Luther College students awarded Karen Julesberg Scholarships

Four Luther College students have each received a $1,000 Karen Julesberg Scholarship for the 2022-23 academic year. The recipients are Jocelyn Demiglio, Kalista Farmer, Ana Garcia de Leon and Shelby Pisney.

The Karen Julesberg Scholarship benefits first-generation and income-eligible Luther College students involved in the TRIO Achievement Program. TRIO provides customized support and comprehensive programming that fosters students’ academic success, personal development and community engagement. The federally-funded program has been sponsored by Luther for nearly 50 years and serves approximately 165 students annually.

Karen Julesberg ’90 of Madison, Wisconsin, has sponsored the scholarship since 2012. “When I was considering the many worthwhile opportunities that support Luther students and programs, it took me some time to select one that not only fit my interests but also touched my heart,” said Julesberg. “Once I learned about TRIO with its variety of activities designed to support income-eligible and first-generation students, my choice was easy.”

Jocelyn Demiglio ’24, a sophomore from Zion, Illinois, is double-majoring in global health and chemistry. She serves as president of the Luther College Performing Arts Center Committee, participates in Chemistry Club and is a member of the national service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. Demiglio also plays flute and piccolo with the Luther Symphonic Band and performs with the Luther Ringers. She works on campus in the Chemistry Department and off campus at Nisse Preschool in Decorah. Demiglio is participating in an internship this summer in Uganda and she plans to attend grad school for chemistry or public health after graduating.

Kalista Farmer ’23, a junior from Surry, Maine, is an English major with a secondary education minor. She is on the leadership team for the Luther Student Education Association and is a resident assistant. Farmer also sings with Collegiate Choir and has performed with the Luther College Theatre in various roles. She works as a library aide at the Decorah Public Library and at Nisse Preschool in Decorah. After graduating from Luther, Farmer plans to pursue a teaching career, hopefully in middle school English and possibly internationally.

Ana Garcia de Leon ’23, a junior from Santa Maria, California, majors in psychology with minors in management and music. She is a member of the Luther College Psychology Club and plays French horn with the Symphonic Band. In addition to her role as an outreach assistant with the Luther College Counseling Service, Garcia de Leon is certified in mental health first aid and as a sexual assault/crisis intervention counselor for Riverview Center in Decorah. After graduating, she intends to pursue a master’s degree in counseling.

Shelby Pisney ’24, a sophomore from Lime Springs, Iowa, is working towards an elementary education degree with endorsements in reading and special education. Pisney plays guard for Luther College Women’s Basketball and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta. She recently received the American Rivers Conference All-Academic Team award for winter sports. Shelby works as a teacher’s aide at Carrie Lee Elementary in Decorah. After graduating, she intends to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Iowa.

For questions about the TRIO Achievement Program or to learn more visit luther.edu/trio or email [email protected].

 

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 Nordic Choir to perform Homecoming concert as part of its 75th Anniversary Tour

The Luther College Nordic Choir, one of the premier collegiate choral ensembles in the United States, will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, at Decorah Lutheran Church.

Hallie Johnson, Lily Smith, and Abs Trewin from Decorah will be among the performers.

The concert is part of Nordic Choir’s 75th Anniversary Tour. The group was founded by Sigvart Steen and memorably conducted for 57 years by Weston Noble ‘43. Previous conductors also include Craig Arnold and Allen Hightower. Since 2017 the choir has been under the direction of Andrew Last, associate professor of music and director of choral activities.

“After a year with no opportunity to tour, Nordic Choir is excited to share music with audiences around the Midwest,” said Last. “As we celebrate the 75-year history of this ensemble, the concert program promises to include something for those who wish to celebrate the past and for those who look forward to the future!”

Audience members can look forward to hearing classical pieces including “Alleluia” by Randall Thompson and “Lost in the Night” arranged by F. Melius Christiansen as well as new music including “The Gift to Sing” by Gregory Berg, commissioned by the Luther College Class of 1970, and “I Won’t Forget” by Zachary L. Moore.

“I Won’t Forget” was commissioned by the Studt Family of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in memory of Rachel Studt ‘89 who recently passed away from rare, young onset dementia. Her husband, Larry, wrote the lyrics, and their daughter, Laurel ‘22, sings in Nordic Choir and will perform the piece among her peers.

