Livestream and on-demand tickets available for Christmas at Luther 2022

Luther College will present “Christmas at Luther 2022: The Gifts They Gave Emmanuel” Dec. 1–4 in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall. Due to the excitement surrounding this year’s production, a limited number of in-person tickets remain available, but once again, there is an opportunity to watch the award-winning show from the comfort of home. Livestream tickets are available for the performance at 2:30 p.m. CST Sunday, Dec. 4.     

Purchasing a ticket to the livestream allows unlimited views through midday on Dec. 6. On-demand tickets are also available and allow unlimited viewing from Dec. 9–31. Tickets are available at tickets.luther.edu

“Christmas at Luther 2022: The Gifts They Gave Emmanuel” features unique elements including a life-like nativity scene, a Percussion Ensemble performance and three original pieces of music to be performed for the first time. Conductor Mark Potvin arranged a piece for the Norskkor choir and conductor Adrianna Tam wrote a custom composition for Collegiate Chorale to perform. In addition, a commissioned piece was written specifically for the candle lighting moment by composer Andrea Ramsey. 

Not only is the excitement for Christmas at Luther growing among audience members, students are looking forward to this annual tradition as well.  

“The momentum of learning the music, decorating the CFL and rehearsing together are the little things that make up the ongoing excitement for Christmas at Luther. Above all, the adrenaline, sentiment and power of so many people holding hands and making music together are what makes Christmas at Luther the event I look most forward to all year. The energy throughout the CFL during the performance is a feeling that is indescribable,” said Patrick Carew ’24, member of Nordic Choir. 

About Luther College

Luther College is home to about 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 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 celebrates One Team Giving Day success

November 9, 2022

President Ward and student athletes have some fun dressing up on One Team Day.

Luther College hosted its third annual One Team Giving Day on Thursday, Nov. 3. The campaign raised more than $310,000 from 1,189 donors to support student-athletes, exceeding the college’s $300,000 goal. 

“We were absolutely blown away by the amount of support we received on One Team Day,” said Renae Hartl, director of intercollegiate athletics. “We want to thank everyone who shows up for our student athletes on this day and throughout the year.” 

Funds raised through One Team Day support Luther student-athletes as they continue to uphold Norse traditions established by decades of excellence in Luther Athletics. The monetary donations allow coaches to create competitive schedules, purchase new equipment and gear, and maintain top-notch facilities. Donors had the opportunity to give directly to individual sports programs or to all student-athletes as ‘one team.’  

One Team Giving Day followed Luther Fund Giving Day 2022 on March 10, when more than $1.1 million was raised to support scholarships and financial aid, field study trips, music tours, student organizations, volunteer opportunities in the community, college ministries, residence hall improvements, campus landscaping, building maintenance, intramural sports, student/faculty research and more. The eighth annual Luther Fund Giving Day will be held on Thursday, March 9, 2023.

Luther College, an NCAA Division III athletics program, is a member of the American Rivers Conference (A-R-C) located in Decorah, Iowa.

 

About Luther College

Luther College is home to about 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 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 alumnus awarded Torrison and Williams medical scholarships

November 8, 2022

Luther College alumnus, Matthew Benson ’22 has been awarded a graduate medical education scholarship through the Torrison and Williams Scholarship Program for the 2022-23 academic year.

The Dr. George and Emma J. Torrison Scholarship Fund with support from the Fredrick W. Williams Scholarship Fund annually awards scholarships to students pursuing careers in medicine. Endowments are managed by the Foundation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Benson studied biology and chemistry while attending Luther College and is currently attending graduate school at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. While learning about various medical specialties and networking are Benson’s priorities, he has long-term plans to use his knowledge to serve a smaller community.

“At the moment, my goal is to focus on my education in medical school to allow myself the opportunity to choose a specialty in a few years that I really have a passion for. I also plan on returning to a rural community in the future to serve a small town wholeheartedly,” said Benson. 

