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Wisconsin Lutheran College m a g a z i n e

Making a difference … • Celebrating God’s gifts – Stimac Hall • Graduating first nursing majors • Linking liberal arts and careers

Spring/Summer 2012

from the president

Dear Friends, Commencement has come and gone – what an exciting time for Wisconsin Lutheran College! We witnessed several milestones at our recent ceremony: FO  ur graduating Class of 2012 was the largest class in the history of our young college – 148 graduates representing 30 different major areas of study. FO  ur first nursing class – ten men and women – have now entered the medical field as proud WLC alumni. FO  ur second cohort of graduates in our Adult and Graduate Studies program received their WLC degree in business management and leadership. FC  hina Studies, digital cinema production, and environmental studies majors have their first graduates. Truly the WLC mission is alive and well. Our graduates are impacting the world for Jesus’ sake. They will be serving in our communities and throughout the world – all with a missionary’s heart. Our newest alumni are Christian leaders who are prepared to make a difference in a broken world, no matter their calling or career path. We can powerfully carry out our mission because we have faithful partners who help us continue to reach these new milestones. As we approach the conclusion of our Vision to Lead campaign we will meet or surpass our $46 million campaign goal, thanks to a growing number of generous and supportive friends – thank you. It was in this same spirit of gratitude to God that we recently celebrated the naming of one of our residence halls – Stimac Hall. Please read more (page 6) about Gary and Susan Stimac, who support ministries such as WLC because they believe in giving back the blessings they’ve received from God. WLC also is blessed with a bold vision, and we are in the final phase of our most recent strategic planning initiative. Clearly God is affirming our plans as we humbly thank Him for ongoing record enrollment. And yet, significant obstacles remain. We continue to be challenged with funding more than $9 million of scholarships annually. We have more than 1,000 talented, hard-working students who are excited to pursue their quest for a WLC education and its Christian leadership preparation. The vast majority of them desperately need financial help. Please support our scholarship program. Every gift counts, and our current and future students are beyond grateful, I can assure you. We are a passionately Christian and conservative college of excellence. We are unique within the higher education landscape – preparing Christian leaders to serve in cutting edge 21st century careers. We thank God for this most blessed uniqueness – and I ask you to pray for our graduates and our ministry. We need you today, more than ever. Thank you. In Christ’s service with you,

Dr. Daniel W. Johnson President If you would like to receive regular e-news updates from the college, and also help us maintain accurate contact information, please share your email address at 2 |

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. Wisconsin Lutheran College Magazine

MISSION STATEMENT Wisconsin Lutheran College, affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, is a Lutheran liberal arts college for Christian men and women. The college is committed to providing quality teaching, scholarship, and service that are rooted in Holy Scripture; promoting the spiritual growth of students, faculty, and staff; and preparing students for lives of Christian leadership.

Executive director of Marketing and Communication Jason Van Acker ’00

Vol. 24, No. 2



Commencement 2012


Stimac Hall


Digital education

Departments 2 From the President 14 Student News

Executive editor Vicki Hartig


First nursing majors graduate

Editor and photographer Melanie Gohde Buellesbach


Investing in students


Linking liberal arts and careers


Facilitating Christian leadership

20 Faculty and Staff 24 Fine Arts

photo contributor Ernie Mastroianni

Designer Jennifer Rueth

Wisconsin Lutheran College Magazine is published for and distributed free of charge to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the college. All correspondence, letters, news, corrections, and comments are welcomed and should be directed to: Jason Van Acker Wisconsin Lutheran College Magazine 8800 West Bluemound Road Milwaukee WI 53226

ON THe cover The first ten nursing majors graduated with BSN degrees on May 19. In the background is the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, where several WLC nursing clinicals have been established. Photo by Ernie Mastroianni.

16 On Campus

26 Athletics 28 Alumni 30 Development


Beyond the classroom

22 Faculty farewell 23 World class performers

PRESIDENT Dr. Daniel W. Johnson, Germantown, Wisconsin BOARD OF REGENTS 2011-2012 James Fischer (chair), Waukesha, Wisconsin Ryan Barbieri, Sussex, Wisconsin Gary Drska, Muskego, Wisconsin Dr. Gerald Fischer, Bethesda, Maryland Rev. Kenneth Fisher, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Stephen Granberg, Jackson, Wisconsin Justin Gregorius, Van Dyne, Wisconsin Dr. Terry Gueldner, Manitowoc, Wisconsin Rev. Jeff Gunn, Phoenix, Arizona Paul Hartwig, Appleton, Wisconsin Rev. Mark Henrich, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Rev. Dennis Himm, Grand Blanc, Michigan Charles Kluenker, Roseville, California Dr. R. Bowen Loftin, College Station, Texas

Scott Mayer, Franklin, Wisconsin Tom Plath, Collierville, Tennessee Kent Raabe, Brookfield, Wisconsin Dr. William Raasch, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin Rev. Gene Sims, Grove City, Ohio C. Daniel Stefferud, Redondo Beach, California Dr. Gary Stimac, The Woodlands, Texas William Treffert, Naples, Florida Matt Trotter, Cudahy, Wisconsin W. Andrew Unkefer, Phoenix, Arizona Dr. Ronald White, Fort Myers, Florida Kerry Woody, Muskego, Wisconsin George Zaferos, Watertown, Wisconsin Wisconsin Lutheran College | 3

table of contents

JOHN 15:4


Graduating Christian leaders


isconsin Lutheran College’s Class of 2012 graduated May 19 during a commencement ceremony held in the Recreation Complex. The 148 new graduates – the largest class in WLC history – spent

their time on campus exploring a wide range of academic areas, gaining hands-on experience through research and internships, and growing in their faith. They are prepared to make an impact in the world as Christian leaders.

President Daniel W. Johnson presented the Pro Gloria Dei Award to Dr. Gary Stimac at commencement. The award recognizes an individual for his life of distinguished service to God and his people. Stimac, a WLC board member, co-founder and former executive of Compaq Computer Corporation, and founder and former CEO of RLX Techologies, also gave the commencement address. He spoke about life’s priorities: God first, followed by family, and then career. He encouraged graduates to work for and with people who are ethical, trustworthy, and honest.

Jonas Gertsch, a chemistry and physics major (left) from Sparta, Wisconsin, plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Colorado-Boulder. At the 2012 Honors Convocation, he was given the Von Neumann Award, presented to a graduating senior for exceptional performance as a minor in mathematics. Shannon Turner (right), a history major from West Bend, Wisconsin, will continue her studies in history at Ohio State University. 4 |

Selected by her class to speak at commencement was Christina Bender, an English and philosophy double major from Darby, Montana. Bender received the Renaissance Award, presented to a multidimensional scholar-citizen and English major whose contribution to English courses and the larger community was outstanding. She served WLC as a resident assistant, philosophy tutor, editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The SWORD, and as a member of the flute choir.

Biology major Alexis Rwatambuga came to WLC from Kigali, Rwanda. In 2011, he co-authored a poster with Dr. Angela Ebeling, assistant professor of biology, titled “Phosphorus Concentration and Availability in Septage Samples in Wisconsin” for the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America International Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Twelve students from four foreign countries (China, Japan, Mexico, and Rwanda) graduated in May.


Alexandria Matson of Milwaukee was one of the first three graduates to receive a degree in China Studies; she majored in history as well. The college also had its first graduates in digital cinema production, environmental studies, and nursing.

For the first time at a May commencement, the College of Adult & Graduate Studies was represented. The six graduates from the accelerated degree completion program earned degrees in business management and leadership.

The 68 full-time members of the WLC faculty greeted the newest alumni of the college as they left the commencement service. This much-loved tradition gives the graduates a chance to thank their professors while the faculty applauds the students’ accomplishments.

The Class of 2012 came to WLC from 14 states. Katie Meisenhelder (left), an English major, is from Largo, Florida. She served as a team leader in the AV department and was a marketing intern at Bellwether Funding LLC. Alyssa Mews (right), a biology major, is from Oregon City, Oregon. As an undergraduate, Mews conducted research on the possible negative effects of Bisphenol A (BPA).

Dr. David Brightsman, dean of the College of Professional Studies, leads students past the Divine Servant statue one final time as they process around the campus quad. The statue exemplifies the college’s mission of preparing students for lives of Christian leadership. Wisconsin Lutheran College | 5

Stimac hall


It’s not what you have – it’s what you give back


aturday, May 19, 2012, began with a ceremony on campus thanking Dr. Gary and Susan Stimac for their ongoing and generous financial support for WLC by naming the college’s east residence hall – Stimac Hall.

experienced, flexible, focused, informed, hard working, reliable, determined, resourceful, strategic, and visionary.” Stimac believes social skills also matter. “Be able to communicate,” he said. “Be friendly, healthy, fit, well kept, able to listen, able to take direction, respectful, and employable. And by employable I mean be social and interesting. Be a leader as well as a good follower and team player. Be prompt, and financially conservative – live within your means.”

“This is a day to celebrate God’s blessings,” said President Daniel W. Johnson. “We are so very grateful that you’re allowing us to publicly thank God for both of you. He has blessed you, and you subsequently have blessed us. Thank you for this powerful example for our students and all of God’s people about the importance of giving back.” In addition to his remarks that morning, Stimac was able to elaborate on the same message during the commencement address he delivered that afternoon. His speech clearly communicated what life’s priorities should be: God first, followed by family, and career.

Gary and Susan Stimac unveiled WLC’s east residence hall’s new, official name: Stimac Hall, following a brief ceremony that celebrated the Stimacs’ ongoing generosity and investment in the people and students at WLC.

