An Interview with Outgoing MLC President Mark Zarling

Outgoing Martin Luther College President Mark G. Zarling’s first step onto the campus was accompanied by “a little bit of fear. OK. More than a little bit.” He said he recognized the need “to grow to think in terms as an administrator” and was thankful to be blessed with “people [who] were doing their responsibilities very, very faithfully.” He reveals he had to overcome a tendency to be a quiet person, in order to become the “face of the college.”

The Chapel of the Christ highlighted his 13 years on campus. He remarks, “As the chapel went up and they [students] saw the beauty of it and the scale of it, there was no doubt in their mind. Jesus was most important here.” He remembers 900 or so campus family attendees walking in silence from the auditorium to the new chapel. “You could hear the birds . . . unforgettable.”

His 40 years of service to the church at large leads Zarling to recommend ministry because “you are the instrument of the Spirit. . . . The Lord will allow you to see trophies of grace.” Reflecting on his many travels for MLC, he says, “I would tell people one of the perks of being the president is I got to meet God’s children before we even meet in heaven. I met wonderful Christians all across the country.”

Zarling and his wife, Colette, retired to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. They hope to spend more time with family.

You can listen to or read the entire interview by clicking here.

Lois J. Bode
Temporary Archivist

The ability to use Covid-19 funds allowed retired Interim Archivist, Lois J Bode, to return for this interview. She also sorted through material which came in while there was no archivist, checked that the more than 9000 archival records were in numerical order, organized the thousands of records still to be processed, and standardized the archives database so that when an MLC archivist is funded, it will be easier to understand the collection.