By the 1950s, Luther College had become known for its commitment to education and community. While numerous Luther students lived in residence, many more lived at home in Regina and attended classes during the day. It was in this post-war period that Luther also began to attract international students, adding valuable diversity to its hallways and classrooms. By 1963, 50 years after the opening of Luther Academy, enrolment was fixed at 360 students. The staff of three that began at Melville had grown to include over 15 full-time faculty members. Together, the students and staff established traditions and built Luther’s well-known school spirit. Encompassing every aspect of the Luther experience, that spirit endures today. It is found in the ordinary, everyday interactions between members of the Luther community as well as in the extraordinary ones, such as All-College Banquets, Christmas Candlelight Services, and LIT Blitz nights.
One of the most important factors in Luther's standards over the years was its involvement in the arts. A glee club was one of the first organized groups at the school, and it remained an integral part of Luther life until Mrs. Schneider's retirement in 1964. Similarly recalled with pride were Paul Liefeld's contributions to the school orchestra, and Fred Wagner's direction of drama programs. Recent years have seen an ongoing development, with the appointment of a fulltime teacher of music, Carl Cherland, for the first time.
More and more day students have enrolled at Luther over the years, as its academic reputation continued to grow. Large numbers of nonLutherans have been accepted, if they are prepared to accept the school's Christian orientation.
At one time, teachers were expected not only to be lutherans, but to have fluency in the German language. In the modern era, greater value has been attached to recruiting teachers with other points of view. And the number of illustrious Luther graduates increases every year. One of them, Dr. Lloyd Barber, is now the president of the University of Regina. "It is no secret that Luther College has produced more than its fai r share of people who have achieved a real measure of success," he told the graduation class of 1969. "Success not merely in the financial or professional sense, but more important, success in the human sense. Success in the sense of living a meaningful life with one's fellow man in the shared endeavors of our society.
"The success of Luther College cannot be attributed alone to the fact that it is able to pick and choose from among those who desire admission, not to any superior motivation on the part of those who come. I am sure that were we able to make accurate statistical comparisons, we would find Luther students to be not dissimilar to the students in other schools. A great deal must be in what Luther students get from being at Luther, and this can be summed up in one or two sentences.
"First, Luther students are exposed to quality teachers and by this I mean quality in the human sense, more than quality in the strict academic sense. At the risk of offending some, I can state categorically that I was exposed to some lousy teachers at Luther. But, I hasten to add, the fact that they were poor pedagogues didn't prevent me from learning a great deal from some very fine human beings. Second, regardless of individual quality, good people can only be good if the environment is purposeful. "Luther College has been, from the beginning, dedicated to scholarship- purposeful Christian scholarship. This is why your education and mine were not all that different. We learned to substitute the discipline of Christian scholarship for the parental discipline of our childhood. This, you will appreciate as you acquire more life experiences, is a priceless lesson. To our alma mater we owe a debt beyond gratitude."
In 1964, Dr. Rex Schneider retired after 38 years, having seen his school grow from a single building on the prairie to a large campus set among towering elm trees, with full scientific, athletic, and academic facilities. The following year, along with Prime Minister Lester Pearson, Dr. Schneider was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of laws (LLD) at the first convocation ceremony at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus-an institution which has been closely associated with Luther over the years.
At the ceremony, Dr. WA Riddell, university principal, said, "During those 38 years he guided the development of Luther College as a residential high school and junior college affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan. Under his able direction the college grew even during the difficult years of the economic depression.
"Fine new buildings were erected, active programs were encouraged among the students and academic standards were maintained at a high level until now Luther College stands high in the regard of the people of Western Canada."