Story Magazine - Spring/Summer, 2010

Q&A with Susan Stekel Rippley, Archives volunteer

How did you become interested in volunteering at Luther Seminary?

As a lifelong Lutheran, I've known about Luther Seminary for years. I became interested in volunteering after I left my full-time job in a public library last fall. Volunteering allows me to learn more about the places that I've always thought would be great places to work. Luther Seminary is easily my favorite!

How easy was it to get involved?

Very easy--there's information about getting involved on the Luther Seminary website www.luthersem.edu/gifts/getinvolved.aspx. I contacted the Office of Seminary Relations, and Mary Steeber (Luther's volunteer coordinator) got back to me promptly. We sat down over coffee to talk about my skills and interests, and she found opportunities for me with the Archives and FRIENDS groups.

What interests and abilities have you brought to the table, and how well have they connected to your volunteer work at Luther?

My background is in libraries and archives, and I have a lot of experience working with rare books and prints. This made me a good fit for a couple of projects working with some of Luther's art and artifacts collection in the Archives. I love it--it's fascinating work, and I'm always learning something new.

What's your favorite part about volunteering at Luther?

The people. The staff in the Archives and in Seminary Relations are wonderful. While the art and artifacts are great, it's the people that I look forward to seeing every time I come to campus.

How did you become interested in the Luther Seminary FRIENDS?

For seven years I was the assistant curator in a rare book collection, and I worked with that library's Friends group in its efforts to raise awareness of and financial support for the library. I learned how important such outreach is--and also that I enjoy it! I'm looking forward to working with the Luther Seminary FRIENDS; it's a great way to meet wonderful people and to help the seminary during these tough economic times.