- UA 22.214.171.124
Addresses: 1017 Pacific , 919 C, California Block, 903 Tacoma Ave S
Addresses: 1017 Pacific , 919 C, California Block, 903 Tacoma Ave S
On November 30, 1902, Robert Adolf Luther Mortvedt was born to Reverend Ariel O. and Helen Eggen Mortvedt in Newark, Illinois. In 1924, he received his undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College. He received his Master’s degree (1929) and Ph.D. (1934) in English from Harvard University. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. During his years at Harvard, Dr. Mortvedt was granted three scholarships for the purposes of studying abroad and spent several months in England doing research.
After completing his graduate studies, he served as a faculty member for Wartburg College, St. Olaf College, and Stephens College. In 1943, he became Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas City (UKC). He served as Vice President of the college from 1948-53.
In 1952, the president of UKC, Dr. Clarence Decker, was granted a leave of absence to accept a position as Assistant Director for the Far East in the Mutual Security Agency. Dr. Mortvedt was named acting President. Through his position as acting President, Dr. Mortvedt learned that the glowing reports regarding the state and future of the University presented to the Board by Dr. Decker had been very misleading. Enrollment, faculty salaries, and the quality of education were declining. In the months following Dr. Decker’s return (fall 1952), the University underwent a major upheaval that culminated in the resignation of three top administrators, including Dr. Mortvedt, and votes of “no confidence” in the presidency of Dr. Decker by both the students and faculty. Dr. Decker resigned in February 1953.
Dr. Mortvedt was offered the presidency of Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas that spring and served there until 1958. In June 1958, he began his work as Executive Director of the Board of Higher Education of Augustana Lutheran Church and then assumed a similar position with the United Lutheran Church in America in November 1959. He maintained this position until the two organizations merged. The combined program encompassed one university, sixteen senior colleges, two junior colleges, and eleven seminaries.
In 1962, Dr. Mortvedt accepted the presidency of Pacific Lutheran University (PLU). As president, he emphasized the development of academic programs. During the seven years he served at PLU, the School of Nursing was accredited by the National League of Nursing, a $198,567 grant was given by the Research Foundation to strengthen the science program, a Teacher Corps program was established, and a new curriculum was adopted. Dr. Mortvedt also spearheaded a $16.5 million long-range development program (PLUS) to be enacted over a period of ten years. This program resulted in the building of Foss Hall, Ordal Hall, Stuen Hall, Tingelstad Hall, Clifford O. Olson Physical Education Auditorium Building, and Robert A. L. Mortvedt Library. Although plans for the University Center were drawn up as part of the PLUS program, the building itself was not completed until after Dr. Mortvedt’s
In 1969, he requested that the Board of Regents grant him retirement two years before his term was completed. He and his wife Gladys, whom he married in 1926, moved to Gig Harbor, Washington. He then served as the Chairman of the Financial Campaign for the Lutheran Home and Retirement Community of Tacoma, which resulted in the construction of a nursing home with 210 beds and 100 retirement apartments. Dr. Mortvedt retired from the Board in 1979. He maintained an active role in the congregation of his church and was the chairman of the committee that raised funds for the seminaries of the American Lutheran Church.
Dr. Mortvedt served on many national and regional Church and educational boards and commissions, including the Division of College and University Work of the NLC; the NLEC, where he served as a board member and president; and LCUSA, associated with the Commission on Educational Services. Over the years, he served on two commissions of the Association of American Colleges. From 1948 to 1958, he was a member (and secretary) of the Board of Directors of Augustana Theological Seminary and at the time of the final organization of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; he was the Chairman of the committee that recommended its establishment. He was a member of the Steering Committee on Inter-Church Relations of the North Pacific District and he was Co-Chairman of the Planning Committee for the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogues Program. He was president of the Independent Colleges of Washington. He represented the American Lutheran Church on the pan-Lutheran Commission dealing with Lutheran student work on non- Lutheran campuses around the nation. Dr. Mortvedt was also a member of the Commission on Religion of the Association of American Colleges. Other civic and church activities include: membership in the Tacoma Goodwill Industries Board, the Washington State Historical Society, Washington State Higher Education Facilities Commission, the Tacoma Kiwanis Club, the Urban League, the Design for Progress, and Trinity Lutheran Church.
