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Letter to the Editor: Some thoughts as Luther College students return to campus

Posted: Thu, Oct 1, 2020 2:47 PM

(The following Letter to the Editor is by Luther College President Jenifer K. Ward):

"I write today for two reasons. First, I would like to thank the Decorah community for their support as Luther College welcomes students back to campus. While a small number of our students remained in Decorah over the summer, and others have been returning gradually in the last few weeks, today (Thursday) is the first day of "Quarter 1" of our revised academic calendar, when all students are back and attending classes. The last time we were together was March 18th, over six months ago. Many of our Decorah neighbors have remarked on seeing our students exercising great discipline in wearing masks when they venture off campus and into town during this pandemic. We are proud that this is the case and are always happy when our efforts are matched by the citizens of Decorah--maintaining public health is a collaborative effort.

The efforts we are undertaking to mitigate risk for an engaging, but safe return to face to face instruction can be found on our "Being Community" website ( We will have very few gatherings and in-person events on campus, but we invite our neighbors to consult our events calendar regularly ( for ways to participate virtually in the many activities happening in the coming months. We are presently limiting visitors from the community to those who have business on campus. When visiting campus for any reason, we will continue to ask guests to join us in wearing masks and maintaining physical distance.

Second, this is the time of year that many of our local businesses would be greeting Luther alumni for Homecoming. We are truly sorry that this is not possible in 2020, and we look forward to the next time we can welcome our graduates from previous generations back to Decorah.

As I have said often since I arrived a year ago, Luther is Decorah's college, and Decorah is Luther's town. Together, we will continue to thrive, and I know I speak for all of us at Luther when I say that we are grateful for your support in this most unusual of autumns."