker Sandra Henry is the senior director of energy and sustainability for Elevate, an organization addressing environmental justice in the Chicago area by helping to develop minority-owned businesses in the clean energy industry. At Elevate, Henry works to create clean energy access and climate solutions to advance a more equitable and just clean energy future.

“Clean energy and environmental justice are very complex and closely intertwined with one another,” said Frank. “With firsthand experience working in this field, Sandra Henry has a special understanding of these issues, and hearing her perspective will be enlightening.”

Henry will be joined by Andy Johnson of the Winneshiek Energy District. 

This is a Civic Sustainability Event, sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Communities at Luther College and the Winneshiek Energy District. Viewing information can be found at luther.edu/events

 

“Anthropology and Climate Change: Actions and Transformations” by Susan Crate
7 p.m. Wednesday, April 21

Climate change is introducing profound challenges to communities around the globe. Because most of humanity uses an Indigenous or local knowledge system to understand the world, anthropology has a specific role to play as a knowledge broker for these communities.  Susan Crate, an environmental and cognitive anthropologist, will share how she conducts this work and what is needed to slow down and curtail climate change for the preservation of the world’s Indigenous people.  

“Susan Crate’s work revolves mainly around communities that are facing the earliest consequences of climate change in our world. Her work helps to humanize the often abstract issue of climate change, and learning about this topic through the eyes of communities who are directly suffering from this issue brings a new and important perspective to the conversation about climate change and social justice,” said Frank. 

Crate is a professor of anthropology in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University. An environmental and cognitive anthropologist, she has worked with Indigenous communities in Siberia since 1988.

This lecture is sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement and the Center for Sustainable Communities at Luther College. Viewing information can be found at luther.edu/events

Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.

 

Prairie Burns Scheduled

Prescribed prairie burns will take place on parts of the Decorah Community Prairie. The burns will take place between April 12 and May 14.

Prescribed burns are an effective resource management tool utilized to discourage the growth of weeds and woody vegetation while promoting the growth of desired native vegetation in prairie restoration sites.

Weather conditions are the major determination as to when the burns will take place. If you would like a notification of the exact day and time of the burns, please call the Park and Rec. office at 382-4158 and leave your phone number. We will try to notify you when the exact date and time are determined.

Exterior renovation funding for qualified Decorah homeowners- apply now!

Apply now for potential home renovation funds. 

The city of Decorah and Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) are partnering to apply for a Community Development Block Grant that will assist low- to moderate- income homeowner with critical home repairs. Funds will be used for exterior repairs only. Applicants must own a home in the city of Decorah and income-qualify to participate.

Full applications are now available at the Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission website. You can request to have an application mailed to you by calling 563-864-7551 or emailing [email protected]

UERPC has additional programs that can assist homeowners with repairs and rehabilitation. For more information, call UERPC Housing at 563-864-7551 or email [email protected].

 

Tickets Available for New Minowa Players’ production of “Clue”

Tickets are now on sale for New Minowa Players’ online performance of Clue Stay At Home. Tickets are $15, with a service charge of $3.95, and are only available online at https://www.broadwayondemand.com/series/2TX9WtRNiNMI-clue-stay-at-home-version–new-minowa-players. Tickets can be purchased in advance or they can be purchased at the time a person wishes to view the show.  One ticket allows viewer to watch the show on one device at any time and as many times as desired between April 18 and April 21 .  The process for buying a ticket and watching the show are these: follow the link; create a Broadway on Demand account; purchase ticket. If purchasing the ticket previous to the show dates, return to the Broadway on Demand site, using the same link, between April 18 and 21 sign into the account to access the recording.

The cast and crew have been using Zoom rehearsals to bring to life the characters of this wacky whodunit.  Anyone familiar with the board game, or the 1985 movie based on the board game, will recognize the characters and the plot: who killed whom, where and with what?  Was it Professor Plum, in the hall, with a revolver or perhaps Colonel Mustard, in the lounge, with a wrench?  Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock, Miss Scarlet and Mr. Green round out the pool of suspects. Join us for this hilarious murder mystery and find out for yourself.

The Sponsors for Clue are: Decorah Bank and Trust, Family Table Restaurant, Iroc Web Design Services, Modish, Pizza Ranch, Rick and Sheryl Scheffert, Sogo Snacks and JoAn Stevenson and Steven Nelson, Singing Hammers Construction.

Luther College student named Rossing Physics Scholar

DECORAH, Iowa – Luther College senior Owen Michael Johnson has been named a Rossing Physics Scholar for the 2021-22 academic year. Johnson will receive $10,000 from the Thomas D. Rossing Fund for Physics Education.

Johnson, a physics and math double major, says he “feels very honored to be receiving this award.” He plans to continue his education after graduating from Luther to get his Ph.D. in astronomy or astrophysics.

“I hope to one day go into academia. I have seen the positive impacts that a good professor can have on students and I think it would be a job well suited for me because I love teaching.”

The Thomas D. Rossing Fund for Physics Education makes scholarships available annually for exemplary students in physics. Johnson says he enjoys studying the subject because of its fundamental nature.

“It questions the ordinary and explains things we take for granted like gravity and magnetism. I also enjoy it because it can be understood through math which is another subject I enjoy.”

Johnson is from Minneapolis and is the son of Kristi and Chuck Johnson.

The Rossing scholarship is made possible through gifts from Thomas D. Rossing, Luther class of 1950, who created the scholarship fund through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Foundation.

After graduating from Luther, Rossing earned master’s and doctoral degrees in physics from Iowa State University and worked as professor of physics at St. Olaf College and Northern Illinois University. Now retired, he is a visiting professor at Stanford University.

Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.

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Luther College announces 2021 Commencement plans

DECORAH, Iowa – Luther College will host an in-person commencement ceremony to celebrate the class of 2021 at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 16. The ceremony will be modified to ensure a safe environment during the ongoing pandemic. 

Graduates and a small stage party will gather in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life (CFL). Each graduate will be able to have two guests on campus who will watch a livestream of the event in designated classrooms across campus. The livestream will also be available online for public viewing. 

The 2021 Commencement speaker will be Chris Norton ’14. Norton is a motivational speaker and the founder and manager of the SCI CAN Foundation, a non-profit organization focused upon prolonging the health and recovery of SCI (spinal cord injury) individuals by creating more and better therapy opportunities. In 2010, Chris suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury while playing in a football game at Luther. A feature-length documentary, “7 Yards,” was recently released and explores his resilience and perspectives. Norton will address the class of 2021 during the ceremony through recorded comments. 

Following the ceremony, graduates, their guests, and members of the faculty and staff will be able to gather briefly outside on Bentdahl Commons and the library lawn. 

This year’s commencement will look different from in-person ceremonies of previous years because of COVID mitigation measures. The indoor location will offer improved conditions for livestreaming, seating, and crowd control. To accommodate the class safely, seating will be planned and ticketed, and all participants in the ceremony will take COVID tests. Face masks will be required. 

These plans are dependent on Luther’s COVID-19 Indicators and Alert Level which can be found at luther.edu/being-community. Should the Alert Level change to Yellow or Red at the time of commencement, the ceremony will be adjusted accordingly.

Last year, the developing pandemic and dispersal of students from campus prevented an in-person ceremony to celebrate the class of 2020. The Luther College Alumni Office is exploring an in-person celebration for them this fall.  

Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu. 

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