Dr. Mortvedt is the author of one book, Let’s Talk About Literature, and many published articles. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and he has received numerous honorary doctorates, including Doctor of Laws (Augustana College), Doctor of Letters (Wagner College), and Doctor of Laws (Pacific Lutheran University). Dr. Mortvedt received the Distinguished Alumnus award from St. Olaf College and the Centennial Medal from Augustana College in South Dakota. The Lutheran Brotherhood presented him with its Distinguished Service Medallion and PLU granted him president emeritus status after his retirement. In 1977, he received the Community Service Award from the Rotary Club of Tacoma. He was recognized in 1978 by the Tacoma Chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews for “highly significant and enduring contributions” in many areas of service to the citizens of Tacoma.
Dr. Mortvedt died on September 15, 1991 at age 88. He was survived by his only child, Patricia Arnesen, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. His wife preceded him in death.
Janet Rasmussen was born in Paxton, Illinois on April 21, 1949. After attending University of Illinois for her undergraduate degree, she went on to Harvard University for her Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures in 1975. She stayed at Harvard from 1975-1977 when she became the Assistant to the Dean of Harvard College. Then she moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1977 where she was a founder of the Scandinavian Area Studies Program and became the first woman to hold the position of Dean of Humanities at Pacific Lutheran University. 1991-1996 Janet was the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Nebraska Wesleyan University. She then became the President of Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia before returning to PLU to be the Director of the Wang Center for International Programs. Janet has written several books, articles, and other publications. She also established the immigrant oral history archive during her time at PLU.
William O. Rieke was born on April 26, 1931 in Odessa, Washington, and raised in Cashmere, Washington. He graduated summa cum laude from Pacific Lutheran College in 1953 and completed his MD from the University of Washington’s School of Medicine.
Prior to coming to PLU, Rieke worked at UW’s Medical School as an instructor and researcher, focusing on the emerging field of cancer research and eventually becoming Dean of the School of Medicine. He also helped establish a new medical school in Wichita, Kansas, to help service the state’s rural western regions.
In 1975, Dr. Rieke became the eleventh president of Pacific Lutheran University. While serving as President, Rieke worked to strengthen the international ties of the university, which eventually led to being named a Knight First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit by King Olav V in 1989. He reinforced PLU’s reputation as an institution with a strong liberal arts program and five professional schools, and in 1985 the Board of Regents honored Rieke by naming the university’s new science building after him. After retiring from PLU, Rieke accepted a position as Executive Director with the Ben B. Cheney Foundation, where he served for ten years.
Rieke died in 2006 after a battle with cancer.
Walter C. Schnackenberg was born in Spokane, Washington on July 3, 1917. He entered Pacific Lutheran College as a freshman in 1935. After completing the junior college division in 1937, he studied at St. Olaf College in Minnesota where he received an A. B. degree (1939). As an undergraduate, he participated in a variety of student activities including varsity sports, music, dramatic organizations, and student government. After spending two years in business with his father, he returned to Pacific Lutheran in 1942 with his new wife, Doris Strom. During their two year stay, Schnackenberg worked as the Dean of Men and Secretary of the Development Association. He also taught classes. In 1944, he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.
After two years of service, he returned to the Northwest and entered graduate school at Gonzaga University in Spokane. He received his master’s degree in history the following year. In the fall of 1947, he began to work towards his Ph.D. at Washington State College in Pullman. For his thesis Schnackenberg studied the history of Lutheran educational institutions founded in Washington and Idaho from 1890 to 1920. With the majority of the primary sources located at Pacific Lutheran University, he visited the campus often. The thesis became the basis for his history of PLU, “The Lamp and the Cross,” which was published in 1964.
After completing his doctorate, he taught at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. for two years. In the fall of 1952, he returned to Pacific Lutheran University where he served as a Professor of History until his death in 1973. During his tenure at the university, Dr. Schnackenberg played an active role in many facets of the community. He served on nearly every faculty committee. He spoke 72 times at chapel services. He advised the Lutheran Student Association of America, both the PLU branch and the national body. He was influential in nearly every major decision made at the university during his tenure. He spearheaded the faculty constitution which was adopted in 1972. He also served as Chairman of the Department of History from 1963 until his death.
Throughout his career, Dr. Schnackenberg was involved with numerous outside organizations. He served as a board member and as president of Trinity Lutheran Church. He assisted in the revision of the church’s constitution and supported the decision to build the current sanctuary. He participated in a variety of church-related programs from 1942-1973. During his 1962-1963 sabbatical, he was a visiting scholar and lecturer for the Evangelische Akademie in Germany. He organized the Enumclaw Library Oral History Project. As the President of the Board of Directors for Franklin Pierce School District (on which he had served for many years), he traveled to Laos to facilitate the School-to-School program. He was a member of the American Historical Association, the American Association of University Professors, the American Society of Church History, the Hudson’s Bay Record Society, and the Norwegian-American Historical Association.