“God is our top priority. I came into this world with nothing and I’ll leave with nothing. I believe every thing I have is a gift from God,” he said. “These gifts to all of us include our intellect, our education, and all the things we have acquired. These gifts are God’s, and part of our responsibility as servant leaders is to use these gifts and follow God’s plan.” Stimac encouraged WLC graduates to take risks on occasion and to surround themselves with effective people. He asked them to think about what their own, personal “value proposition” is. He also shared what he called Gary’s B’s, several lists to describe characteristics college graduates must have. “You must be ethical,” his first list began, “and you must be trustworthy, truthful, honest, genuine, accountable, and be able to get the job done.” A personal attributes list followed. “Be driven, ambitious, knowledgeable, and decisive,” Stimac said. “Be attentive, innovative, aggressive, 6 |

Before he delivered his final list of B’s, Stimac spoke more personally. “Our family has been tremendously blessed by God. Susan and I are returning these blessings by donating to a handful of projects or ministries that we consider part of God’s plan. WLC is one of these. We consider these donations as ‘venture capital’ funding. We are investing in people so that they can execute God’s plan. “We support WLC because of its mission, its ability to get the job done, and because of you, the graduates. We have made a financial investment in you. We know you are capable to carry out God’s plan.

“Now,” he concluded, “for my final B’s. Remember that you did not get here alone. Be grateful, thankful, and respectful. Be a volunteer, and a mentor, and a servant leader. Be generous, and give back. That is how I’ll define personal success for you today: it’s not what you have; it’s what you give back.”

Dr. Gary Stimac’s commencement speech concluded with his definition of personal success: “It’s not what you have – it’s what you give back,” he said to members of the Class of 2012.

Education Summit

Tops Attendance Expectations Photo by Chris Winters


hortly before its registration deadline, WLC’s Google Education Summit, July 9-13, 2012, was almost at capacity. “This offering has caught a lot of peoples’ attention,” said Joe Du Fore, director of digital education. “It’s a five-day, hands-on technology conference designed for educators and instructors. Participants will receive three graduate credits, a Google Chromebook with more than 20 Google apps, and opportunities to work hands-on with some cutting-edge technologies we’re prepared to share with them.”

Joe Du Fore, WLC’s director of digital education, arranged for Google Education Summit participants to tour Discovery World, in Milwaukee, and experience its hands-on, interactive labs such as the MillerCoors Thirst Lab and the Kohl’s Design It! Lab.

To learn more, 8 visit

Keynote presentations will be given by Molly Schroeder and Peter Iles. Schroeder, an elementary educator in the Edina Public Schools, Minnesota, and a Google Certified Teacher and Trainer, is well known nationally for her presentations on how to integrate Google Apps and other emerging and engaging technologies into the classroom. Iles, principal, technology director, and seventh- and eighth-grade teacher at Grace Lutheran School in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, spearheaded his school’s rise to national prominence within the world of educational technology by guiding it to become the first school in America to subscribe to Google’s Chromebook program. “The power of the time we’ll spend together at this summit will be found in the ‘what if …’ conversations that will happen organically as we create relevant learning for the students of the next generation,” Du Fore said. “For that reason, we plan to make this an annual conference. We want to stay ahead of the curve in digital education and continue to provide that ‘wow’ factor in our professional conference offerings whenever possible.”

iPad in Education: Real teacher. Real class. Real results.


iz Langer, a teacher at Townview Elementary School in the Beloit-Turner School District, Wisconsin, received an iPad from her school district last fall after she expressed an interest in using iPad technology to more fully engage her third-grade students. She also enrolled in WLC’s iPad in Education course and has discovered ways to increase student achievement through its use ever since. Langer created a Prezi presentation, using the software program known for its “visual journey” elements. Via her Prezi request, she asked her district for more iPads for her classroom. In January, her district surprised her with six additional iPads. Since then, she’s been named a Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Fellow, an honor as well as a $1,000 award the foundation gives to a teacher who has shown superior ability to inspire love of learning in his or her students, and who has

motivated others. Langer’s school also was given a $1,000 grant on her behalf for use in innovative educational projects. She hopes to use that funding for – no surprise – more iPads. Langer’s 23 students work in groups, sharing the seven iPads. “My kids are so excited and motivated to use them – they’re emailing me about projects they’re doing at home,” she said. Langer’s third-graders place many of their class projects on blogs, and instead of a weekly print newsletter, she is using iMovie with them. She has her students writing news copy, then typing it onto the iPad teleprompter, producing background images, and filming the final product, their weekly “newscast.” For more information on WLC’s iPad in Education course schedule, or its new iPad in Business course offered this fall, 8 visit Wisconsin Lutheran College | 7

digital education



Vital signs great for School of Nursing

Junior nursing students experienced an eight-week clinical in the acute care unit at Froedtert Hospital, located on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, WLC’s neighbor directly to its north. They’re shown with Amanda Passint, RN, MSN, CPNP, assistant professor of nursing.


ive short years ago, Wisconsin Lutheran College launched a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing program. This May, two men and eight women became the first WLC students to graduate with BSN degrees. Rebekah Carey, MSN, APNP, chair of the School of Nursing, acknowledged a lot of hard work. Above all, she humbly thanks God for blessing the nursing program’s development and success. “I think the thing that most clearly distinguishes our program and our students is the focus on Christ-centered nursing care,” Carey said. “We instruct, mentor, and encourage our students to approach their coursework, their clinicals, and their future profession from a Christian perspective.” “We require our students to keep journals during their clinicals,” said Sheryl Scott, MSN, RN, assistant professor of nursing. “Some of them do an incredible job of articulating the spiritual aspect of our program,” said Scott. “They realize that they can help people spiritually, so it’s a faithstrengthening experience, and often reminds them why they wanted to become a nurse in the first place.” “Another strength of our program,” Carey added, “is that all of our full-time faculty have clinical expertise and experience in a specific area of health care – geriatrics, pediatrics, primary care, and women’s health. That sets us apart from programs that have generalists teaching courses in emphasis areas. “Our program also offers coursework in every specialty area of the nursing profession,” said Carey. “Students experience acute and long term care – including time in the neurology

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Nursing students Andy Denzin (l) and Nathanael Rosenberg (r) traveled to Mwembezhi Lutheran Rural Health Center in Zambia last summer with the rest of their class. “It was so inspiring to hear a nurse say her job is not for the money or prestige, but because she believes she has a calling. In the same way I believe we have a calling to go out into the world and impact others,” a student wrote.

and transplant units – at Froedtert Hospital. They are at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and St. Joseph’s for clinicals in OB and pediatrics, and at St. Luke’s Medical Center serving in primary care externships. In geriatrics, our students have assignments at Luther Haven and two other retirement homes. And for mental health, we have our students in a rotation at Community Hospital in Menomonee Falls, working in its inpatient mental health unit, a setting many nursing programs do not include.”

Administrators from these off-campus sites are generous with their appreciation for the WLC nursing program and students. “It’s been a privilege to participate in the learning experience of WLC nursing students,” said Kathy Bechtel, MSN, RN, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Froedtert Hospital. “Froedtert nurses A four day camp for middle school students interested in a appreciate the diversity of nursing career has been held each summer on the WLC campus since 2008. Students learn CPR and first aid, and experiences and world views that receive hands on experience in the WLC nursing lab. WLC students bring to the hospital clinical assignment. Our nurses consistently give praise to WLC students for their eagerness to learn, thoroughness of pre-clinical preparation, and level of knowledge and critical thinking.” Tara Brennan, nursing skills lab coordinator at the Watertown, Wisconsin, campus of Milwaukee Area Technical College, traveled to the Dominican Republic with two WLC nursing students last summer during a WELS Christian Humanitarian Relief effort. “Dan (Mulrain) and Kaili (Eagan) certainly put their faith into action,” said Brennan, also a member of WLC’s Nursing Advisory Board. “They are stellar reflections of their faculty and college. I was proud and honored to work with both of them.” And the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, which recently sent its official letter of accreditation to the program, noted in its site visit report: “It was evident during conversations that a strong community and professional relationship exists which has resulted in clinical placement of WLC nursing students, despite other established nursing programs in the region.” In the nursing lab that serves as the core classroom for WLC nursing students, a scripture verse has been painted onto its front wall. Every day, students see Galatians 6:10: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people… “Even as our program continues to develop and grow, and we’re graduating our goal of 24 new nurses each spring, I hope that verse remains central and visible,” Carey said. “It fits our program, purpose, and mission very well.”

Out of her comfort zone


risten Luebbe, a WLC nursing graduate, was offered a full-time nursing position on the GI/ digestive floor at Froedtert Hospital before she attended commencement. “I transferred here, and decided I wanted to be pushed out of my comfort zone,” she said. “WLC’s program did that, whether through our clinical in Zambia, or my capstone project in “leadership in health care” that I’ve just completed at the VA hospital here in Milwaukee.” Luebbe launched WLC’s Student Nursing Association and directed its activities for two years, including an MS Walk each April, and coordination of a “Heroes for Health” summer camp. “I wanted to get other students involved and interested in nursing,” she said. For the past two and a half years, while a full-time WLC nursing student, Luebbe also has worked 15-20 hours a week in Froedtert’s floor pool, getting different assignments each week, experiencing various settings from medical surgery to pediatrics. “Kristen’s enthusiasm, initiative, and work ethic have helped set a high standard for other nursing students,” Carey said. “Her excellent work experience at Froedtert will serve her well.”

To stay in touch with WLC’s School of Nursing, and follow its news and activities, 8 visit Wisconsin Lutheran College | 9


“In addition,” said Scott, “our program is strong in community health services and international or global health. Our students provide regularly scheduled vision and hearing screenings at area schools. They also help provide primary care services at the Granville Neighborhood Health Center, Milwaukee. And each of our students experience a 16-day assignment in Zambia helping nurses treat patients with AIDS and other conditions found in that country. They also have helped in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.”

making it possible

Investing in students


ow much value should students – and their families – place on a college education? Perhaps the clearest way to measure a specific college education’s return on investment (ROI) is by evaluating its product – its graduates. One reason WLC continues to invest more than $9 million of its annual budget in financially assisting its students is often articulated by its president: “because we believe in our graduates, and we recognize that most of our students simply could not attend WLC without this assistance,” said Dr. Daniel W. Johnson. “They’re also an asset to their place of employment, and to the church and community in which they will serve, volunteer, and involve themselves as Christian leaders.” “Financial supporters, including alumni, are increasing in number, and are investing in our students through scholarships – both annual and endowed,” said Linda Loeffel, director of financial aid. “A few of these scholarships include the Bilitz Family Scholarship, Kenneth Cherney Mentoring Scholarship, Randy & Monika Reimers Scholarship, Knueppel Family Scholarship, and Freer Family Scholarship. These are just some of the

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Wisconsin Lutheran College is committed to financially assisting its students and their families to make sure a WLC education is possible.

people who have invested in our students,” Loeffel said. “It’s a great trend to see.” Once all scholarship gifts are donated and awarded, WLC continues its commitment to financially assist its students through the Plus Partner Program. “For any parent taking out a Federal Plus loan, we actually pay a designated amount of the interest for up to four years, while his or her student is enrolled full time at WLC,” she said. The program, in effect since 2008, has been called innovative and unique by national enrollment management consultants at Noel-Levitz, of Denver, Colorado. “We’re always open to new ideas for helping our students and their families pay for college,” Loeffel said. WLC’s comprehensive financial aid program includes scholarships, grants, campus jobs, and loans. It provides a wide range of options designed to help students and their families. Most scholarships are merit-based. Most grants are need-based. (8 Visit for more details on available options.)

