Merlis Belsher (HS'53)

Merlis Belsher (HS'53)

On October 3, 2013, Luther College High School (LCHS) received the largest donation in its one hundred year history. During chapel, a press conference was held to announce that Luther College High School alumnus, Merlis Belsher (HS’53), had made a donation of $2.5 million to refurbish the current gymnasium and aid in the renewal and expansion project. The heritage gymnasium has been named The Merlis Belsher Heritage Centre.   

“My parents died tragically in 1951 when I was 15. At that point, I moved into the dorm at Luther. Luther was not only my school, it was my home. Luther provided me a direction for a university education thus paving the way for my future career,” said Merlis Belsher (HS’53). After graduating from Luther College, Merlis became a successful businessman, lawyer and chartered accountant. Belsher values his time at Luther and feels it is important to give back to the school that had such an important impact on his life. “Luther provided me with an excellent education, personal support, spiritual guidance, and a number of diverse sports.”

Belsher’s donation also includes new locker rooms and an outdoor sports team room to be named in honour of John Chomay. Chomay taught physical education at Luther, started the Luther Invitational Basketball Tournament (LIT), and was a mentor and a good friend of Belsher’s. This generous donation is part of a larger capital campaign entitled A Time to Build and enables Luther to maintain a signi´Čücant piece of history, the gym built in 1951.