The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



• David R. Anderson, professor of English and provost of Denison University, Granville, Ohio, was selected the 11th president of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. He succeeds Christopher Thomforde, an ELCA pastor who was named president of Moravian College and Moravian Seminary, Bethlehem, Pa. Anderson previously was vice president for academic affairs and dean of Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, where he also was an English professor. He has taught and served in administrative capacities at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, and Texas A&M University, College Station.

• What started out as a history assignment for Alison Birks, a fourth-grader at Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Kissimmee, Fla., resulted in a visit from Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in February. Teacher Cindy Graham asked students to report on an event, place, person or anything they thought played an important part in the state’s history. Alison asked her teacher if she could invite Bush to speak to her class. Bush flies out of Marathon Flight Services, Kissimmee, where Alison’s mother, Laurel Birks-Kilman, works. Bush spent 45 minutes with the students answering several questions, including: “What is your favorite ice cream?” He replied, “Peppermint.”

• Ginny Aebischer, pastor of Mount Tabor Lutheran Church, West Columbia, S.C., had her hair cut recently, but it was no ordinary trim. It was the second time she donated her hair to Locks of Love, a nonprofit that provides prosthetic hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children 18 years and younger with long-term medical hair loss. The prostheses help restore children’s self-esteem, Aebischer says, “enabling them to face the world and their peers.” Each donation takes about two years to grow. When the hair reaches 10 inches or more, it’s pulled back into a ponytail and cut about 1 inch above the rubber band. Aebischer says it’s hard to describe how deeply moving it is to do this, noting many people have the ability to give this gift.

• Pacific Lutheran, Tacoma, Wash., announced it is the first university to offer study-away courses on seven continents simultaneously. In January, classes convened in Windhoek, Namibia; Beijing; Melbourne, Australia; Milan, Italy; Lima, Peru; Neah Bay, Wash.; and on the Antarctic peninsula. “It’s fitting and trailblazing for PLU to be offering January term programming on all seven continents,” said Mary M. Dwyer, president of the Institute for the International Education of Students. One of PLU’s goals is to have 50 percent of its graduating seniors studying abroad by 2010. “Education abroad is no longer a frill but rather central to a high quality college education,” she said.


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