Dr. Schnackenberg was often recognized for his efforts. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the ELCA (1960), the Medina Foundation Award (1962), the Distinguished Service Award from Parkland Businessmen (1968), and the Distinguished Professor Award (1971). Dr. Schnackenberg authored several articles and books. In 1953, Schnackenberg delivered a speech entitled To Whom the Future Belongs which was later published by the Board of Christian Education for the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Now or Never: Some Reflections on the Meaning and Fullness of Time was published in 1957 and met with controversy. The Lamp and the Cross appeared in 1965 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the university. His history primer On Studying History was completed in 1972 and printed for university use, but was never fully published.
Walter Schnackenberg and Doris Strom married in 1941 and had four daughters: Ann Louise, Mary Helen, Dikka Marie, and Gjertud Cecelia. Dr. Schnackenberg died in 1973 from a massive heart attack at the Faculty House. All of his accomplishments and commitments numbered too many to include in this brief biographical sketch. A more detailed listing of his activities can be found in specifically in Series 1, File 3 or can be compiled from the following collection.
Oscar Adolf Tingelstad, son of Bent and Beret (Livdalen) Tingelstad, was born on a homestead near Eiokson, Cass County, North Dakota (Dakota Territory), September 20, 1882. In 1892 the family pioneered again, this time near Silverton, Oregon. He passed the eighth grade public school examination in Marion County, Oregon, in 1898 and completed the commercial course at Pacific Lutheran Academy in Parkland, Washington on June 1, 1900. He attended the high school in Silverton, Oregon during the first year of its operation (1900-01) and completed the Luther College preparatory course at Pacific Lutheran Academy in 1902. He entered the sophomore class at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa during September 1902 and graduated in June 1905.
He gave up a position in the Farmers State Bank in Maddock, N. Dakota, to enter Luther Seminary in Minnesota on December 9, 1905 and then taught summer parochial school in Nelson County, North Dakota during 1906. In June 1907, Tingelstad was granted the “testimenium pro candidatura” from Luther Seminary because of the shortage of pastors in the Norwegian Lutheran Synod, and was ordained a Lutheran Pastor in Ballard, Washington on July 14, 1907 on call from the Crillia (Wash.) congregation and the Home Mission Committee of the Pacific District of the Norwegian Synod. He served Zion Lutheran Church at Ballard from July 14, 1907 to August 8, 1909 and also the Crillia, Port Madison, and Tracyton congregations. He also taught parochial school at Ballard throughout the summer of 1908. On August 4, 1909, he married Alfield Sophie Tvete at Arlington, Washington.
Having been called to be the first incumbent of the chair of psychology and education at Luther College, he attended the University of Chicago the in 1909 and began teaching at Luther College in January of 1910. There he served as acting principal of the Preparatory Department from 1911-12 and 1917-19, as Registrar (first incumbent of the office) from 1914-27, and as secretary of the Board of Trustees from 1923-1928. He also served as a Professor of psychology and education until 1919, as a Professor of Education from 1919-1928.
In 1912 he was elected to membership in Phi Delta Kappa—an honorary education fraternity—at the University of Chicago, where he received an A.M. degree in 1915, served as a fellow in education from 1913-1914, taught general high school methods in the School of Education in the spring quarter of 1925, and was awarded the Ph. D. degree (magna cum laude) in psychology and education at the end of the summer in 1925. Meanwhile, in the spring and summer of 1914, he served as assistant business manager of the Luther College Concert Band on its first Norway Tour and as the first secretary of the Young People’s Luther League from 1917-1922. He also served as a corporal in the Luther College Cadet Corps from 1918-1919.
During his academic career, Tingelstad published the following works: “Norgefärden” (“The Norway Tour”) jointly with Dr. O. M. Norlie in 1922 and edited “Luther College through Sixty Years again with Dr. O.M. Norlie and Dr. Karl T. Jacobsen in 1922. The subject of his doctoral dissertation in 1925 was “The Religious Element in American School Readers up to 1930: A Bibliographical and Statistical Study.” With Dr. O.M. Norlie and Rev. Rasmus Malmin, he completed “Who’s who in All the Norwegian Lutheran Synods in America” in 1928. In the summer of 1926 he served as the first manager of the Luther-St. Olaf Endowment Fund, after having been an alumni field agent throughout the endowment appeal. In the summer of 1927 he was Chairman of the Alumni Division of the Pacific Lutheran College endowment appeal. In 1928 he became a member of the A.A.A.S., and in 1934 was elected a fellow.