“I would say it’s a very reflective piece,” said Laurel. “It’s a lot about dealing with trials and tribulations of an illness which a lot of people had to go through during the pandemic. Our situation wasn’t specifically related to COVID, but it’s a very emotional piece, just reflecting on the difficulty of the pandemic, not being able to see the people we love and being in that kind of isolation. But it does end up in wrapping up with just being grateful for all of the memories that we’ve been able to make over these past years and the time we get with our loved ones.”

The world premiere of “I Won’t Forget” was at the ACDA Midwest convention in Chicago in February.

Tickets are not required and there is no charge for admission but a a freewill donation will be collected.

This Homecoming concert is the final event of Nordic Choir’s regional tour which includes stops in Eau Claire and Janesville, Wisconsin; Iowa City and Clive, Iowa; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; La Grange, Illinois; and St. Michael and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Last, a 1997 alumnus of Luther College, earned a master’s degree in choral conducting from Northern Arizona University and a doctor of musical arts in choral conducting from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln School of Music.

Nordic Choir is Luther’s principal touring choir in a choral program that comprises three upper-class mixed touring choirs and two first-year choirs. Nordic Choir honors the Lutheran choral tradition while exploring new and innovative choral works that span styles and genres.  Performances have been described as “thrilling,” “breathtaking” and “rock-solid in intonation and rhythmic clarity.”

The choir tours annually, performing in churches of all denominations, schools and concert halls, including Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Internationally, the ensemble has toured in Germany, Italy, England, Ireland, Scandinavia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Russia and Eastern Europe. 

About Luther College Music

Luther is home to one of the largest undergraduate music programs in the nation, with five choirs, three orchestras, two bands and two jazz bands. One-third of all Luther students participate in music, including large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. Nearly 175 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance. Learn more at luther.edu/music.

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Ride for Ukraine raises nearly $7,000 for Ukrainian organizations

The Ride for Ukraine fundraiser, organized by Luther College students, was a major success. On Saturday, May 7, a group of students and professors from Luther, along with local community members, completed a 75-mile bike ride from Rochester, Minnesota to Decorah, Iowa, to advocate for peace in Ukraine.

            “As I had never organized something like that before, and the event had been postponed, I was unsure of how it would go,” said Anita Tamang, student organizer. “After seeing the whole team arrive, I felt relieved and knew it was going to be a great day. I am grateful to the entire team who invested so much time and effort into it, including some of my friends who pushed themselves and completed 40-70 miles despite not being regular cyclists. Others made a super-early trip from Decorah to Rochester to support the cause. The whole team gave their best effort, and I am so proud of them. It is difficult for me to adequately express how grateful I am to each of them for their dedication and contribution to this cause and most importantly, for believing in us.”

Tamang organized the event with the help of Souk Sengsaisouk and their faculty advisor, Maryna Nading, who is from Ukraine. To date, close to $7,000 has been raised which will go directly to the oncology clinic in Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine, where Nading’s mother works. Funds will also be given to address current gaps in care for people impacted by war, including the internally displaced.

As the day wrapped up and riders made it back to Decorah, Nading was at the Luther Bell to welcome them back.

“I felt both joy and gratitude as I watched the riders arrive at Luther Bell one by one or in small groups. Truly, they have given me something I can never repay–a deeply meaningful gesture of support and the ability to send much-needed funds to the volunteers in my hometown who are best positioned to provide immediate support to people impacted by war,” said Nading. “On the ground, there are many gaps in care, and being able to close some of these gaps with the help of everyone who participated in this ride is an essential work towards peace. I am grateful that I can serve as a bridge, and hope to welcome people to Ukraine someday when the war ends!”

The GoFundMe page will remain active for several weeks.

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 announces 2022-23 Fulbright scholars

Luther College senior Annika Dome and alumnus Soren Gloege have been selected as Fulbright English Teaching Assistants to Germany for the 2022-23 academic year. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected based upon leadership potential, academic achievement and record of service.

            Annika Dome ’22, from La Crosse, Wisconsin, will graduate from Luther College in May with majors in German, English, and Nordic studies. Her interest in Germany was kindled when she began learning German in seventh grade. A participant in the 2020 Münster semester (which was cut short due to the pandemic), Dome is “really looking forward to living in Germany again, meeting new people, and becoming a member of a German community.” After her Fulbright, Dome plans to return to the Midwest to use the skill sets she has gained at Luther and through her Fulbright experience.

