Luther Interpretive Trail & Environmental Site

Established by a Faculty Initiative Grant requested by Professor Steve Thiesfeldt in 2006, Luther Interpretive Trail & Environmental Site (LITES) is a seven-acre plot adjacent to Flandrau State Park that has been patiently developed to serve as an outdoor classroom for environmental science students.

Ongoing improvement of the site includes removing invasive species, reestablishing native prairie flora, creating an interpretive trail with markers noting points of natural interest, building a pavilion/shelter with benches for classes, and beginning the collection of data: vegetation, animal life, soil conditions, temperature and moisture, and so on. MLC Grounds Supervisor Tim Rambow oversees all physical improvements to the property. Professor Thiesfeldt envisions that every MLC student will visit LITES at least once during a required science course. Science education majors might use the site in many different ways. Visitors from elementary and high schools could also participate in outdoor activities on the site.

“Ultimately,” he says, “the project will emphasize the wise stewardship of resources entrusted to us by our gracious God. Students will enhance their knowledge of the natural world and learn to appreciate the delicate balance required to sustain life on this planet.”

Professor Dan Fenske has already utilized LITES with his biology students to do tree, bird call, and animal-track
identification. He also plans to do a study of the invertebrates in the pond. “And no,” he adds, “there have been no Bigfoot sightings so far.”

This feature was originally published in the MLC InFocus, Fall 2018 issue.

To The Ends Of The Earth – Serving Abroad Right Now

About two dozen 2018 graduates are now teaching abroad for a year or more. Some were assigned to congregations, and some opted to teach in conjunction with a WELS mission abroad.

In the last 10 years, 145 graduates have opted for international service in 13 countries and have made their mark on the world—and on people’s hearts with the gospel.

They’ve come back enriched and renewed—with minds and hearts more open to all kinds of people and with spirits even more responsive to a world hungry for the Word.


Santiago Botero (Bogotá, Colombia) to Metro Los Angeles: evangelist (one-year assignment)
Tassia-Channel Clement (Corinthe Estate, Gros Islet, St Lucia) to Grace LSGrand Anse, Grenada: teacher mentor
Eric Dorn (Crete IL) to St John LS-St John’s, Antigua & Barbuda: gr 3 (one-year assignment)
Aimee Duncan (Mechanicville NY) to St John LS-St John’s, Antigua & Barbuda: gr 5 (reassigned second year)
Josiah Nommensen (Cudahy WI) to Grace LS-Grand Anse, Grenada: gr TBD (one-year assignment)
Elise Rosenbaum (St Joseph MI) to St John LS-St John’s, Antigua & Barbuda: gr 1 (one-year assignment)


Sarah Couture (Ottawa, Ontario) to Dominican Republic
Madeline Helwig (Mequon WI) to Southeast Asia
Samuel Helwig (Richfield WI) to Southeast Asia
Sarah Kell (Zumbrota MN) to Southeast Asia
Caleb King (Lomira WI) to Chile
Caroline Madson (Acworth GA) to Dominican Republic
Erich Osterman (Milwaukee) to Southeast Asia
Zachary Satorius (Annandale VA) to Peru
Mikala Schmitz (Fort Atkinson WI) to Dominican Republic
Morgan Schnose (Dearborn MI) to Southeast Asia
Michael Schoenfeld (Lake Mills WI) to Southeast Asia
Sarah Schoenfeld (Fort Atkinson WI) to Southeast Asia
Laura Schoenherr (New Ulm MN) to Southeast Asia
Kylah Schroeder (Modesto CA) to Southeast Asia
Ethan Schultz (Waukesha WI) to Southeast Asia
Justin Steinke (San Antonio TX) to Southeast Asia
Jason Zweifel (Lake Mills WI) to Ecuador

This feature was originally published in the MLC InFocus, Fall 2018 issue.

SAMS Gift Recognized

At his retirement dinner April 15, 1999, MLC Professor of Music Ames Anderson closed his remarks to the faculty with these words: “As I leave the college, I would like to share one dream that I have for this place. Could we find monies for a college artist series with perhaps three offerings per year? Our students deserve to hear string quartets, lieder programs, woodwind quartets, chamber orchestras, and the like every year. How can we develop acquaintance and understanding with the classics without the opportunity to hear great music live?”

Because of his foresight and initiative, this dream is now a reality. The Summit Avenue Music Series (SAMS) is presenting programs of the highest professional and artistic caliber and has earned a loyal and responsive following among students and the community. We thank Mrs. Ruth Anderson for a gift of $15,000 toward future seasons in honor of her husband. She pledges her continued support of SAMS.

For information on upcoming SAMS concerts, please visit

Performers from the September 16, 2018 concert entitled “Brahmsfest” with Peter McGuire (violin), Richard Belcher (cello) and Bethel Balge (piano).

What’s all the Buzz About?

By Julia Schibbelhut ’21 (St. Paul-Onalaska WI)

A buzz swept the hallways as mysterious boxes were hauled in from LITES (the Luther Interpretive Trail & Environmental Site). Inside each case, frames filled with honeycomb oozed golden honey. The Ecology class, taught by Professor Greg Diersen ’96, spent their lab period processing the first harvest of MLC honey and marveling at the role of bees in Creation. The MLC grounds keeper Tim Rambow is also the MLC beekeeper. He set up the hives and assisted with the harvest.

