Paul Liefeld (2020-2021)

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Paul Liefeld (2020-2021)

During the early years of Luther College, a group of highly capable teachers cooperated to give it an enviable reputation. Among those teachers, Paul Liefeld stood out for his commitment to academic excellence. He and his wife Rosella arrived from South Dakota in 1930 – just four years after the College had moved to its new campus in Regina.

During the following years he taught the sciences and became known for teaching chemistry. In everything he did, Paul demanded high quality work of himself and of his students.

His contributions to the life of the College were certainly not one-dimensional. He also worked with students in a number of extracurricular clubs and activities. His work with the camera club was probably connected to his interest in chemistry and physics; but his contributions to the musical life of the College were also significant. When the need arose, he took over as conductor of the College Orchestra – a position he filled most capably for over two decades. He also directed the College choir for at least one year, and during the Second World War he organized and led a drum and bugle corps that paced the College’s Air Force Cadets as they drilled.

Paul and Rosella had two children, Robert and John, both of whom became university professors. As a cost saving measure during the Great Depression, the Liefelds, along with several other teachers lived in the College dormitory. If it had not been for the willingness of the faculty to persevere during those hard years, Luther College could have disappeared, preventing it from ever becoming the outstanding place which it is today. Later they purchased a home on Dewdney Avenue, just across the street from the College.

There were many excellent students who came to Luther during the 1930’s. Among them was a young man named Henry Taube whose family farmed near Neudorf. Henry went on to become a world-famous chemist at Stanford University and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1982. During his acceptance speech at the Nobel ceremony and on many other occasions, Dr. Taube acknowledged Paul Liefeld for giving him his start as a chemist.

With his 45-year tenure, he is the longest-serving faculty or staff member Luther College has ever had. There are several scholarships at Luther College, both at the High School and at the University - that continue his legacy – recognizing students who excel in science and in music.

As well as being a skillful teacher, Paul was a staunch Christian and the embodiment of the College’s motto – “Quality Education in a Christian Context.”