Soren Gloege ’21, from Apple Valley, Minnesota, graduated from Luther College with majors in German and political science. He chose to pursue a Fulbright because it is “an excellent opportunity for organic political and cultural exchange, which is the key to long-lasting, healthy political relationships.” Gloege also participated in the 2020 Münster Semester and found his imagination captured by the country. After his Fulbright in Germany, he plans to pursue a graduate degree in comparative politics.

The Fulbright Program

            The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the U.S. and people of other countries, counter misunderstandings, and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 dedicated and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and find solutions to shared international concerns.

            The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

            For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright.

 

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 students and faculty featured in Star Wars Insider magazine

At Luther College, learning happens everywhere, and sometimes in unconventional ways. In Andy Hageman’s classroom, learning includes a journey into a galaxy far, far away that brings international and domestic students closer together.

Hageman, associate professor of English at Luther College, teaches a science fiction film course that allows students to explore specific areas of film and cultivate visual media knowledge. During the course, students analyze and compare two Star Wars films: “Star Wars: A New Hope” (1977) and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016). 

“The combination of different exposures to Star Wars makes it a vibrant topic for discussion and it introduces some surprising perspectives,” said Hageman. “In particular, international students connect the films to their own experiences of journeying far, far from home and navigating new cultures, relationships and values. Often they see Star Wars as a socially-shared story with immense power to connect and communicate.”

These observations were recently featured in the article titled “Great Expectations” in Star Wars Insider.

One student, for whom English was her second language, noted the multilingual abilities of various characters, while another student, Tam Ta, from Vietnam, found the lack of language barriers between characters to be especially significant.

“It was really exciting to be able to offer my feelings and interpretations of Star Wars,” said Ta. “I never thought deeply about my experience coming to the U.S. as it relates to the movies so it was nice to unfold my own thoughts, assumptions and expectations.”

The personal experiences of international students sparked further conversation and connections between students. Many shared the common experience of engaging with popular media such as Star Wars as a way to prepare for American life. Chi Pham, also from Vietnam, said “as a person of color, and an international student, it has always been my interest to understand U.S. culture and how films such as Star Wars sparked discussion about culture and political movements. I felt honored and grateful to have my voice included in this project.”

Others made historical connections and observed unique sociological dynamics. In the article, Warsan Yusuf ’20 from Somalia also noted the significance of the relationships between droids and humans, prompting discussion surrounding the history of slavery and racism.

These observations and more can be found in the March 15 issue of Star Wars Insider, the official Star Wars magazine.

“When international students share expectations and experiences like this with American students, Star Wars helps build bridges,” said Hageman. “Ultimately, this suggests that Star Wars is not a story about conflict but about drawing people together.”

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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Mary Duvall named vice president for development at Luther College

President Jenifer K. Ward has announced the appointment of Mary Duvall as vice president for development at Luther College. Beginning this summer, Duvall will provide leadership and mentoring to staff in the offices of development, alumni relations, and the Career Center. 

“During the interview process, I observed how different groups meeting with Mary moved quickly from interviewing to actually starting the work together,” said Ward. “Her exceptional listening skills and knowledge of Lutheran values and approach to higher education, as well as specific familiarity with Luther College through family and colleague relationships, were all apparent and heartening. I welcome Mary to our leadership team and look forward to introducing her to our community.”

As vice president for development, Duvall will provide strategic direction for all aspects of the college’s fundraising and external engagement efforts and serve as a key member of the president’s cabinet. She will be tasked with formulating a future fundraising plan for the college that harnesses the momentum of successful 2022 campaigns including Giving Day and One Team Day. 

“There is something truly special about Luther,” said Duvall. “The care and passion for this place is clear and I’ve witnessed first-hand the transformational power of Luther connections and a liberal arts education. My husband, Terry ’01, son Max and I are thrilled to join the Decorah community and I’m honored to serve in this capacity. I can’t wait to hear your stories of care for this institution and how, together, we can ensure equitable access, meaningful opportunities and bold outcomes for students today and generations to come.”