Benson says he hopes to find a specialty he can connect with on a personal level and says his faith community has helped him take a step forward in that direction.

“I am very thankful to have received this scholarship. My faith has profoundly influenced my life and guided me to where I am today. It means a lot to me that the ELCA and my faith community have given me such a generous scholarship that helps me continue to pursue my career aspirations,” said Benson

After completing several job-shadowing experiences, Benson has found interest in family medicine and general surgery. While he is keeping his options open, these specialties are a few he will be looking into as he furthers his career.

 

About Luther College

Luther College is home to about 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities, and society. Our 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 Book Shop collects unserviceable flags

From Nov. 7–12, in honor of Veterans Day, the Luther College Book Shop invites people to bring unserviceable flags to the Book Shop. A flag is considered unserviceable when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display. The correct way to dispose of an American flag is by burning and burying the ashes. The collected flags will be taken to the All Vet’s Club in Decorah where they will be ceremoniously retired. Military members from the Luther community who have served or are serving are also invited to the Book Shop at any time this week to be recognized. Thank you, veterans!

Luther College co-hosts Welcome Home Party for Decorah Sea Scorpion

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at Impact Coffee, the Luther College Environmental Studies Program will present a model of the giant sea scorpion found in the Decorah Crater basin. This event is sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program, Visit Decorah, the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce, Winneshiek County Development and Tourism, Northeast Iowa RC&D and Winneshiek County Conservation. Additional work is in progress by these groups to develop more public information related to the crater and its discovery.

The Decorah sea scorpion, Pentecopterus decorahensis, is a fossil discovery from the Decorah Crater basin, which was formed by a meteor impact around 465 million years ago. It is the oldest sea scorpion fossil ever found and one of the largest at over six feet long. The life-sized model is on loan to Luther’s Environmental Studies Program from the Iowa Geological Survey at the University of Iowa. It will be moved to a more permanent display location in Valders Hall of Science at Luther College next spring, where it will remain accessible to the public for viewing.

“We’re excited to have the sea scorpion model visit Impact Coffee, where many people will have the opportunity to see it,” said Laura Peterson, professor of environmental studies. “There are so many wonderful things about Decorah, and the impact crater and its fossils are pieces of our geologic history that help make Decorah unique, both above ground and below. It’s exciting to be able to share more of this story with the community.”  

Immediately following the welcome home party, C&C Trivia at Impact Coffee will include crater-related questions. The event is open to the public with no charge for admission.

About Luther College

Luther College is home to about 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 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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Remembering former Luther College President Richard Torgerson

Richard “Rick” Torgerson, Luther’s ninth president, died on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022. A legendary figure in Luther history, he shaped the college in deep and meaningful ways that will resonate far into the future.

Torgerson and his wife, Judy, served two terms at Luther, from 1999 to 2013. During their tenure, the college moved forward in innumerable ways, including adding major facilities to campus—Sampson Hoffland Laboratories, the Center for the Arts, the Legends Fitness Center, and the Aquatic Center. Under Torgerson, major additions and renovations were also made to Valders Hall of Science, Dahl Centennial Union, Jenson-Noble Music Hall, Loyalty Hall, and all residence halls. The central campus green areas and roadways were reconfigured and Bentdahl Commons was constructed, enhancing Luther’s standing as one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation.

A man of action who was also known as an attentive listener, Torgerson was a top-notch strategic planner. He shaped and directed two transformational strategic plans to advance Luther into the new century of higher education, and he led Luther’s Development team to the completion of three major campaigns for scholarships, facilities, and other educational needs: Leadership for a New Century, which raised $63.5 million; the Higher Calling Campaign, which raised $93.3 million; and the Sesquicentennial Fund, which raised $57 million. These funding initiatives added more than $55 million to the college’s endowment.

