Luther College expands to the University
Excerpt from Ken Mitchell's Luther: The History of a College (1981)
In 1968, Luther College was officially federated with the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus. The agreement allowed the College to expand its university program to offer undergraduate arts and science degree programs in a variety of areas as well as pre-professional studies. Luther College opened the doors to its new academic and residence buildings on the University of Regina campus in 1971. The $2 000 000 structure was built on the edge of the campus beside Wascana Lake. With residence rooms for over 200 students, a library, a chapel-auditorium, classrooms, offices, lounges and a cafeteria, the College was prepared and eager to serve university students from first-year registration to fourth-year convocation.
The year 1973 marked the sixtieth anniversary of Luther College's founding as an academy at Melville. In the spring Luther high school students chartered a bus and travelled to Melville to visit the original buildings, now part of a home for the elderly. They spent several hours being entertained by the early pioneers, some of whom were able to recall Luther Academy's earliest days.
The 1970s were good years for Luther-for the students and for the College itself. Accompanying growth and improvement was a new spirit of vitality in academics, sports and campus life. Various events were introduced and became instant successes, linking students, faculty and staff on both campuses together and furthering the concept of one community. Luther's choirs at home and on tour attracted enthusiastic audiences. Brainchild of a group of younger faculty members, Luther's annual Elizabethan Evenings, with costumed guests and madrigal singers, became an important community event.
The Luther Lecture series also was established during these years by the faculty with the purpose of making a distinctive and stimulating contribution to the life of the university and the general community. Annually a distinguished scholar or leader of note is invited to present an address on a subject of significance.
They were years of loss, too. The tragic death of Gladys Christie in an apartment fire was mourned by everyone who knew her as an inspired teacher, and the passing of Henry Ast and Emilie Walters brought condolences from many hundreds of former students.
Where will Luther go in the future? One can only imagine continued growth and improvement, in the same quiet tradition which has been Luther's hallmark. The challenges of educating young people in a world of rapidly shifting values is no easy task-but if there is an institution with the confidence to meet that challenge, it will be Luther College.