Richard Torgerson
Richard Torgerson

Luther College will hold a special program titled "14 Years of Mojo from the Get-go!" in honor of President Rick and Mrs. Judy Torgerson on Thursday, May 16. The main program will be held at 8 p.m. in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life, followed by a reception at 9 p.m. in Bentdahl Commons.

This event is open to the public with no charge for admission. However, those who plan on attending are asked to RSVP by Friday, May 10, at luther.edu/alumni/events/torgersons./

The program is a farewell celebration honoring the Torgersons' 14 years of dedicated service to Luther. It will include comments from various constituencies of the college as well as several student performances.

In addition, a video tribute that has been viewed throughout the country at recent alumni gatherings attended by the Torgersons will be featured during the program.

The reception will feature Luther graduates Jon Ailabouni, Luther class of 2010, and Steven Uhl, Luther class of 2013, in a jazz combo.

Rick Torgerson became the ninth president of Luther College in 1999. His leadership has resulted in stable enrollments, a near tripling of the college's endowment and successful fundraising initiatives totaling more than $200 million. He has significantly advanced strategic planning at Luther, with environmental sustainability as the hallmark of the most recent Sesquicentennial Strategic Plan. The college has received national awards for its accomplishments in the area of sustainability, and recent additions of a wind turbine and solar array are assisting in the college's ambitious carbon-neutrality goal.

Improvements to the physical plant during the Torgerson presidency include deep renovations to residence halls, Loyalty Hall, and Valders Hall of Science, an addition to Dahl Centennial Union, a new Center for the Arts, Sampson Hoffland Laboratories for biology and chemistry, the Legends Fitness Center, the Noble Recital Hall and faculty office complex addition to Jenson-Noble Hall of Music, Bentdahl Commons and a new aquatic center scheduled to be completed this summer.

Opportunities for student learning have been strengthened by three endowed centers-the Center for Ethics and Public Life, the Center for Sustainable Communities, and the Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies-and increased endowed funding for collaborative faculty/student research.

Judy Torgerson has been a devoted and equal partner in Rick Torgerson's presidency. A teacher by training, she worked in Luther's Center for Global Learning from 1999 to 2012, helping prepare students for study-abroad experiences. J. Torgerson managed the duties of this position on top of her volunteer work of hosting, traveling and project planning as the presidential spouse - including working with a designer from Norway to create a Luther-specific Norwegian sweater to commemorate the college's sesquicentennial.