“Many of our financial aid options are distinctive to WLC,” said Jeff Weber, executive director of enrollment. In the case of transfer students, we help them, just as we help new freshman students solve their financial puzzle. To do this, we’ve created various levels of transfer scholarships. If it’s an out-of-state student, we use the same Wisconsin formula for our commitment of WLC dollars to that student as we do for our in-state students. We make sure our students don’t lose state aid, even though they’re not from Wisconsin. And we have a scholarship beginning next fall for students accepted into our new Honors Program. “We’re also dedicated to helping close the gap that families perceive exists between public and private colleges,” Weber said. “Often they forget that it can take five or six years to get your degree from a state university as compared to four years here. Bottom line – we do everything we can to make WLC possible for students who have applied and are accepted.”


he part of my job that I have enjoyed the most was working with my team members, and helping to guide the new ones through their projects and responsibilities,” said senior Stephanie Schadt, recently named Student Employee of the Year for Wisconsin by the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators. “I believe having a state winner – the third state winner for WLC in nine years – speaks very well for the individual student, of course, but also for WLC’s Student Employment Program,” said Donna Stollenwerk, assistant director for financial aid and student employment advisor. “Every year our Student Employment Office honors one of our more than Stephanie Schadt was named Wisconsin’s Student 400 student workers on campus as our WLC’s Employee of the Year in March 2012. Student Employee of the Year,” she added. “This year three students were in a virtual tie, in the campus-wide nomination process we use to select the winner. Alyssa Figurski, team leader for the Academic Success Center, and Michael Kellen, team leader for the Admission Office’s peer counselors, both came within a single percentage point of Stephanie’s score. We really do have awesome student employees here.” “All of the team leaders on this campus are exceptional,” Schadt said. “If you were to look at the job description for each of the department team leader positions, I would almost guarantee that they do twice as much as what is listed … and many of them deserve the title of WLC’s Student Employee of the Year.”

Homeschooled students appreciate WLC’s value

K Katie Horaitis

atie Horaitis of West Bend, has just finished her freshman year, and is happy she chose WLC. “The atmosphere here is fantastic, and the friends I’ve met have made the college experience even better,” she said. “I find my classes challenging, but not overwhelming, and the professors are very happy to help.” Horaitis, who was homeschooled and will be majoring in elementary education, also has appreciated the campus culture.

Tierney Gill, a junior from Milwaukee who is majoring in both history and business administration, also was homeschooled. One of 17 siblings, Gill chose to attend WLC because of its Christian atmosphere. She also believed its smaller size would allow for more opportunities for meaningful campus involvement. She was correct. In her three years at WLC, she has served as a student employee team leader for the public Tierney Gill safety department, tutored and mentored for the Academic Success Center, been named to serve on the Judicial Board, been elected president of the Students for Life Club, and created the College Republican Club. She also managed to serve in two internships, one in the Milwaukee County Executive’s office, and one in the Office of the Governor in Madison, Wisconsin. Gill has been named the 20122013 recipient of the Sharon A. Schoeneck Christian Women’s Leadership Scholarship, a $5,000 award that will be applied toward tuition for her senior year.

Outside scholarships help fill gap


acob Werre of Viola, Wisconsin, has just completed his freshman year. He came to WLC last fall as the Jacob Werre recipient of seven outside, or private, scholarships. He was able to contribute more than $4,600 toward his tuition through these awards, including a Lee Griffin Scholarship that totals $8,000 for four years. “These local, private scholarships, as well as those I received through Wisconsin Lutheran College, have helped enormously with the financial burden of college,” Werre said. “Every dollar counts, and spending a few hours filling out an application or writing an essay is definitely worth the chance for a scholarship.” Approximately 23% of the 2011-2012 freshman class received one or more outside scholarships. “We don’t penalize students who are able to contribute multiple private scholarship dollars toward their tuition,” Linda Loeffel, director of financial aid, said. “Once we’ve calculated a student’s need for financial aid, the total package we offer them is not altered – we don’t decrease our scholarship dollars because a student has taken the initiative to go out and get more scholarship dollars. In fact, our policy encourages seeking private scholarships and keeping student loan debt to a minimum.” Wisconsin Lutheran College | 11

making it possible

Campus employment provides paycheck & recognition


Linking liberal arts with the world beyond “


e’re changing the conversation around here,” said Dr. David Brightsman, dean of the College of Professional Studies and associate professor of education. He’s one of the faculty members leading an intentional plan to integrate and measure a campus-wide understanding of what a liberal arts education really means. Brightsman is aware of the many views on “the value of a liberal arts education.” “We’re fighting against the mindset in our culture that all college education must lead to a direct career path or professional position,” he said. “We acknowledge that perspective, as long as it’s balanced. And this is not so much a change, but an intensified commitment that we as faculty are accountable for the ‘Christian higher education’ we deliver to our students, and that by the time they graduate they will understand, embrace, and appreciate liberal arts. Distinction is key “We want to claim with authority that our degree is different; that our graduates have received superior, distinguishable preparation for the world they enter after college,” Brightsman continued. “How do we offer that proof? If all excellent colleges’ coursework is basically the same, what sets us apart? Why are our English majors, or our business graduates, different? “Here’s how I like to answer that question,” he said. “Our seniors graduate with two degrees. One is in the major area of study of their choice. And the other is the one that WLC chooses for them, and the one that distinguishes their WLC education from that of other institutions. It comes, part and parcel, as a significant part of WLC’s

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distinguishing mission. Call it servant leadership. Call it our heart and soul. Call it what you will. It encompasses meaningful, useful knowledge that will have staying power for our students throughout their adult lives.” Within a few years, WLC will begin to incorporate required courses throughout its four-year curriculum that explore and discuss Christian leadership as the concept that guides students’ major life decisions. These conversations will be rooted in academics and included in all student programming on campus. Tracking results “Simultaneously, through programs such as StrengthsQuest, we are systemically helping our students – beginning in their freshman year – to better utilize their top strengths both academically and in their search for a fulfilling career choice,” said Dr. Rhoda Wolle, director of the Academic Success Center. “We’ve implemented these programs and are tracking our results.” “It is imperative, in this highly competitive world, that our students

learn the value of combining a major in the arts, languages, or humanities with professional opportunities,” added Dr. Erik Ankerberg, associate professor of English, director of the Honors Program, and chair of the School of Modern Languages. “How? By providing them with formal mentoring and internships that will demonstrate how to carry their intellectual gifts and professional skills into the world beyond college.” Liberal arts core “The bottom line is this,” Brightsman said. “We were founded on, and will always maintain, a liberal arts core within our curriculum, though we’re undeniably becoming a more comprehensive institution. “Christian leadership also is part of our core,” he said. “Not only do our students receive that practical, careerfocused, specific preparation for their major; they also receive this other ‘major.’ That’s what will distinguish our graduates from others as they interview for positions, are considered for promotions, and encounter other career and life-changing moments.”

WLC students graduate with a degree in the major of their choice, as well as a second “degree” in WLC’s distinctive delivery of Christian leadership within higher education.

Christian Leadership

Encouraging Christian Leadership


he new Center for Christian Leadership intends to implement creative ideas promoting Christian leadership both on campus and beyond. “We hope to serve the church and the community beyond our campus with leadership programming at the same time that we fulfill WLC’s mission of ‘preparing students for lives of Christian leadership,’” said Rev. Paul Kelm, campus pastor and interim director of the center. Spring 2012 featured two conferences for church leaders. The college hosted its first conference on contemporary worship under the title “Hearts and Hands of David” on April 20-21. The band Koiné led the conference, along with worship leaders from several congregations. Two WLC students, Quinten Petersen and Anna Baxter, served as event coordinators.

WLC’s own campus worship band participated in the “Hearts and Hands of David” conference on contemporary worship in April.

“This first ever ‘Hearts and Hands of David’ workshop was a great success in my opinion,” said Brian Davison, Koiné vocalist. “It was extremely encouraging to see so many creative and gifted people who are passionate about serving their Lord together in one place! Musicians, artists, pastors, teachers, staff ministers, lay leaders, students – all gathering to learn and grow together – using the gifts God has given us to his glory in worship, with great respect to our Lutheran heritage … it was truly an amazing weekend.” “We also were encouraged by comments made by several attendees,” said Kelm. “One person appreciated the open discussion and the realization that there is no one right way to worship. Another enjoyed the opportunities to network with other musicians who appreciate looking at new ways to worship and reach people with the Word. Others thanked us for the honesty and willingness to share information and knowledge.”

The second conference, held June 8-9, demonstrated another aspect of the mission for WLC’s Center for Christian Leadership. “This conference, which was held in consultation with Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary and the WELS Commission on Congregational Counseling, pursues our goal of partnering Dr. Allen Sorum, a professor at with others in promoting Christian Wisconsin Lutheran leadership,” Kelm said. “We designed the Seminary, was the keynote presenter conference for pastors as well as men and at the Leadership women who serve as leaders within their Conference hosted in June by WLC. congregation. There were practical workshops and seminars that facilitated honest, biblical discussion on how pastors and lay leaders can work together to carry out the church’s mission.”

