The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Higher education

Life and Breath: Choral Works by René Clausen won two Grammys Feb. 10. Clausen is a music professor at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., and conductor of the Concordia Choir. The 13-track album, performed by the Kansas City Chorale, won Best Choral Performance and Best Engineered Classical Album. The album's producer also won for Best Classical Producer. One piece from the album, "All That Hath Life and Breath, Praise Ye the Lord," was performed at the Jan. 21 U.S. presidential inauguration. Clausen is a member of Bethesda Lutheran Church, Moorhead.

Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kan., successfully completed a challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation to finish fundraising for the $3.5 million Bud Pearson Swedish Chapel and Mabee Foundation Welcome Center. "For the first time in over 30 years, Bethany will construct a fully fundraised building," said Bethany President Edward F. Leonard III. Construction begins in mid-2013, with a dedication planned for Homecoming 2014.

According to The Daily Beast website, Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, is one of the nation's "More Overlooked Colleges & Programs." Wittenberg was singled out for "Undergraduate Curiosity" in a list of 41 colleges and universities based on reader responses to "25 Colleges You Haven't Considered But Should."

Wagner College, Staten Island, N.Y., is one of the "10 Most Innovative Colleges in the Country," according to a Feb. 14 blog by OnlineUniversities.com. Wagner was recognized for innovation in community awareness. Its service learning program equips students to use what they learn in the classroom to help the community. "Students must take three learning community courses with associated weekly community volunteer work," the blog said. "By graduation students will have completed hundreds of hours of community service. Students are encouraged to take an alternative spring break of serving instead of partying. Wagner's approach to learning-by-doing is a truly innovative way to produce well-rounded graduates."

Texas Lutheran students in need of financial scholarships will get a boost, thanks to Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church, San Antonio. Peace, which had its closing service Jan. 13, made a $300,000 gift to Texas Lutheran University, Seguin, with funds from the sale of its building and a bequest from a former member, Helen Stratton. The gift will establish two financial aid efforts: The Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church, San Antonio, Scholarship and The Richard and Helen Stratton Memorial Scholarship. Elsie Wendel, a charter member of Peace, as well as a parent and grandparent of TLU alumni, called it "an honor to be able to be a part of making this lasting gift to the university that means so much to me and my family."

The topic of mass incarceration in the U.S. brought activist and scholar Angela Davis, as well as activist and commentator Marc Lamont Hill, to speak March 9 to students at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn. The 18th annual student-led Building Bridges conference, "Sentenced for Life, dealt with mass incarceration, juvenile justice, private prisons, immigration detention centers, re-entry and more. "We are trying to give a voice to a population that is otherwise voiceless: to join in the movement and help expand it, and fight for the people [who] many would not be willing to fight for because of the stigma," said Jasmine Porter, a Gustavus senior and co-chair of Building Bridges. Davis, a professor emerita at the University of California–Santa Cruz and author of the upcoming book Prisons and American History, was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List in 1970 because of her social activism. She was incarcerated for 16 months until her acquittal in 1972. Hill, an associate professor of education at Teachers College at Columbia University, New York, is the author of First Class Jails/Second Class Schools: Black Youth in the Age of Incarceration.

Newberry [S.C.] College is freezing tuition rates for the 2013 freshman class and currently enrolled students for the four consecutive years they attend the school, or the remainder of their undergraduate career. Incoming transfer students will also receive a similar guarantee. "This tuition promise will guarantee affordability and predictability for students and their families, making a quality education at Newberry College more accessible," said board chair Hap Pearce. Although the tuition promise doesn't include room, board and student fees, Pearce said the board will take necessary actions "to keep these increases to a minimum."

What's the capital of Oman? It's Muscat, where Lynda Hasseler, a music professor at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, and 12 members of Philomel, a vocal ensemble of Capital's Conservatory of Music, traveled in February to participate in the American International School of Muscat's 10th annual Festival of Choirs. The festival unites students from multiple nations into one mass choir for a non-competitive, community-building experience under the direction of a guest conductor — this year it was Hasseler.

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