Duvall has 15 years of experience in non-profit management, including mission-driven fundraising for Lutheran organizations. She comes to Luther from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, where she has worked since 2015. Duvall began employment at the university as executive director of advancement, was promoted to associate vice president of advancement in 2018, and most recently she served as associate vice president of university relations. During her tenure at PLU, Duvall managed teams that grew the institution’s annual giving, built a newly integrated alumni engagement and career development team and led the division’s annual strategic planning process. Duvall also served on a variety of cross-campus committees, including PLU’s Diversity Committee which operationalized the school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan. 

Prior to her work at PLU, from 2007 to 2015, Duvall served in multiple capacities at Lutheran World Relief to expand their donor base, secure funding and, therefore, serve more people. The organization’s goal is to work with Lutherans and partners around the world to end poverty, injustice and human suffering. 

Duvall earned her bachelor of arts degree in religion from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. She earned her master’s of nonprofit management degree from Hamline University in Saint Paul and a certificate of advanced leadership studies from St. Catherine’s University. She also was a recent Lutheran Educational Conference of North America (LECNA) Fellow, a program that provides a year-long leadership development experience organized around vocation and calling, sustainable leader development and visionary organizational leadership.


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 students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

The Luther College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa has 45 new members including 41 seniors and four juniors. On Sunday, April 24, the students were inducted into the oldest and most respected undergraduate honors organization in the United States. Members are elected on the basis of broad academic interests, scholarly achievement and good character. The 2022 inductees include seniors: 

·       Riley Taylor of Ames, Iowa

·       Sarah Hoehns of Cedar Falls, Iowa

·       Clare Rolinger of Cedar Falls, Iowa

·       Sam Schillinger of Cedar Falls, Iowa

·       Sarah Damhof of Clearwater, Minnesota

·       Jarod Phillips of Decorah, Iowa

·       Heather Hostager of Dubuque, Iowa

·       Frost Bowen-Bailey of Duluth, Minnesota

·       Laurel Studt of Eau Claire, Wisconsin

·       Hunter Hobbs of Fountain, Minnesota

·       Kim Duc Chu of Hanoi, Vietnam

·       Quang Anh Nguyen of Hanoi, Vietnam

·       Quenton Max of Iowa City, Iowa

·       Lindsey Parrott of Iowa City, Iowa

·       Jake Sharafuddin of Iowa City, Iowa

·       Fred Farrand of Kansas City, Missouri

·       Isaac List of La Crosse, Wisconsin

·       Sarah Benton of Le Mars, Iowa

·       Lexi Orth of Madison Lake, Minnesota

·       Siyabonga Mabuza of Malkerns, Swaziland

·       Kirsten Loynachan of Marion, Iowa

·       Hailee Gilliand of Minneapolis, Minnesota

·       Owen Johnson of Minneapolis, Minnesota

·       Jane Bremer of Minnetonka, Minnesota

·       Ahmed Abdrabu Hamid of Yemen and Budapest, Hungary

·       Sneha Verma of New Delhi, India

·       Kirsten Melaas-Swanson of North St. Paul, Minnesota

·       Jessi Labenski of Northfield, Minnesota

·       Elena Dant of Owatonna, Minnesota

·       Matt Benson of Park Rapids, Minnesota

·       Kien Huynh of Hanoi, Vietnam

·       Siri St. Louis of Rochester, Minnesota

·       Emilie Gitter of Saint Paul, Minnesota

·       Mary McTeague of Saint Paul, Minnesota

·       Leif Saveraid of Saint Paul, Minnesota

·       Catherine Vitt of Saint Paul, Minnesota

·       Greta Anderson of Saint Peter, Minnesota

·       Jill Richards of Solon, Iowa

·       Logan Olson of Stacy, Minnesota

·       Megan Grimm of Swisher, Iowa

·       Ben Meyer of Urbandale, Iowa

And juniors:

·       Marin Leone of Chanhassen, Minnesota

·       Ghazal Alabtah of Palestine and Syria

·       Sydney Clausen of Rochester, Minnesota

·       Nathan Anderson of Saint Paul, Minnesota

The junior members will become student leaders in the organization during their senior year. They will be invited to chapter meetings and encouraged to participate in chapter activities, including the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar events.

Luther College is one of a select group of private liberal arts colleges in the United States with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. The society has fostered and recognized excellence in the liberal arts and sciences since 1776 and the society’s distinctive emblem, a golden key, is widely recognized as a symbol of academic achievement.