CWLC funds Christian leadership grants


he Christian Women’s Leadership Circle provided $4,000 in funding for several grants that WLC students used to promote Christian leadership. Among them was a reverse-mentoring program, first championed by General Electric. At WLC, the program involved students in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies and traditional undergraduates. Another project funded by CWLC grant dollars was implemented by junior Ally Figurski. She organized and led a five-week, college-edition version of a personal finance course. Its focus was teaching students how to become responsible for and better managers of their own finances from a Christian perspective. Wisconsin Lutheran College | 13

student news

Making an impact


ive Wisconsin Lutheran College students were honored for their Christian leadership at the 2012 Impact Leadership luncheon in May. The Impact Award finalists (left to right) were Quinten Petersen, Jordan Hilleshiem, Rebecca Jeppesen, Peter Buschkopf, and Jillian Finseth. Jeppesen, a junior education major, was the 20th recipient of the college’s Impact Award. She serves as team leader in the Center for Urban Teaching. She is president of Future Teachers’ Education Association and serves on WLC’s Judicial Board. Buschkopf and Jeppesen also received the 2012 Gary and Sandra Greenfield Christian Leadership Scholarship at the annual Honors Convocation.

Hands-on courses Archaeology lab his spring, Introduction to Archaeology students participated in an outdoor lab activity to learn the hands-on process of producing flaked stone tools, or “flintknapping.” Heather Walder, adjunct instructor of anthropology, demonstrated how to use the stone and copper and antler hammers.


In fall the anthropology department will offer a new course, Historical Archaeology. Students will blog about the course and take Skype-based “field trips” to active historical archaeology projects. 8 Visit to follow activities in the biological anthropology major.

Student-designed murals rof. Kristin Gjerdset’s studio class worked on two murals this spring. When completed, the paintings will be displayed in the entryway and a hallway at Christ Lutheran in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. One depicts the creation while the other portrays the Good Shepherd. “We worked in conjunction with the church to figure out the topics and subjects for the murals, but the designs were developed by the students,” Gjerdset said.


Presenting research


he 12th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium took place at WLC on April 28. Students presented papers or research projects completed as an extension of their WLC academic experience. Senior biology major Erin Mathiak (below) presented on “Fueling Memory,” one of 23 presentations at the 2012 event. The keynote speaker was Dr. Ned Farley, assistant professor of anthropology. In April, senior Christina Bender presented her philosophy colloquium thesis, “To Love God: The Role of Implicit Loves for Human Beings.” 14 |

Her advisor on the project was Dr. Gregory Schulz, professor of philosophy. Bender, a double major in philosophy and English, gave her presentation at the Wisconsin Philosophical Association 2012 annual meeting in Oshkosh. In May, three students presented their original research at the Midwestern Psychological Association conference in Chicago. Junior Matthew Liebenow presented on “The Effects of Relationship Status on Trust and Relationship Satisfaction.” Senior Jennifer Mickelson’s presentation was “Appraising a Scenario after Viewing a Justified or NonJustified Film Scene.” Senior Kimberly Sternzinger presented on “The Effects of Placement of Stress on False Memories.”

student news

AGS graduates finding new doors open


he first cohort of students in WLC’s College of Adult & Graduate Studies (AGS) graduated from the degree completion program in December 2011. All ten students earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and leadership. New doors are opening for several of them in the form of new positions, promotions, or graduate school acceptance. Lauryl Schaffer, an RN in the cardiology clinic at Froedtert Hospital, now is the director of the hospital’s Orthopedic Clinic. “I learned valuable knowledge in areas such as human resources, organizational and conflict management, and financial issues,” Schaffer said. “I gained important insights that I’m now putting into practice in the world of management.” Daron Wolf, who is director of student services at Hope Christian High School, Milwaukee, was urged by his administration to finish his undergraduate degree. “I had attended WLC earlier, so I always wanted to complete my degree there,” he said. “It was challenging, but everyone was very supportive – and the experience has

Seven of the ten graduates of the Adult & Graduate Studies business management and leadership major processed in the December 2011 Commencement ceremony at WLC.

taught me that I can expect more of myself. This degree helps me set an example for the students – that if I can do it, they can accomplish it too!” In fact, this year I was able to assist our seniors in achieving 100% acceptance to a college.” Wolf is now pursuing his MBA at Concordia University Wisconsin. Becky Weber was offered a new position, and now serves as the executive assistant to the president and CEO at St. Coletta of Wisconsin, an organization dedicated to supporting

adults with developmental and other disabilities. It is located in Jefferson, where she lives. “To be able to connect adult learners with WLC’s life-changing mission, and to give them the opportunity to focus on service in their careers, is a special privilege,” said Jim Brandt, vice president of AGS. “To see how they are making an impact in the world by the way that they serve, support, and care for other people, as leaders – that’s powerful.”

Milwaukee Public Museum internship


enior Amanda Schumacher, a communicative arts major, interned at the Milwaukee Public Museum throughout this academic year. She worked in the education department with the museum’s after-school program, taking photos of the students’ activities (below). Schumacher then used her photos in PowerPoint presentations and promotional materials.

“I’ve made brochures, graphs, slide shows, class materials, and demos for art projects, in addition to gaining experience with managing the shipment of materials to hundreds of schools for one of the museum’s winter programs,” she said. “It’s been a great internship where I got to utilize all three areas of my communicative arts major: art, business, and communication.”

Amanda Schumacher

She also gained environmental science knowledge by experiencing the beginnings of the museum’s green roof in fall of 2011, when students in the after-school program from La Causa and Notre Dame Middle School in Milwaukee helped plant sedum in biodegradable trays on the roof. In May, Dr. Ellen Censky, senior vice president and academic dean of the Milwaukee Public Museum, showed students how the plants they added to the green roof last fall survived the winter.

The museum’s 4,100-square-foot roof can capture up to 90,000 gallons of storm water annually, while cooling the air and insulating the building. Wisconsin Lutheran College | 15

on campus

Guest speakers share expertise Addressing infant mortality in Milwaukee: a Christian perspective


evan Baker, commissioner of health for the City of

Milwaukee, spoke at WLC on March 7 about Infant Mortality in Milwaukee: Racial Disparity and Economic Consequences. He captivated nursing students, as well as community audiences, bringing to light the Fetal Infant Mortality Report for Milwaukee. The incidence of infant mortality in Milwaukee among African Americans is more than twice that among whites. As he described the devastation of infant mortality and racial disparities in Milwaukee, he also encouraged Christians to help reduce the stress of racism in our community. His compassionate demeanor and public testimony of Christian faith were inspiring for the audience. “When I first learned about the opportunity to listen to Bevan Baker, I expected to be lectured on facts,” said junior nursing major Kayla Wiechman. “What I learned, however, was so much more. What struck me the most was the focus of Commissioner Baker’s life and work. He made it clear that through Christian love and service, the devastation of

Milwaukee’s infant mortality rates could be changed. His faith was shown throughout his presentation, and this not only gave me confidence in him, it also motivated me to make a difference and let my Christian light shine throughout my nursing career.” Commissioner Baker expressed his desire to continue partnering with the WLC nursing program to explore opportunities to provide healthcare services to those most in need. A copy of the slides he presented is available at 8 under the “Past Events” link.

Challenging stereotypes of the Revolutionary War


r. Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, director of the International Center

for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and professor of history at the University of Virginia, spoke at Wisconsin Lutheran College on April 25. His topic was “The Men Who Lost America: The Role of British Leadership in the Revolutionary War” in a lecture presented by the WLC history department. The Revolutionary War was one that Britain seemingly should have won, as a major military power. It is commonly assumed that failure must have been due to the incompetence of the commanders and the politicians who are ridiculed in fiction and in movies. Although less crudely presented, such caricatures even permeate scholarly literature. O’Shaughnessy’s talk challenged the stereotypes.

Solid career advice for media design students


n April 26, WLC presented the second guest speaker in the Digitally Engaged Talk and Lecture Series. Jason Schwartz, the creative director at Bright Bright Great, an interactive and strategic creative agency located in Chicago, addressed students in the Raabe Theatre. His talk was filled with sound advice for any student entering the job market, though especially for those in the college’s media 16 |

design major. He spoke about getting hired by standing out from other recent graduates, and how the traditional résumé is being replaced by networking via social media in his industry. Schwartz emphasized that students need to have a strong sense of typography because it is relevant for both print publications and website development. He also covered the freelance industry.


he Wauwatosa School District held its 30th Anniversary All-City String Festival in WLC’s Recreation Complex in mid-March. More than 3,200 people, K-12 student musicians as well an enthusiastic audience, filled every available bleacher and chair. “We enjoy hosting this impressive event each spring,” said Karen Plamann, WLC’s director of events and conferences. “Partnering with area organizations such as the Wauwatosa School District and helping them present successful events is one way WLC can continue serving as a resource for our surrounding communities.”

Photo by Margo Moran.

During the 2011-2012 fiscal year, more than 6,000 bookings, including events, meetings, luncheons, and other functions, were made on the WLC campus, serving the more than 260,000 people who attended those meetings and events.

Marshall shares encouragement with Butterfly Brunch guests

More than one third of the 220 women who attended this spring’s Butterfly Brunch had never attended the annual event previously, an indication that interest in the brunch, as well as in the Christian Women’s Leadership Circle, continues to grow.


LC’s Christian Women’s Leadership Circle (CWLC) successfully hosted its eighth Butterfly Brunch in March, 2012. “We were delighted to welcome 220 women to our brunch this spring,” said Kristine Metzger, senior director of gift planning and a founding CWLC board member. “Our guests benefitted from hearing Susan Marshall speak about ‘Standing Strong as a Christian.’ They also were able to meet and hear from several outstanding female WLC students, recipients of the Sharon A. Schoeneck Christian Leadership Scholarship, who are emerging servant leaders.”

Jeff Sturgeon, orchestra director for Wauwatosa East High School and Longfellow Middle School and director for the Wauwatosa All-City String Festival held on the WLC campus, appreciates the partnership that the Wauwatosa School District and the college have developed.

Marshall, author of How to Grow a Backbone and founder of Executive Advisor, LLC, has agreed to work with the CWLC board of directors as it develops its strategic plan to guide its future growth, according to Pat Freer, CWLC president.