Torgerson was a national leader in environmental sustainability on college campuses. He was a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007. His strategic planning included a goal to eventually achieve carbon neutrality, and he did this in part by erecting a wind turbine on campus. He also presided during the installation of the college’s first solar energy field, the largest in Iowa at the time. His visionary thinking combined with meaningful action garnered national recognition for Luther as a leader in sustainability and contributed to a 2009 invitation to join the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, a consortium of the region’s most prestigious liberal arts colleges and universities.

Torgerson’s service to higher education extended far beyond the Luther campus and included serving on the executive committee of the Lutheran Educational Conference of North America, the academic program working group for the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, the North Central Association’s Higher Learning Commission, the NCAA Division III Presidents Council, the Presidents Council of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and the boards of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Minnesota Public Radio, and Bioscience Alliance of Iowa.

In 2018, five years after the Torgersons left Decorah and moved to Edina, Minn., the Richard L. and Judith A. Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies was established at Luther. The center, with a lead gift from longtime friends O. Jay and Patricia A. Tomson, honors the Torgersons’ impact at the college and the special efforts they made to strengthen Luther’s treasured ties with Norway. For these efforts, Torgerson was also awarded the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit in 2013.

While Torgerson will long be remembered for leading the teams that reshaped Luther’s physical campus, nearly tripled its endowment, built a national reputation in sustainability, and strengthened the college’s academic program, he will be remembered even more fondly as the energetic, intense, passionate, vital man that so many students, staff, and faculty counted as a supporter and friend. His fabled handshakes, bear hugs, and shoulder claps were never in short supply, and neither was his genuine care and attention as a listener.

Asked once how he’d like to be written into Luther’s history books, Torgerson answered, “I think I’d like people to say, ‘He was authentic, and he added value.’” 

Service arrangements have yet to be determined.

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Luther College’s One Team Giving Day set for Nov. 3

Luther College will host its third annual One Team Giving Day on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. The campaign begins at 6 a.m. CT.

Funds raised through One Team Day will directly support Luther student-athletes as they continue to uphold Norse traditions established by decades of excellence in Luther Athletics. Donors will have the opportunity to give directly to individual sports programs or to all student-athletes as ‘one team.’  

“One Team Day is a day that we, as an athletics department, have grown to look forward to each year. Not necessarily because of the monetary value of the day but because those 30 hours are full of connections that leave us feeling an astounding amount of support,” said Renae Hartl, director of intercollegiate athletics. “We want our coaches to be able to create competitive schedules and provide cutting-edge training equipment for our student-athletes. The outcome of this day ensures that we can do so.”

To give on One Team Day visit luther.edu/one-team-day or call 563-387-1862. More than $100,000 has already been pledged in matching funds by One Team Day Challenge sponsors and the Norse Athletic Association.

In 2021, the campaign raised more than $329,000 from 1,890 donors to support Luther College student-athletes.

 

About Norse Athletics
Luther College, an NCAA Division III athletics program, is a member of the American Rivers Conference (A-R-C) located in Decorah, Iowa. Since 1922, the Norse have won 250 conference titles while fostering a tradition of excellence amongst student-athletes and coaches.

 

About Luther College
Luther College is home to about 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 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 Center Stage Series presents: Ailey II

Ailey II with Artistic Director Francesca Harper and Rehearsal Director Lakey Evans-Pena. Photo by Nir Arieli.

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, the Luther College Center Stage presents Ailey II, the next generation of dance, in the Main Hall of the Center For Faith and Life. Ailey II is one of the most enduring and beloved dance companies in America. Over the course of 48 years, this dance company has masterfully paired young talent with some of the most outstanding and emerging choreographers to create innovative shows suited for all audiences.

Ailey II’s Christopher Taylor. Photo by Nir Arieli.

Ailey II, the celebrated second company to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, has earned countless awards and continually sells out performances worldwide. The company has a history of collaboration and performances alongside prominent names such as Duke Ellington, Talley Beatty and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. 