“I never expected to have this experience,” says Emmalie Olsen (Good Shepherd-West Bend WI). “Everyone got really into it. We had so much fun!”

First, students scraped off the waxy layer that capped the honey-filled cubbies.

Pictured from left: Sofia Spiegelberg (Trinity-Castries St. Lucia), Moriah Poehlman (St. John-Maribel WI), Emmalie Olsen, Noah Arnold (St. Paul-Oconto Falls WI)

Next, students spun the frames to force honey out of the combs and collect it in a tub.

Pictured: Nathan Curtis (Faith-Sharpsburg GA), Luke Willems (Bethany-Fort Atkinson WI)

Finally, students filled honey bear after honey bear with the freshest honey they’d ever tasted. In all, 144 bottles and several extra quart jars comprised this year’s harvest. The honey was dispersed among MLC honey fans, and the wax was saved for another science project to come.

This feature was originally published in the MLC InFocus, Fall 2018 issue.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

We’re fairly certain Dr. Seuss wasn’t thinking of MLC students when he wrote his 1990 children’s book, but with students like fifth-year senior Zack Scharlemann (St. Paul-New Ulm MN), the sentiment fits.

As a member of the College Choir and the Wind Symphony, Zack has gone on nine full tours and about a dozen weekend tours. He estimates he’s traveled to 25 states plus Canada, played or sang at 111 schools and congregations, and stayed overnight with 60 host families. The tours have put 25,000 miles on his voice and his percussion equipment. It’s been hard work and great fun—and amazing preparation for his future service as a musician and teacher at your congregation or school one day.

This feature was originally published in the MLC InFocus, Fall 2018 issue.

13th Annual Thalassa Prize

Martin Luther College has now begun accepting submissions for the 13th annual Thalassa Prize. This
$1000 prize is awarded to the best photo-and-essay submission from an MLC student or graduate who has served in an international ministry.



DEADLINE: April 30, 2019

MLC Day 2019

Promote and celebrate ministerial education by hosting an MLC Day in your congregation!

MLC Day is a day to . . .

  • PRAY for our mission and ministry
  • SHARE our story
  • GIVE to support ministerial training

Help us celebrate at MLC too! Anytime between now and May 1:

  • Photograph your school, class, or faculty creating an MLC greeting.
  • Videotape an MLC shout-out, song, or skit.
  • Write a prayer for our students and staff.
  • Share all of these with us by email or Facebook!
  • Gather an offering for your College of Ministry. Your gifts on MLC Day will help fund the Congregational Partner Grant Matching Fund, directly supporting MLC students!
  • Find more ideas at!

On MLC Day, May 1, we’ll have a grand unveiling of all the schools’ and congregations’ prayers, posts, shout-outs, and songs!

26th Annual Golf Classic

Ninety-three golfers teed off at noon on June 11 to support Martin Luther College. The winning foursome on the New Ulm Country Club course (pictured) were Joey Schugel (formerly of New Ulm Park and Recreation), Matt Pearson ’97 (MLC professor), Jeff Anderson (SouthPoint Credit Union, New Ulm), and Toby Freier (New Ulm Medical Center).

This community event raised $31,685 for campus improvements and student scholarships, raising the 26-year total to $838,134. Thank you to all our friends and supporters in New Ulm!


This feature was originally published in the MLC InFocus, Fall 2018 issue.

MLC Ladies Auxiliary – Project Update

Supporting the Needs of our Students Since 1960

All friends of MLC are encouraged to review the Ladies’ Auxiliary projects. Consider a contribution to the Auxiliary to help fund the prioritized list below, or adopt a project in its entirety!

We appreciate the great support we have received for our projects over the years. Visit us at for more project details.


  • Auxiliary Scholarships – $3,000
  • Daylight Outreach Opportunities – $2,500
  • Student Travel Assistance – $3,000
  • Window Treatments for Augustana – $1,250
    (3rd year of 4-year commitment)

2018 – 2019 PROJECTS

  1.  Dinnerware for Events $1,650
  2. Adult CPR Manikins with Feedback Device $556
  3. Spanish Immersion Program Grant $2,000
  4. Whiteboards and Shelving Carts $1,200
  5. Stage Crew Intercom System $1,490
  6. 4-Passenger Infant Stroller $550
  7. Celebrating with New Teacher Graduates $2,000
  8. Wenger Folder Cabinet for Chorale $1,275
  9. Mud Kitchen $2,400
  10. Mosaic Art $1,500
  11. Swivl – C3 and Two Markers $1,029



Thank You, Congregational Partners

The Congregational Partner Grant Program (CPGP) continues to make a big difference in the lives of our students.
For the 2018-2019 school year, 457 students from 235 congregations received grants from their congregations totaling $375,430. MLC then matched these grants.

If you’d like to support your congregation members studying at MLC, please apply! Applications for the 2019-2020 school year will be accepted until June 3, 2019.

If you do not have any MLC students in your congregation, you can still participate. You can be the match! Your gift will be used to match other congregations’ gifts to MLC for their members.

For more info:

This feature was originally published in the MLC InFocus, Fall 2018 issue.