President’s Welcome Luncheon is a transforming day


ach spring students who director for enrollment. “I see this have been accepted as happen – year after year. They have undergraduate freshmen and applied to WLC, been accepted and who also have been awarded a received one of our top scholarship Founders or Presidential awards. They come to this event, scholarship from WLC are some still not 100% committed to invited to campus for the WLC, or undecided between us and President’s Welcome Lunch. another college. These prospective students, “But these students meet and have President Johnson addressed more than 275 guests at his most accompanied by their President’s Welcome Luncheon in March. conversations with several of our parents, spend time in the professors. They’re able to hear and see the genuine fabric of morning meeting one-on-one with professors in major study our campus culture, and often realize we’re a perfect fit for areas in which they are most interested. Lunch provides an them. And at the end of the day, the majority come that opportunity for students to interact with faculty or alumni morning as prospective students – and leave as WLC about life at WLC. “I really believe this is a transformational Warriors,” he said. day for many of these students,” said Jeff Weber, executive Wisconsin Lutheran College | 17

on campus

Wauwatosa String Festival fills REX

beyond the classroom

Holy Land Visit Enriches Teaching T

wenty-four Christian travelers – including several Wisconsin Lutheran College faculty, students, alumni, and a former board member – returned from a 12-day “trip of a lifetime” to Israel and Egypt in January 2012.

Milwaukee agency owned by Mike Swenson, former WLC adjunct music professor. Christ Lutheran member (and former U.S. Congressman) Mark Neumann and his wife, Sue, also helped lead the group.

Tour members experienced camel rides at the Giza pyramid complex, near Cairo, Egypt. In the background are the Old Kingdom pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure.

Middle East, particularly in Egypt. “Americans are welcome in Israel because we typically are so friendly and courteous,” Prof. Krause said. “But it’s evident that many Christians who had been living in Israel – and especially Egypt – have left, and continue to leave out of concern for their safety. And we were told that tourism in Egypt is down by 85%.” Pless and Krause both described Egypt as a country of awesome beauty, historic treasures – but also of unease. “Basically, our lives were in the hands of Egyptian Muslims,” said Pless. “And they were so kind and hospitable, men and women just trying to live their lives in a country with many challenges. At several of the sites we visited we appeared to be the only busload of tourists. Once,

“This trip has enriched my teaching in numerous ways,” said Dr. Joel Pless, associate professor of theology. “It was worth every penny spent and every mile traveled. I wanted to do something that would take my teaching to the next level and would mark the 25th anniversary of my ordination. I feel this Israel and Egypt trip did exactly that.” Sibylle Krause, assistant professor of German, also was part of the group. “Integrating my faith into course work is of great importance to me,” Krause said. “German hymns and prayers in class are a natural. Visiting Israel has deepened my knowledge of the people and places of the Bible tremendously. Since our return, I have been sharing this knowledge enthusiastically with my students.” The trip, organized by her husband, Rev. Dr. Richard Krause, was promoted primarily through their home church, Christ Evangelical Lutheran, Pewaukee, Wisconsin, and Tempo Travel Service, a 18 |

The twenty-four members of the Holy Land tour group (including WLC faculty members Joel Pless and Sibylle Krause) paused for a rest at the Tel Dan Nature Reserve near the border of Israel and Lebanon.

“The defining moment of the trip for me was when Pastor Krause called for a moment of silence when we were on the Sea of Galilee,” Pless said. “I looked at the hills surrounding the lake and truly pictured Jesus preaching on one of them.” While inspired by these authentic, biblical moments and sites, the group was acutely aware of the unrest in the

we encountered regular army soldiers guarding the perimeter of a site. We first thought this was standard procedure. We soon learned – no – they’d been sent there on our behalf to protect us from potential harm. Clearly, our hosts took very good care of us and kept repeating ‘thank you, thank you for coming to our country.’”


r. Rhoda Wolle, assistant professor of education, gathered several of her WLC faculty colleagues in January to meet a friend of hers, Rev. David Chuchu, director of a Kenyan ministry. The ministry is devoted to sharing the gospel and to delivering a good education to children – especially orphans and those with special needs – in his country, Kenya. Wolle sensed that this could be a valuable educational opportunity for WLC students, and she wanted others to hear about it too.

WLC professors Jim Holman and Rhoda Wolle, shown surrounded by Kenyan school children, hope that as early as next January WLC students can travel and work in Kenya during J Term for course credit and internship or clinical experience.

With a WLC major in special education beginning next fall, Wolle and Prof. James Holman, director of teacher education program, were excited to explore the possibilities of a future collaboration between WLC, Chuchu’s ministry, and the Kenyan Institute of Special Education. “After we met with Pastor Chuchu, I supported Rhoda and Jim’s request to travel to Kenya over spring break to explore the viability of this opportunity,” said Dr. John Kolander, provost.

“We Americans have been so blessed,” he continued. “I’ve been able to travel to many places around this world. It’s given me an awareness that not everyone thinks or lives the same, nor needs the same things we’ve grown accustomed to in our culture. We want this same awareness for our WLC students – but they have to get outside of the United States to gain that perspective.” “I believe partnering with WLC will help our ministry empower local communities in Kenya to develop solutions to the problems they are struggling to overcome in the areas of health care, education, and support programs for our orphans,” Chuchu wrote in a recent email to Wolle. “We also look forward to promoting Christian values modeled on Jesus’ example … compassionately reaching out to the unfortunate in our midst.” “We think there are wonderful opportunities in Kenya for WLC students majoring in special education, nursing, biology, human services, and even business,” Wolle said. “We envision this becoming a genuine chance for ongoing, mutually beneficial programming approved and welcomed by Kenya’s officials.” “The physical and spiritual needs of people around the world are the same,” Holman said. “Everyone needs to know Jesus, and children need real opportunities for a good education. Visiting Kenya made both of these needs very real to Rhoda and me.

“Sharing Jesus is what this life is all about,” Holman added. “By “Most of our time was spent visiting assisting Kenyan elementary, secondary, and special needs Dr. Wolle stands in the midst of students at an all girls’ high students and their schools,” Wolle said. “The one thing that really school. They shave their heads so hair care is not a distraction from their studies. “They understand that if they want a better teachers, WLC faculty resonated with us was how happy – and life, education is their one chance,” Wolle said. and students have the engaged – the learners and teachers were, opportunity to minister to these very unique needs. In other despite conditions like dirt floors. They have no electricity, no words – we can put into practice what it means to be running water or even toilets, let alone computers, white servant leaders – in a real and tangible way.” boards, or teacher manuals.” “Witnessing the passion of these teachers was amazing,” Holman agreed. “As we listened to them at the various schools, we heard the same thing: ‘Help us give our special needs students the opportunity to become functioning and contributing members of Kenyan society.’ It seemed like such a simple request.

“Pastor Chuchu’s signature, in all of his written correspondence, ends with the phrase “Bringing Hope to the Hopeless in Kenya,” Wolle said. “We want WLC students and faculty to be conveyers of real hope to the Kenyan people.” Wisconsin Lutheran College | 19

beyond the classroom

Helping to bring hope to the hopeless

faculty & staff

Thompson now serving at Asia Lutheran Seminary


r. Glen Thompson spent the past decade teaching history at Wisconsin Lutheran College. “Glen also served WLC by founding our China studies program,” said Dr. John Kolander, provost. “He directed its growth and development from its inception in 2005.” Since 1998 Prof. Thompson also has been teaching seminary level classes in Hong Kong. Eventually the WELS established Asia Lutheran Seminary in 2005, and he served on its administrative board. He also developed the seminary’s visiting-professor program, in which WLC professors Dr. Gregory Schulz and Mary Heins have participated, as well as Thompson himself. Now, Thompson has accepted a call to Asia Lutheran Seminary, in Hong Kong. He began his role there in January 2012, serving as professor of New Testament and historical theology, and as academic dean. “While I will miss the wonderful students of WLC and my colleagues, I feel blessed by this opportunity to teach the future leaders of the Chinese church,” he said in December before his departure from WLC. Thompson began his pastoral ministry as a missionary and instructor in Lusaka, Zambia, after receiving his M. Div. from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 1977. In 1983 he returned to the U.S., enrolled at Columbia University in New York City, and obtained his masters of arts and of philosophy as well as his doctor of

Schmid engaged in new role


ary Schmid ’82, WLC’s new vice president of finance, has quickly acclimated to the role of head fiscal affairs manager, outside services negotiator and contact, and leader of the campus’ food service and facilities management enterprises. In addition, Schmid is serving as the college’s lead administrator in relationships with governmental, corporate, and legal organizations. Before accepting the call to serve at WLC last August, Schmid, who has an MBA and is a CPA, had spent 20 years as the comptroller, manager of finance, and deputy treasurer for the city of West Allis, Wisconsin. “I enjoyed my time and role in West Allis, but I am grateful to God that I am now able to serve Him at this special, Christian college and use my efforts to help manage the financial health and well-being of this institution to His glory,” Schmid said. 20 |

Dr. Thompson reunited with seven WLC graduates who attended a retreat in Hong Kong in early February. These seven were among the more than 50 WELS members currently teaching English in China with the organization Friends of China. Left to right: Thompson, Rachel Kolander, John Wendland, Julie Cox, Jon Jossart, Ben Schulz, Hannah Schmiege, and Kim (Lemke) Bare.

philosophy. While there he helped organize Peace Lutheran Church, the first WELS congregation in New York City. “Dr. Thompson is well equipped and perfectly prepared to serve at Asia Lutheran Seminary,” said Kolander. “We wish him God’s richest blessings in his important work there.”

Teacher education reaches 25th year milestone


LC’s School of Teacher Education has reached its 25th anniversary, and its faculty will spend the 2012-2013 academic year celebrating this milestone with a series of events designed to reconnect with former graduates, as well as reach out to all Christian educators, especially those in Southeastern Wisconsin. “We believe this milestone provides the perfect opportunity for our teacher education faculty and former students to reconnect and network, and allows us to introduce other Christian teachers and professional educators to our program and to WLC as a whole,” said Martin Miller, assistant professor of education and an alumnus. Plans also are under way to host a summer teacher education conference, scheduled for August 2-3, 2013. “Our goal is to provide energizing, inspiring speakers and sessions so that our attendees leave the conference renewed and reinvigorated about the profession of teaching – especially as Christian servant leaders,” said Miller, who is heading up the event’s advisory committee.

