Showing 59 results

Authority record

Vasa Order of America

  • SIE 1.4
  • Corporate body
  • 1912-

The Vasa Order of America was founded on September 18, 1896 in New Haven, Connecticut by Swedish immigrants on the principles of generosity, truth, and unity. Pacific Northwest Lodge no. 13 was organized August 11, 1912 in Seattle, Washington by E.L Gissler from Connecticut. The nine local lodges represented were Nordstjarnan no. 145 of Spokane, Washington; Nobel no. 184 of Portland, Oregon; Norrskenet no. 189 of Hoquiam, Washington; Klippan no. 228 of Seattle, Washington; Forgat Mig Ej (later changed to Nornan no. 413) of Vancouver, B.C.; Trofast no. 231 of Everett, Washington; Norden no. 233 of Tacoma, Washington; Svea no. 234 of Bellingham, Washington; and Astor no. 215 of Astoria, Oregon. During that time District Lodge conventions were established as an annual event, but at the Spokane convention of 1920 it was changed in favor of a biennial affair in the interest of economy for both district and local lodges. The Vasa Order of America is the largest Swedish-American cultural fraternal organization for families of Scandinavian descent in the United States of America. The order consists of 19 district lodges and several hundred local lodges throughout the U.S., Canada, and Sweden. The organization offers Scandinavian cultural and heritage programs, Swedish language study, children and youth clubs, scholarships and student loans, and many cultural activities for its members.

Daughters of Norway Embla Lodge No. 2

  • SIE 1.1.2
  • Corporate body
  • 1907-

Embla Lodge No. 2 was founded on 24 April 1907 in Tacoma, Washington, officially incorporated by the state as a nonprofit organization on 24 February 1908. The organization was chartered by the Sons of Norway and relied on the guidance of Valkyrian No. 1 lodge when they first started. Together with Valkyrian No. 1 and Freya No. 3 lodges, Embla Lodge No. 2 became part of the Grand Lodge Daughters of Norway on the Pacific Coast. Embla Lodge No. 2 was led by Sisters Laura Walstad, Minnie Holmes, Sofie Horn, Anna Krogh, and Lizzie Nelson for the first five years. Other prominent leaders were Sisters Marie Gunderson, Anna Christiansen, Martha Hegelstad, Anna Aarflot, and Jennie Olson Woog. In 1924, Sister Marie Gunderson was once again president, followed by Sister Clara Larsen. Each ruled for three years, and many joined during those years.

The name of the lodge, “Embla,” comes from the first woman of the human race, according to Norse mythology. Askr, the first man, and Embla were created from two trees on the seashore by three gods. The first god gave them life, the second god gave them understanding, and the third god gave them their physical appearance.

Embla Lodge No. 2 participates annually in the Scandinavian Heritage Festival in Puyallup, Washington, and also helps plan the annual Norwegian Festival at Pacific Lutheran University. They offer a variety of cooking classes at PLU in addition to various cultural programs held at the lodge.

Schnackenberg, Walter C.

  • UA 5.3.3
  • Person
  • 1917-1973

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.

Xavier, Johan Ulrik

  • UA 1.2.5
  • Person
  • 1870-1963

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.

Rasmussen, Janet E.

  • UA 3.5.2
  • Person
  • 1949-

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.

Spokane College

  • UA 14.1.2
  • Corporate body
  • 1905-1929

Spokane College was incorporated in Spokane, Washington in August 1905, by representatives from various localities in Washington and the surrounding states. Until that time, there were no Prostestant affiliated colleges in the immediate area. In 1929, Spokane College closed and the records sent to Pacific Lutheran College.

Swedish Order of Valhalla

  • SIE 1.3
  • Corporate body
  • 1884-

On 15 December 1884, a group of young Swedish men met at the Svea Hotel and decided to form an organization “for social and benevolent purposes.” Originally, the founders named their order Freja, but later changed it to Valhalla. For the first fifty years the group’s official language was Swedish, until a resolution was made to change the official language to English in 1939. The original initiation ritual, developed by the founders and later refined by brothers Gustave Pahrson and J.C. Lindahl, was based on Norse mythology and excerpts from the Frithiofs Saga. This ritual was later abandoned after WWI in favor of a shorter, more simplified ritual. The Order of Valhalla provided several services for its members, including health care and funds for funerals, which were provided through monthly fees paid by its members. In 1906 the order constructed its own building on South K Street in Tacoma, Washington and named it Valhalla Hall. The facilities of Valhalla Hall contained a tavern and dance hall, which were used for social gatherings, and other halls within the building, which were rented out to tenants. During the order’s early years, there was no interaction between Valhalla and local churches, until the tenth anniversary of the dedication of Valhalla Hall in 1916. During that celebration Rev. C.E. Bloomquist, pastor of the First Swedish Lutheran Church, served as guest speaker. This event opened the door for further cooperation between churches and secular organizations in the Swedish community.

The Order of Valhalla celebrated its 90th anniversary in December of 1974.

Puget Sound Posten

  • SIE 3.1
  • Corporate body
  • 1908-1932

Tacoma Swedish-language weekly newspaper.
Publisher: Puget Sound Publishing Company, 1125 Tacoma Avenue,Tacoma , Washington

Martin Luther Lutheran Church (Portland, Oregon)

  • ELCA 6.2.8
  • Corporate body
  • 1956-1975

Martin Luther Lutheran Church was organized in 1956 in Portland, Oregon. They started construction on their church building in 1957. The church was built largely with the help of volunteer work and donations. Martin Luther Lutheran Church was officially dissolved in 1975.

Trinity Lutheran Church (Tacoma, Washington)

  • ELCA 7.2.32
  • Corporate body
  • 1919-present

The congregation was officially organized on August 25, 1919. In cooperation with Pacific Lutheran University, members of the congregation erected a church on the college campus in 1920, and worship was held there until 1936 when the congregation purchased the property of the Parkland Evangelical Lutheran Church. The structure (built in 1902) was razed, and the present sanctuary was built and dedicated on June 8, 1958. Trinity has helped to establish several churches in the area, including Christ the King in Midland, Christ Lutheran in Lakewood, Spanaway Lutheran, and Gethsemane Lutheran at South 76th.

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