On August 1, 1928, he became the President of Pacific Lutheran College in Parkland, Washington and served in the capacity till July 1, 1945, during which period this institution advanced from junior college to senior college status. He also edited the quarterly “Pacific Lutheran College Bulletin” from August 1928 to May 1943 and served as Vice-President of the Washington Junior College Association from 1933-1934, and as president from 1934-1935. During World War II Tingelstad served as indoctrination instructor in the Trainee School for civilian employees at the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton, Washington, from August 2, 1944 to Sept. 16, 1945 prior to rejoining the staff of Luther College as professor of Philosophy and Bible from 1944-50.
Eugene "Gene" Wiegman was born October 27, 1929 in Fort Wayne, Indiana His primary and secondary school education was in schools run by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod After serving in the Marine Corps, Wiegman attended Concordia College in River Forest, Illinois, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in social science and teacher education in 1953 In 1956, he earned a Master of Science Degree in school administration and in 1962 he eared a Doctor of Education from the University of Kansas
From 1954-1961 Wiegman was a teacher, coach and principal in Missouri Lutheran schools From 1961-65, He taught social science education and political science at Concordia Teacher's College in Seward, Nebraska From 1965-66, Wiegman worked as the administrative assistant to a Nebraska Congressman In 1966-67, he worked with land grant colleges in extension education programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture In 1967, Weigman was appointed the dean of community education ad Federal City College, Washington, D.C.
Wiegman served as PLU's president from 1969-1974. After leaving PLU, he ran for office, served from 1977-1981 as the Washington State Commissioner of Employment Security, served as a lay pastor and was ordained as a Lutheran Pastor in 1987
Wiegman married Kathleen Wyatt on April 26, 1952 and together they have six children, Kathryn, Rose Marie, Mark, Jeanine, Gretchen and Matthew.
Wiegman died in July 2020.
Johan Ulrik Xavier was born to Nils Paul and Amanda Magdalane Xavier on June 26, 1870 in Lyngen, Norway. The second son of a family of ten, he and his family immigrated to the United States three years after his birth in 1873. They became naturalized citizens of the United States in 1878.
Johan Ulrick was first educated in a rural elementary school for seven years but then moved on to Luther College Preparatory, where he studied from 1885 to 1888. He took his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1893 from Luther College, Iowa. He earned his Theological Degree from the Luther Seminary in Saint Paul in 1898. He completed his graduate work during the summer at both the University of Minnesota and the University of Washington, which ended when he achieved his Master of Arts Degree from the University of Washington on 1929. In 1953, Professor Xavier received his honorary Doctorate in Divinity from Pacific Lutheran College.
Dr. Xavier began teaching at the Lutheran Ladies Seminary in Red Wing Minnesota between 1900 and 1902. He quit when they would not give him the raise he asked for and he accepted the call from Pacific Lutheran Academy. He taught there until 1906, when he again quit because the school would not give him the raise he asked for. He spent the year teaching in a one room school house in Oak Knoll or Muck Creek. In 1908 he returned to Pacific Lutheran Academy and continued working until the school shut down for a few years in 1917. He earned his living at a number of odd jobs and eventually settled down to work at a wholesale grocers’ named Younglove. When the school re-opened in 1920, Dr. Xavier returned and because he was now the most senior member of the staff, he acted as president for the first year that Pacific Lutheran College was open. From 1921 to when he retired in 1942, Dr. Xavier taught a wide variety of classes as well as serving as the school’s librarian. He was an assistant pastor to his father in 1901 and to a number of other Lutheran pastors throughout his life. It is also reported that Dr. Xavier and his father worked together in publishing the Pacific Lutheran University Heralds for many years.
It was at Pacific Lutheran Academy that Dr. Xavier met his future wife, Signe Skattebol, who was a teacher and the women’s basketball coach. He proposed to her in 1910 and they married on December 27, 1912. They adopted their first child, Olaf Paul Xavier on July 24, 1919 and their second child, Barbara Ruth Xavier on May 17, 1922. Dr. Xavier died in 1963 in a Stanwood Retirement Home at the age of 93.