CLU to celebrate its roots at Founders Day

California Lutheran University will celebrate its annual Founders Day Convocation on Friday, Oct. 17. The Founders Day Convocation is held annually to celebrate the university’s Lutheran roots and to reaffirm the school’s mission to help students find and live their purpose in life.

Each year a person who has worked to bridge the Lutheran Church and Cal Lutheran is awarded “The Christus Award.”

This year’s recipient will be John “Jack” Wise, a long time friend and supporter of Cal Lutheran.

Wise was first acquainted with Cal Lutheran in the 70s, when he worked as a treasurer for the Pacific Southwest District. Representatives from the school visited him to request funding, which was the start of a long relationship between Wise and Cal Lutheran.

Wise served on Cal Lutheran’s Convocation Board from 1977 to 1979. He then went on to do a long stint of service on The Board of Regents, serving under three Cal Lutheran Presidents Dr. Mark Mathews, Dr. Jerry Miller and Dr. Luther Luedtke.

Wise currently serves as a regent emeritus. When he was chair of the board he worked to raise funds and complete the construction of both the Samuelson Chapel and Pearson Library.

“Giving comes naturally to Jack. His dad set the example for him as a youngster when he would give Jack money every Sunday morning for the offering plate,” said Linda LeBlanc, assistant director of Church Relations at Cal Lutheran. “He is a generous benefactor to the Annual Fund and numerous projects. Jack has given his time, talent and treasure immeasurably over the years. He is part of a dedicated group of people who are committed to making Cal Lutheran survive and thrive.”

This year’s keynote speaker will be Reverend Dr. Karen Bloomquist.

Bloomquist is the Dean and Chief Administrative Officer of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California Lutheran.

“The keynote speaker is selected by the Convocation Executive Committee. They wanted someone who could speak about the changing face of CLU in light of the merger with Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and also incorporate the relevance of Lutheran higher education,” LeBlanc said.

Bloomquist is an alumna of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary where she received a master’s degree in divinity. In 1992, the seminary awarded her the Distinguished Alumna Award.

Bloomquist also has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and religion from St. Olaf’s College in Minnesota. She got her doctorate in theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York.

She has served as the director of the department for theology and studied at the Lutheran World Federation for 11 years. The Lutheran Word Federation is an organization that represents more than 70 million Lutherans in 79 countries, and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Bloomquist is an ordained minister and has been involved in global interfaith, social justice and humanitarian efforts.

The Founders Day Convocation will be held on Oct. 17 in the Chapel. Admission is free and open to all.

 

Karl Kleppe

Staff Writer

Published October 8, 2014