For information on upcoming teacher education-related events leading up to the 2013 summer conference, 8 visit academics/teachereducation.

faculty & staff

JXNU visiting professor spends semester on campus


uring the spring semester Prof. Mary Li was on the WLC campus as a visiting professor from the Jiangxi Normal University (JXNU) School of International Studies. JXNU is located in the capital city of Nanchang in the Jiangxi province of China. Li, an English professor, audited and observed classes and worked with the ten JXNU students enrolled at WLC this academic year (eight of whom are shown with Li, below).

In May, she addressed the faculty (right) about the Chinese educational system, culture, and differences between the educational systems in the two countries. She said she enjoyed the friendly atmosphere at WLC, the rigorous teaching methods, and the conveniences we tend to take for granted, such as readily accessible drinking water. In May 2009, President Daniel Johnson finalized WLC’s partnership with JXNU, a school with 40,000 undergraduate students. The agreement paved the way for Chinese students majoring in English/business to attend WLC during their senior year. This year’s graduates are part of the second cohort from JXNU to study at WLC.

Faculty & staff notes Dr. Erik Ankerberg, associate professor of English, recently was named to the Thrivent Fellows Program, a rigorous 12-month executive development fellowship for the purpose of growing the leadership capacity of the colleges and universities of the Lutheran Church. In 2010, Ankerberg received the Gary Greenfield Chair of Christian Leadership Award for his proposed honors program, which begins this fall, and currently serves as the chair of the School of Modern Languages. In May, Prof. Paul Burmeister, associate professor of art, presented a paper on the natural pace of design and design education at Catch 22, the University & College Designers Association Design Education Summit, hosted by Virginia Tech. Burmeister’s paper uses the concept of tempo giusto to apply theories of cognition and neuroscience to teaching and learning in the field of media design. Dr. Ned Farley, assistant professor of anthropology, has been made a member of the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA). The register provides local municipalities, architects, developers, and private land owners with a listing of working archaeologists and provides working archaeologists with professional and ethical guidelines for conducting their field research.

Prof. Kristin Gjerdset, associate professor of art, has been selected to be the artist in residence at Great Basin National Park in Nevada this fall. Also, three of Gjerdset’s paintings were selected to be part of the “Art of Plankton, Form Follows Function” exhibition at The Arts Center in Corvallis, Oregon from July 19-August 28. Prof. Martin Miller, assistant professor of education, was recognized as a contributor in the recent publication by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin’s Plan to Advance Education for Environmental Literacy and Sustainability in PK-12 Schools. Dr. Rebecca Parker Fedewa, assistant professor of English, successfully defended her dissertation at Marquette University. Her dissertation, “Truth-Telling: Testimony and Evidence in the Novels of Elizabeth Gaskell,” argued that the fiction of Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell challenged 19th-century notions of what constituted reliable truth claims, therefore it has particularly crucial implications for women. Dr. Joel Pless, associate professor of theology, had his review of In Pursuit of Religious Freedom: Bishop Martin Stephan’s Journey, published in the Winter 2012 issue of the Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly. Prof. Deborrah Uecker, professor of communication; Dr. Jerralyn Moudry, assistant professor of communication; and adjunct instructor Aimee Lau attended and presented at the Central States Communication Association Convention from March 29-31 in Cleveland. Wisconsin Lutheran College | 21

faculty farewell

Tough Act to Follow


an Nelson-Gompper’s reason for accepting a Excellence – always the expectation call to join WLC’s faculty and direct the Excellence always was the bottom line at WLC, according to college’s young theatre program full-time in Nelson-Gompper, whether it came to directing 1995 was simple. It was an opportunity to performances, mentoring her theatre combine academics with her passion – acting students, or accomplishing her own personal – and do so at an institution becoming and professional goals. “In my case, known for a standard of excellence. “I was professional growth and development meant intrigued by the chance to develop a theatre acting, scriptwriting, and directing,” she said. program at the college level,” she said. “I felt “WLC administrators understood that to be God was leading me to embrace this new effective professors, we needed to stay in touch career.” Sixteen years later, He has nudged with the world about which we were teaching.” Prof. Jan Nelson-Gompper her to say farewell. earned her master of fine arts When pressed to name a few WLC career

in acting from Mankato State highlights, she mentioned three musicals she Hard work, creativity, University in Minnesota. In wrote and directed. Her first was a children’s addition to her last 16 years as and few resources WLC’s director of theatre, she musical, The Greatest Show of All, which Nelson-Gompper’s first two theatre seasons maintained an active schedule involved 12 WLC students and a dozen at WLC occurred before the Center for Arts as a local stage and film actress, grade-schoolers. The second, King David, was and Performance was completed in 1996, so playwright, composer/lyricist, and published poet. Her song a musical that she co-wrote. Biblically based, she directed and produced plays in the “Work While It Is Day” recently Nelson considers King David her pinnacle in Siebert Center, a large, multipurpose room was published. combining theatre and faith into one creation. on the mid-level of the Recreation Complex. Her third full-length musical collaboration, “We were cramped, and needed patience and Lady Windermere’s Fan, was based on an Oscar Wilde play the ability to improvise,” she remembered, “but those and performed in 2010. experiences remain some of my most treasured memories.” Nelson-Gompper also noted the time that the American Once the new fine arts building was completed, theatre College Theatre Festival selected WLC’s production of A productions – beginning with The Miracle Worker – took Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur to place in that facility’s 200-seat, perform at its annual Midwest thrust-stage, Raabe Theatre. Conference in 2008. “We were so Nelson-Gompper taught and small – to be featured like that. I directed two student-acted remember thinking we really were productions each academic year. the epitome of “The Little Engine She also worked to create a theatre that Could.” minor in 1997, and then followed that achievement with successful Last summer, she learned that her efforts to develop the program husband’s job required their into a major in 2002. relocation to Atlanta in January 2012. Nelson-Gompper was torn – but “It’s important for people to open – to the dramatic change this understand that theatre has a duty particular move would bring to her and obligation to educate, not life and career. just entertain. Theatre can During her 16-year tenure as head of theatre at WLC, entertain, and inspire, but “Jan built an impressive foundation Nelson-Gompper directed dozens of student-acted plays and academic theatre, in particular, for WLC’s theatre program,” said musicals, among them, The Twelfth Night. should also provoke thought and Prof. Jay Sierszyn, colleague and discussion,” she explained. “The ultimate goal of theatre is associate professor of theatre. “We miss her but will to reflect the human condition truthfully … there’s a continue to be – as she always was – Christ-centered and difference, however, between being truthful and being student-focused.” sensational. WLC theatre graduates understand that “I believe God controls our lives in his master plan,” difference, and will hopefully be able to bring their Nelson-Gompper said. “I’ll follow His lead now, in Atlanta. Christian worldview to bear as actors, directors, script After all, He led me to WLC!” writers, designers, or technicians.” 22 |

guest artist series

Siberian Virtuosi, the State Ensemble of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), is an ensemble of 12 of the world’s finest musicians, now in its debut tour of the United States.

Introducing 17th season of world-class guest artists


he musicians, actors, and dancers who are included in WLC’s 2012-13 Guest Artist Series season promise to inspire and entertain yet again during the 17th season of this popular campus program. World-class performers have graced the halls and stages of the college’s Center for Arts and Performance since the facility’s completion in 1996, and the Guest Artist Series continues to serve as a valuable connection between WLC and its surrounding communities. “Often, first-time Guest Artist Series visitors will tell me how pleasantly surprised they are to learn about our wonderful campus and to see how much we have going on. They seem genuinely impressed with all the programming we have to offer,” said Dan Schmal, WLC’s director of arts programming.

More than 75,000 people have attended one or more event since the Guest Artist Series began. Dance groups, string orchestras, Big Bands, Whether it’s The Britins, a Beatles tribute group, or the popular Kids Broadway from Wisconsin presenting favorite Broadway and pop hits, these free stars, world outdoor concerts draw thousands of people to WLC each summer. music groups, and more have performed in the 388-seat Schwan Concert Hall. In addition, a Schooltime Program series is offered annually. It primarily features theatre for children, professional touring plays and musicals that dovetail with K-8 curriculums in literature, history, and multicultural lessons. Each summer an Arts in the Park season is offered on the campus quad, a series of free outdoor concerts for the community performed by professional entertainers. “Our constant goal, and one we recommit to each year, is to provide a variety of arts events for our campus as well as for those who live in the surrounding areas,” Schmal said. “We want our audience members to view us as a valued resource and a venue known for its high standards and compelling arts events.”

To receive a copy of the 2012-2013 Guest Artist Series and Fine Arts Events brochure, or to see detailed event schedules for next year’s calendar, 8 visit Also, audio and video samples of each guest artist are available at 8

The upcoming Guest Artist Series season features variety, excellence, and guaranteed entertainment. Tap – The Show celebrates the artistry of tap dance from around the globe and will include favorite Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly numbers, Broadway hits, Irish step, and more. Wisconsin Lutheran College | 23

fine arts

Band concert partners with Presidio Brass


he Wisconsin Lutheran College Concert Band presented its Mid-Winter Concert on March 3 in the Schwan Concert Hall. The concert featured guest artists Presidio Brass, a dynamic force in American brass chamber music. The rousing concert began with J. Clifton Williams’ Fanfare and Allegro, which was the first composition to win the Ostwald Award for original band literature. The concert concluded with William Walton’s Crown Imperial,

A brass quintet from WLC met with Presidio Brass members after the concert.

commissioned by the British Broadcasting Corp. for the 1937 coronation of King George VI. The highlight of the evening was the world premiere of Presidio Brass’ special arrangement of George Gershwin’s classic Rhapsody In Blue for brass quintet and concert band. Presidio Brass joined the WLC Concert Band for this outstanding piece. The band concert audience got a special treat when Presidio Brass, an internationally touring brass quintet from San Diego, performed one of its own pieces alone before departing the stage. The group had performed a concert the previous night as part of WLC’s Guest Artist Series. “Having the Presidio Brass as featured guest performers for our mid-winter concert was one of the highlights of our academic year,” said Prof. Terry Treuden, director of instrumental music. “We’ll never forget the experience of performing the world premiere of Scott Sutherland’s (Presidio Brass’ tubist) arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue with world-class musicians. While the arrangement was very challenging, the end result was well worth all of the effort and practice it took to put together.”