“When I was a teenager studying dance in the late 70s, I idolized the choreographer Alvin Ailey, who had already been an American icon for over a decade,” said Kristen Underwood, director of campus programming. “The work he did to break racial barriers and bring an African-American voice to the dance world was and continues to be, so powerful. He believed dance was for everyone. At a time when Black dancers had no place in classical ballet, he made a place and then set classical technique to blues, spirituals and gospel music.”

Ailey II continues to spread its founder’s message that “what is important is the quality of our work, and creating a culture in which the young are not afraid to take chances and can hold onto their values and self-esteem, especially in the arts and in dance.” 

“I am excited for audiences far and near to experience the power and grace of these superbly gifted dancers in remarkable works by a variety of powerful choreographic voices,” said Francesca Harper, artistic director. “It’s an honor to lead Ailey II into its next era, keeping Alvin Ailey’s legacy of artistry and generosity moving forward while nurturing the next generation of performing artists on a journey of discovery.”

The 12-member ensemble will inspire audiences with performances of Robert Battle’s “Alleluia,” William Forsythe’s “Enemy in the Figure,” Francesca Harper’s “Freedom Series” and Ailey Company member Yannick Lebrun’s “Saa Magni.”

The highly creative and talented chefs on the Norse Culinary Team invite you to partake in the Center Stage Dinner Series before the show. The dinners feature a multi-course menu to complement each performance. A separate ticket is required. All meals begin at 5:30 p.m. in Peace Dining Room on the second floor of Dahl Centennial Union. 

Additionally, the Luther Book Shop offers “Sip and Shop” before each performance. Present your ticket for a complimentary glass of wine and browse the selection before the show.

Both dinner and show tickets are on sale through Luther’s Ticket Office and online at tickets.luther.edu, by emailing [email protected] or by calling (563) 387-1357.

 

About Luther College

Luther College is home to about 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 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’s Felecia DeJong appointed to the Empower Rural Iowa Task Force

DeJong speaks at The Rural Iowa Development Summit

Felecia DeJong ’11, Luther College’s current assistant director of the Center for Intercultural Engagement and Support (CIES), has been appointed by Governor Kim Reynolds to the Empower Rural Iowa Task Force. Their mission is to find concrete solutions to the unique challenges and opportunities that exist in rural Iowa. 

“This is a genuine bipartisan initiative that is working toward building up communities and involving Iowa citizens from across the state in the process,” said DeJong. “I am honored to be determined as someone who will serve as a voice for this work.”

DeJong will be serving a two-year term on the task force, specifically on the GROW team, which focuses on leadership development in rural communities, creating welcoming communities, and attracting and retaining residents and workers.

“When I am meeting with other members of the GROW team, we are focused on the issues impacting the communities that we live and work in, and we think about the solutions necessary. My main goal is to continue working toward creating welcoming spaces for all community members. I want our communities to continue to grow and feel like a welcoming place where people want to be.”

DeJong first learned about the Empower Rural Iowa Task Force while serving as the community developer for the City of Postville. While working with the city, she received The Rural Innovation Grant for the work she was leading with her Community Heart & Soul program. 

“I was also asked to speak at the Iowa Rural Development Summit this past April, where I had the opportunity to share the great work being done in Postville,” DeJong said. “Mark Reinig, the president of the Iowa Rural Development Council, was the one who called to tell me about my appointment to the board and asked if I was willing to accept. I was very surprised and I told Mark, without hesitation, that I wanted to be involved, knowing the great things that are being done because of the initiative.”

DeJong feels like her education and time working at Luther has successfully prepared her for this role. “I believe that as a Luther College graduate I have always strived to do the best I can. I have not settled for a mediocre answer to any problem. In my time at Luther, I learned to persevere which I’ve used in a variety of situations throughout my career. It was actually my experience working with the Luther College Upward Bound Program that first sparked my passion for working with high need, underrepresented and underfunded populations.”

 

About Luther College

Luther College is home to about 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 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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