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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“Local food has been our savior”

Each day, the Luther College Cafeteria offers fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy and proteins, some of which are sourced from nearby farms. Having access to local food is a luxury, but the pandemic has revealed it’s also a necessity in order to feed the campus community.

Disruptions in the supply chain in recent years have made it more necessary than ever to partner with local food producers. As a result, Luther College has managed to increase local food purchases by 19% in the 2021-22 academic year.

“Local food has been our savior,” said Wayne Tudor, general manager of Dining Services at Luther College. “The closer you are to the source, the fewer problems you’re going to have. Our local food partners have been one of the few stable things we can count on.”

Nearly 60% of dairy products in the Cafeteria are sourced in-state from places such as Andrew Erickson Dairy in Des Moines, Country View Dairy in Hawkeye and WW Homestead Dairy in Waukon. The Luther gardens help supply produce for campus events and Sno Pac Foods, based in Caledonia, Minnesota, provides the college with cost-efficient, organic vegetables year-round. Additionally, more than 98% of the coffee on campus is both locally roasted and fair trade certified due to Luther’s collaboration with Decorah’s Impact Coffee.

Most recently, Tudor has partnered with Ferndale Market Turkey Farm in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. As a result, all of Luther’s turkey is now free-range, antibiotic-free and locally sourced – just 115 miles away.

“Turkey is our champion,” said Tudor. “We went to 100% local and discovered new products we weren’t aware of before.”

These types of partnerships help Dining Services avoid various shortages and recalls. Sodexo Sustainability Intern Logan Olson ’22 recalled that just recently, dining staff received a notice that supplies of chicken, turkey and eggs would become harder to come by due to the bird flu. However, Luther is expected to be minimally affected by this shortage, thanks to our local producers.

Olson has also seen the impact of pandemic-related supply chain disruptions firsthand, noting how sourcing food locally can help to both lessen the impact of these problems and enhance the sustainability initiatives he has been working to promote.

“Certain items have become nearly impossible to order at times,” said Olson. “We are fortunate to have a network of local producers whose ability to provide food to Luther has been less disrupted by the pandemic. We also know that local food purchases are less carbon-intensive due to decreased transportation needs and they help boost our local economy. Now, we have also seen that they are incredibly reliable and resilient during challenging times.”

Tudor agrees with Olson’s sentiments, hailing local food as the “stabilizing factor” in a time of much uncertainty. Local products do not fluctuate in price as often or abruptly and have not been subject to fuel surcharges as commercial shipments have. It’s important to Tudor that local partnerships are not only environmentally sustainable, but that they are financially sustainable.

“We’re looking for long-term partnerships. Some of these places we’ve been working with for years, and it’s just fantastic,” said Tudor. “Half the joy in keeping things local is in the relationships you build. I’m a total believer in the small business and the family farm, it’s part of my heritage. It’s about supporting the whole community and it comes full circle.”

The journey doesn’t stop here. Luther College is constantly advancing its local partnerships and sustainable food purchasing goals in an effort to increase local dairy purchases to 75%, meat to 50% and produce to 25% in the coming years. Reducing food waste is also a primary concern. Sodexo, the food management company that partners with Luther College, aims to cut food waste in half by 2025.

In addition, Tudor hopes to start an education program about local foods, highlighting local producers and their products. He describes the dedication and pride that the entire Dining Services staff has in regard to how Luther’s food is produced and hopes to extend that sense of pride to the larger student body.

“We know all of our yogurt is local, all of our ice cream is local, but what does that mean to students? We all need to be asking the big question: Do you know how your food is produced? We do everything we possibly can to use raw products, no additives or preservatives, nothing but good seasoning and fresh herbs. Trying to keep food as unadulterated as we can possibly get it because we believe that’s the healthiest way to eat,” said Tudor.

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 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 Opera Theatre presents “Die Fledermaus”

For the first time since 2018, the award-winning Luther College Opera and Chamber Orchestra are combining to present Johann Strauss’s “Die Fledermaus” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7, in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall.

            The groups will present their twist on the timeless classic which features a 1950s sitcom concept.

            “This production is essentially a love letter to 50s television and the Decorah community,” said Abs Trewin ‘22, who plays the part of Prince Orlefse. “Rather than the traditional setting in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century, the show is set in Decorah through the guise of a 1950s television set, with a party hosted by a Norwegian prince and characters who drank a little too much champagne. We are thrilled to be able to share our artistry with the public once again.”