Wisconsin Lutheran Choir tours the Southeast


n March, the Wisconsin Lutheran Choir and Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. James Nowack, associate professor of music, embarked on their 2012 Southeastern Concert Tour. Concerts were held in Indiana, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. Choir members blogged about their experiences on tour at 8 “The concerts have been uplifting and the audiences, even more so,” wrote senior Anna Baxter. “The hosts have been very gracious and very kind for opening their churches and homes to us.” Senior Quinten Petersen reflected on his time as a choir member: “Having only a few performances left on tour, I pray that the rest of the choir will realize how truly blessed we are to have this opportunity. This choir is the single greatest opportunity I have had in college. The unity that this ensemble experiences cannot be described in a simple blog entry; it must be felt as a member or audience participant.” 24 |

After concluding its 2012 tour, the Wisconsin Lutheran Choir announced its May 2013 international performance tour destinations. The 15-day, 13-night trek will begin in London, England, then go westward through Wales and on to Ireland. Among many highlights is a visit to Galway, Ireland, Milwaukee’s Sister City. The itinerary will be a blend of formal and informal performances and visits to world-renowned historical sites. Details of the international tour, as well as ways of supporting the choir’s travel, will be posted on as they become available.

The Wisconsin Lutheran Choir performs at Victory Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, Florida, during its 2012 tour.

fine arts

Incorporating art and biology


he 2011-2012 Schlueter Art Gallery season concluded with the spring Senior Thesis Art Exhibition. Svetlana Bornschlegl, who doublemajored in art and biology, exhibited “A Study of Grenadian Fish.” She traveled to Grenada as part of the marine biology research project WLC conducts in conjunction with St. Georges University in Grenada. The

Svetlana Bornschlegl is a 2012 graduate who did research in Grenada during trips sponsored by WLC donors Gary and Susan Stimac. Bornschlegl spoke at the Stimac Hall naming event in May, thanking the Stimacs for giving students opportunities they never dreamed of having.

project monitors the health of the coral reefs in the near shore waters. She also presented at the 2012 WLC Undergraduate Research Symposium on the topic of “Source Identification of Larval Recruits for Western Grenada Reefs.” Her artwork allowed Bornschlegl to integrate two liberal arts majors. “These past few years I Bornschlegl’s “Juvenile French Angelfish” have tried to incorporate my environment, and observe the changes journeys and experiences in the coral in nature. “I want the viewer to ask reefs of Grenada with my artwork,” and wonder about these animals, to said Bornschlegl. “Oil paints have understand that there is a whole world enabled me to add bright and vibrant under water that is incredibly complex colors to the fish, depicting them as and diverse,” she said. they would be seen in their natural environment. Exaggerating their sizes Seven other seniors displayed their helped me to more clearly depict multimedia works: art majors Ashley details of their faces, especially those of Asendorf, Eric Borchert, Larry Hairl, their mouth, eye, and gill structures.” Katrina Smith, and Katie Zuehlke as She hopes people who viewed her paintings will slow down, look at their

well as media design majors Joel Hermanson and Jeremy Treuden.

Shakespeare performed on campus


n April, the WLC theatre department wrapped up its season by presenting William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. Jay Sierszyn, associate professor of theatre, directed the production that allowed the audience to venture back in time 400 years as the Raabe Theatre was transformed into an Elizabethan playhouse. “There were six exciting performances for wonderful audiences – most experiencing this lesser-done play of Shakespeare’s for the first time,” said Sierszyn. “The glorious costumes, Renaissance-period dances, and a few Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale was performed in the Raabe Theatre in April. ballads added spectacle to the poetic Sierszyn said the production was a great experience for the language on a Globe Theatre-like stage.” cast of 21 (above), the running crew of eight, and the production staff of more than 20. The group included The Winter’s Tale, one of Shakespeare’s last plays, had a alumni Bryan Quinn ’04 and Erica Ortenblad ’10, along fanciful blend of language, music, and dance – providing with guest costume designer Eleanor Cotey. the perfect transition from winter to spring. Wisconsin Lutheran College | 25


Women’s basketball team returns to NCAA Tournament

Women’s tennis team advances to first NCAA Tournament


he Warriors women’s tennis team had a remarkable 2011-2012 season as they advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. After winning the NAC Team Tournament, WLC earned its trip to the NCAA Tournament, where it fell to 21st-ranked Univeristy of Wisconsin-Whitewater 5-0 in the opening round.


he Warriors women’s basketball team (24-5, 17-1 Northern Athletics Conference) advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year and fourth time in school history after winning the 2012 NAC Tournament Championship 85-61 over Dominican University on February 25. The victory marked Wisconsin Lutheran’s fifth conference tournament championship and fourth straight NAC division title. WLC later fell to fifth-ranked Calvin College 59-47 in a first-round NCAA Tournament game on March 2 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Four Warriors (Rachel Johnson, Katelyn Kuehl, Shavon Dillon, Jenna Neuberger) received all-conference recognition. Johnson also was named to the All-Central Region Third Team, marking the fourth straight year a Warrior has been honored by the website.

WLC earned the number one overall seed in the conference tournament and defeated Dominican University 5-1 in the semifinals. The Warriors then rallied for a 5-3 win over Edgewood College in the championship match. Wisconsin Lutheran posted a 17-11 overall record, which included a 10-1 mark in conference play. The Warriors shared the regular season championship with Edgewood and Concordia University Wisconsin as all three teams finished with identical league records.

Bright future for WLC athletics


atelyn Kuehl (women’s basketball), Jake Gaudynski (men’s golf), and Lee Johnson (men’s tennis) were named NAC Freshmen of the Year in their respective sports. Kuehl averaged 9.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Gaudynski, who is shown at left receiving his award from NAC conference commissioner Dr. G. Steven Larson, placed fifth overall at the NAC Championship. Johnson posted an 8-1 record in the NAC at #1 singles. Johnson also was named to the All-NAC Singles and All-Sportsmanship Teams for his accomplishments during the 2012 season.

UPCOMING EVENTS For a complete list of youth sports camps offered this summer at WLC, 8 visit Sign up now for the 2012 Warrior Open at The Bog on August 11. Register at 8 Don’t miss Homecoming on September 29, when the Warriors football team takes on Lakeland at 1 p.m. at Raabe Stadium. For complete fall sports schedules, visit 26 |


reshman Travis Turnquist (left) was named both the NAC Indoor and Outdoor Men’s Track & Field Freshman of the Meet. At the indoor championships, Turnquist won the 400-meter dash with a time of 50.01, which broke the previous NAC Championship record. He also finished second in the 200-meter dash (22.70). At the outdoor championships, Turnquist won the 400-meter dash (49.20) and placed second in the 200-meter dash with a new school-record time of 22.09. He finished the season ranked 23rd overall in NCAA Division III. Turnquist, who also plays football for the Warriors, is the defending 400-meter dash champion at the WIAA Division I State Track & Field Championships. He competed for Madison East High School.

Freshmen Zakkiyya Jones (right) and Amanda Markham (below) were named Co-Freshmen of the Meet at the NAC Outdoor Championships. Markham won individual titles in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles (1:05.98). Her time of 15.23 in the finals of the 100-meter hurdles broke her own school and conference record that she set earlier in the season. Markham was a 2011 WIAA Division 3 State Championships qualifier from Oostburg High School in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.

Jones took the title in the 100-meter dash (12.68) and placed second in the 200-meter dash (26.52) with a pair of schoolrecord times. She was also part of a school-record time (51.29) in the 4x100-meter relay. The Warriors tied for their highest finish (third) at the NAC Outdoor Championships.

Gary’s Gallop


n April 14, nearly 400 participants gathered at WLC’s outdoor athletic complex for a 5k run and 2-mile walk to benefit Warriors Athletics. See photos and race results from the 2012 Gary’s Gallop event online at 8 Mark your calendars for the 10th anniversary race, set for April 13, 2013.

Wisconsin Lutheran College | 27


Freshmen track & field athletes complete record-setting seasons

Photo by Moriah Weyer, Fleur Graphic Photography

warriors on their way

C om arts major M c T avish also “ majors ” in biology


ennifer McTavish’s reason for taking a 200-level biology lab as a freshman was simple. She wanted to get through a dreaded subject as quickly as possible. “I remember telling Dr. Erbe, my professor, in a very frustrated voice that I just wanted to pass his class and never use biology again for the rest of my life.” She did much better than “just pass” that class, and in fact took two additional science lab classes. “I wanted to know more!” she said. “Dr. Erbe was always there to answer questions, especially when I wondered why I was killing every bacterium I was ever supposed to grow.” Today she’s using biology on a daily basis. As a project manager for The Movement Disorder Society in Milwaukee, McTavish works with doctors, scientists, and research organizations doing studies that use scales to rate the disease severity of conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, tremor, and Restless Legs Syndrome. “I also work with five different task forces and an educational program on basic movement disorders,” she said. “I’m in a doctorand-scientist-centered environment that focuses on the neurological breakdown of movement. Besides knowing how to spell and pronounce these diseases, I now understand the basics of their symptoms, stages, and treatment options.” Even when she landed her first full-time position after she graduated from WLC, as the public relations coordinator at the regional chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, she was being reminded about the value of a liberal arts, broad-based college education. “I found myself digging through all my saved class materials in search of that biology textbook,” she said. “I needed to do some research before interviewing rheumatologists for an upcoming article in a publication. I wanted to be able to ask smart questions and understand the answers. When that publication was printed, I sent Dr. Erbe an email thanking him, and saying I was wrong about never using biology again.

