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May 2011

Blessings 2011: Donors and students share thanks

On May 5, more than 200 donors and students gathered for the Blessings event at Luther Seminary. Blessings is an annual opportunity for scholarship donors of named endowed or named current scholarship funds and the students they support to gather together for dinner and a worship service.

"What a wonderful event!" said Bob Torkelson, a scholarship donor and member of Luther Seminary's Board of Directors. "Scholarship donors get to meet their student recipients and the students get to meet the donors who make their education possible. In addition, donors get to meet others who have the same philanthropic interests. Every year, I really enjoy the fellowship of this event!"

Jill Rode, an M.Div. junior, said, "This was my first Blessings event. Seeing so many donors in attendance, I felt a tremendous amount of honor and pride to be a scholarship recipient. I am so grateful for all of our donors, and especially those who have supported students through scholarship support."

This year's program included a message from scholarship donors Gerald and Joyce Knippenberg, who shared why they give through scholarship support. Mandy Brobst-Renaud, an M.Div. middler, offered thanks on behalf of the students.

Preparing excellent leaders for the 21st century requires significant financial investment, both for students and for Luther Seminary. Students expect to pay their fair share as they prepare for leadership in the church, but they cannot do it alone. Scholarships are critical to building the financial support that makes it possible for all students to respond to God's call.

The church needs strong leaders who can graduate ready to serve where the church needs them most—a rural congregation, an inner city community or a new church plant—without worry about whether or not they will be able to service their educational debt. Scholarship support makes this possible, and the annual Blessings event is an opportunity to celebrate this partnership!

Photos of this year's event are available at Watch a video of the program and worship service at

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