            “Audience members can look forward to exciting musical numbers, light banter, waltzing and many champagne toasts,” said Ben Meyer ‘22, who plays the part of Gabriel von Eisenstein. “The comedy is sure to delight audiences of all ages.”

            Audience members will also enjoy a special guest appearance by Robert Vrtis, director of visual and performing arts at Luther.

            “Die Fledermaus” is directed by Carla Hanson with assistant direction from Carol Kreuscher and musical direction by Nicholas Shaneyfelt. Daniel Baldwin will conduct the Chamber Orchestra.

            Come 45 minutes early, at 6:45 p.m., to hear the pre-show lecture and learn more about the original “Die Fledermaus” and its historical setting.

Every other year, Luther’s Opera Theatre and Chamber Orchestra students come together to present the spring opera production. It’s a collaborative experience that students, including Trewin and Meyer, very much enjoy.

            “My favorite thing about this production is being able to work with so many of my talented friends. I also am particularly excited to perform with Luther’s Chamber Orchestra,” said Meyer.

The spring 2021 opera production of “Dido and Aeneas” was awarded first place in Division II of the National Opera Association’s (NOA) 2020-21 Opera Production Competition.

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 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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Ride for Ukraine

On Saturday, April 30, a group of students and professors from Luther College and local community members will embark on a 75-mile bike ride from Rochester, Minnesota to Decorah, Iowa. The goal of the ride is to advocate for peace in Ukraine and raise funds that will go directly to Ukrainian organizations.

            The event is organized by Anita Tamang, a senior global health student at Luther, and Souksakhone Sengasaisouk, a junior nursing student, with the help of their faculty partner, Maryna Nading, associate professor of anthropology. Nading is originally from Ukraine and still has friends and family in the country.

            “All of my family of origin and many friends are in Ukraine currently,” said Nading. “None of them left the country. They work towards victory. They believe in peace and so do I. Until that time, we need to help each other in every way possible. We also need to do the impossible, because this is what Ukrainians are doing every day against the army that outnumbers them by far.”

Tamang had been planning a bike ride from Rochester to Decorah for some time now. She knew that she wanted to use the journey as a way to raise money and advocate for a cause but was having trouble pinpointing one. When conflict arose in Ukraine, Tamang realized the unrest there would be the reason behind every pedal stroke.

            “At the time that Russia invaded Ukraine, I was taking two classes with Professor Nading. I wanted to ask how she was doing but had no idea how,” said Tamang. “Because of this, I felt helpless and wanted to help however I could. Ultimately, this fundraising concept arose out of my belief that justice must be pursued by action because words are important but not very effective in changing the situation.”

            Nading also believes that collective action is essential and says that this bike ride is the perfect way to help.

“It shows commitment, it shows endurance, it shows standing up for what’s right. I want to be clear — inside Ukraine right now, when Russian soldiers kill civilians, they are sending a message to the West. The war is not just about Ukraine. A collective response will be the only thing that will stop the war and restore peace,” she said.

            “I find it important to show that despite not being directly affected by the injustice, we should still stand up against it as human beings,” said Tamang.

A GoFundMe page was created for this fundraiser where students and community members are encouraged to contribute to the cause. So far close to $1,900 has been raised. These funds will go to the local oncology clinic in Khmelnytskyi, where Nading’s mother works. Any remaining finances will be given to internally displaced people (IDP) to help address current gaps in care. Every dollar raised in support of this event will go directly to the recipients.

“We will just send the money directly where it needs to go,” said Nading. “The oncology clinic in my hometown that has welcomed hundreds of IDPs to try and provide them with care has very limited resources. We are all in this together and we are reliant on each other.”

            There are many ways to get involved with the Ride for Ukraine, in order to help this event go smoothly and reach as many people as possible. Monetary donations in support of the ride are important and encouraged. Additionally, there is a need for a support crew to help with things like first aid, transportation, water and food, or bike maintenance. Students and community members are also encouraged to join in the bike ride and help spread the word using social media or word of mouth locally. Anyone who is interested in getting involved should fill out this Google Form or contact Tamang at [email protected].

While this event is being organized by Luther students, this is not a Luther College-sponsored event.

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 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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