Jennifer McTavish ’06, majored in communicative arts, but finds herself using her WLC biology textbook on nearly a daily basis. As for other reminders of WLC in her career, she mentions the cross at the very top of the campus’ administration building that remains a personal favorite image for her. McTavish is shown in front of her office building in downtown Milwaukee.

“I still have the textbook from biology class as an essential reference tool on my desk,” McTavish said. “Now I work with neurologists and scientists from around the world. When I get published as a contributing author in a medical journal some day, I’ll be sending Dr. Erbe another thank you note!”

Staying in touch


BS MoneyWatch in 2011 ranked WLC as one of the “25 colleges with the Best Professors.” In light of that recognition, through an initiative titled “Show & Tell,” dozens of alumni have taken the time to tell their stories about professors who have impacted their lives (such as Jennifer McTavish, thanking Dr. Jarrod Erbe, professor of biology). At the same time, many are showing their appreciation by making a gift in honor of their favorite professors. Learn more at 8 28 |

Each year the office of alumni and parent relations uses email to announce events and share other college items of interest with alumni and parents. To stay in the loop, and to maintain the most immediate connection with WLC, be sure to notify Lisa Leffel ’98, director of alumni and parent relations, with your current email address. 8 Visit or call 414.443.8796 any time to keep in touch!


hen 2006 WLC alumni Jason and Beth (Manian) Weinrich and Nicole (Peters) Humphrey were WLC sophomores, the three of them went to see the IMAX movie Kilimanjaro – The Roof of Africa. Afterward, the two women immediately wrote “climb Kilimanjaro” on their bucket list. “I didn’t think they were serious,” said Jason, “but Beth and I were dating at the time, so I asked if I could tag along on the adventure, if they ever went.” Jason and Beth married after graduating from WLC, and in 2010 Humphrey moved to Florida. Even as several years went by, the goal to climb Kilimanjaro remained. They began to plan the trip, conduct research, make some contacts, and talk to people who had climbed the mountain. “We learned a lot, and we received advice on how to prepare and train,” Jason said.

16,000 feet in elevation. We began an eight hour hike on extremely steep terrain. We wondered how we would ever make it, but just kept going, one foot in front of the other, pushing and encouraging each other – a total team effort. Finally reaching the summit, a goal eight years in the making, was a very emotional experience. God’s creation, and the views of the mountain and glaciers, were breathtaking.” Their stay at the summit was brief, only ten minutes. At that elevation, 19,363 feet above sea level, the air is extremely thin.“While it’s true that we are all smiles in our picture, the real truth is that we were exhausted,” Jason said. “Three things we learned at WLC that we’ve carried with us all relate to the Kili experience,” Jason said. “First, never give up. Second, make a bucket list. Seriously, get a piece of paper and write ‘bucket list’ on the top. Put things on there that scare you, or will force you out of your comfort zone. List goals that will cause you to learn new things and experience different worlds. Then resolve to do everything on that list, and tell other people about it. “And the third thing,” Jason said, “is to make sure you do the things on that bucket list with people who never give up.”

The trio from WLC, plus 17 others including crew members and guides, took the trip near the end of February 2012. “Our Kili climb was from February 28-March 4,” Jason said. “We took what’s called the Rongai route. It takes about four and a half days to get to the summit, and about a day and a half to get back down. It is literally a long, challenging hike – no ropes, carabiners, helmets, or ice picks. Being in relatively good shape, drinking lots of water, going slowly, and staying positive – those were our ‘tools.’ “Summit night was the most mentally challenging thing we’ve ever done,” Jason said. “We were awakened at midnight at our base camp at just over

Three WLC alumni climbed Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa. That goal had been on their bucket list for eight years, since their sophomore year at WLC. Jason Weinrich is sales operations manager for Direct Supply. Beth (Manian) Weinrich is senior product and pricing manager for Funjet Vacations. They’re shown here proudly displaying their alma mater’s flag. Classmate Nicole (Peters) Humphrey, a digital art teacher in Palm Coast, Florida, also made the climb with them. Wisconsin Lutheran College | 29

warriors on their way

WLC on The Roof of Africa


Bilitz family honors dad and students


hen the Bilitz family gathers for Thanksgiving, it nearly qualifies as a WLC alumni reunion. Of the five grown children of Jim and Dianne Bilitz, all are WLC graduates except their second son, Jon, who spent his freshman year at WLC but then decided to become a pastor. Last Thanksgiving, Matt Bilitz, ’98, suggested that the family start a Bilitz family scholarship at WLC. “We talked about how we could help deserving students,” he said. “As we discussed how to give back to WLC, we also wanted to help students who attend Winnebago Lutheran Academy (WLA), where our dad, who is retiring this year after 45 years in the teaching ministry, spent 17 of those years,” said Kristen (Bilitz) Black ’95. “He was the guidance counselor there too. Because he thought highly of WLC, he often encouraged WLA students to consider attending the college. We thought this would be a great way to help students, but also honor our dad.” “We’re really excited about this plan,” said James Bilitz, ’91. “It’s a great opportunity for us. We’ve been blessed with the means to be able to give back, and we want to.” “It’s a great chance for us to help other students get that same WLC education we experienced,” added his wife, Carolanne (Laich), ’93. Aaron Bilitz ’04, contributed another element to the collective project. “I know my company, Thrivent, matches charitable donations, so I mentioned another way to increase our scholarship total would be to take advantage of corporate matches.”

Jim Bilitz, father of five children, four of whom are WLC grads, served the last 17 of his 45 years in the public ministry as teacher and guidance counselor at Winnebago Lutheran Academy in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Jon Bilitz, who is now a pastor, also is on board with the family scholarship for WLC. “Even though I was only there for a year, I know WLC is all about servant leadership,” he said. “As a pastor, one of the greatest things you can have is supportive lay leaders in your congregation.” “This whole concept has been a rather humbling experience,” Jim Bilitz said, “but I am very excited about having this chance to give back to both WLC and WLA. Both of these places have been such a blessing in my life and for my children. I really appreciate this opportunity to share these same blessings with future students who attend WLA and go on to enroll at WLC.” For more information on scholarship giving options, 8 visit

Barbieris and Kellens co-chair Servant Leader Society inaugural year


oard of Regents member Ryan Barbieri ’00, and his wife, Denise, of Sussex, Wisconsin, and WLC parents and friends Dave and Kari Kellen, of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, co-chair the college’s new giving society, the Servant Leader Society.

“This is a newly created giving society that recognizes the generosity of donors who give $1,000 or more during WLC’s fiscal year,” said Barbieri. “It’s named the Servant Leader Society for one very simple reason,” said Kellen. “Every gift given helps WLC carry out its mission of preparing servant leaders – who will go on to impact their families, workplaces, community, and the world.” “I believe the real value of the Servant Leader Society is knowing that you’ve helped prepare students for lives of servant leadership,” added Barbieri.

Dave Kellen (left) and Ryan Barbieri stand in front of the WLC’s Divine Servant sculpture, the image used to promote the college’s new giving society, the Servant Leader Society. 30 |

For more information on WLC’s Servant Leader Society, 8 visit ServantLeaderSociety.



ith the June 30, 2012 finish date in sight, the college is positioned to reach or even surpass the goal of $46 million for the Vision to Lead campaign.

“God has blessed WLC in so many ways since 2004 when the initial phase of this campaign began,” President Daniel Johnson said. “There have been challenges and opportunities along the way, but He has been there to guide each next step.” The campaign, which has focused on priorities of scholarship assistance, academic enhancements, endowment growth, and annual fund support, as well as specific capital improvements, has achieved many notable accomplishments. Some of these include:

b Expanding our major offerings to prepare students for 21st century careers in fields such as nursing, environmental science, computer science, media design, and more.

b Creating the Pathways to College Program to affect positive outcomes in the retention and graduation rates of young people.

b Completing several capital improvement projects, notably the Krauss-Miller-Lutz Athletic Complex. b Launching the College of Adult and Graduate Studies, to assist working adults and graduate students achieve their potential and enhance their career. “It is amazing to know and see the hand of God directing and blessing this campaign,” said President Johnson. Campaign chairman and board of regents member Kent Raabe, Brookfield, Wisconsin, wrote these words at the beginning of the campaign as an invitation to others, asking WLC friends to join in the campaign’s efforts:

One of the milestones reached during The Vision to Lead Campaign was the completion of the Krauss-Miller-Lutz Athletic Complex.

“Plans have been established to carry WLC forward … in the confidence that God will continue to bless its vision … to graduate thoroughly prepared and highly motivated Christian servant leaders. If we truly care about reaching out to others, what better place to invest in than Wisconsin Lutheran College, whose graduates reflect God’s glory in all they do?” “As we press on to our goal during these next and final weeks,” said President Johnson, “it’s important to remember that while we are preparing biologists, teachers, nurses, and lawyers who surely will be leaders in their fields, we also are working together to raise up the next generation of talented, educated, and powerful Christian leaders.” To learn more about The Vision to Lead campaign and join in helping WLC meet or surpass its goal and finish strong, 8 visit

Robert A. Schaefer: making a difference


obert A. Schaefer’s Vision to Lead contributions were given to help WLC’s academic enhancements. Thanks to Schaefer, new flat screens have been installed in the WLC Chapel for use in daily worship. Screens installed in the Campus Center are used daily to communicate current and upcoming events on campus and serve as a campus-wide emergency notification system. Screens also have been added to Generac Hall, the Marvin M. Schwan Library, and the Center for

Arts and Performance. All are wired into the same network, an integrated campus communication system. Schaefer, of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, also has funded a chapel lectern, a large triptych or backdrop painting used in worship services, and several mahogany outdoor park benches to help enhance the campus. “Our WLC family is grateful to Mr. Schaefer for all of these gifts,” said Kris Metzger, senior director of gift planning, “and for his generous heart and commitment to Christian higher education.” Wisconsin Lutheran College | 31


8800 West Bluemound Road

Permit No. 3335

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226-9942

Commencement pages 4 & 5

Helping Kenyan students page 19

Shakespeare on stage page 25

Track & field success page 27

Congratulations to the largest class in WLC history!

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Wisconsin Lutheran College Magazine  

Spring 2012 issue

Wisconsin Lutheran College Magazine  

Spring 2012 issue