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Authority record

Norwegian Synod

  • ELCA 1.5
  • Corporate body
  • 1853-1958

The Norwegian Synod was formed by Norwegian Lutheran dedicated to theological orthodoxy and preserving the traditions and teachings of the Church of Norway. The synod was organized in 1953 by clergyman JWC Dietrichson. In 1857, the Synod decided to establish Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, which opened in 1861. In 1876, a seminary was established in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1917, the Norwegian Synod merged with the Hauge Synod and the United Church to form the Norwegian Lutheran Church in America. Thirteen out of 351 synod pastors objected to the merger. Those pastors formed the Norwegian Synod of the American Evangelical Lutheran Church. The first president of this new synod was Bjug Harstad. In 1958, as more congregations moved away from Norwegian language and traditions, the Norwegian Lutheran Church in America became the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Olsen Family

  • UA 8.6.3
  • Family

The Olsen family relocated from Detroit, Michigan to Tacoma, Washington in 1947. Dr. Robert Olsen joined the faculty of Pacific Lutheran College that year as a Professor of Chemistry and would continue in this role until 1976. He and wife Josephine ("Jo") Olsen and sons Richard ("Dick"), Robert Jr. ("Bob"), James ("Jim"), and Paul moved into a College-owned house located at 502 S. 124th Street. In Tacoma, the family expanded to include Ruth in 1951 and Timothy in 1953. Four members of the Olsen family are Pacific Lutheran University alumni: Dick Olsen (Class of 1959), Bob Jr. (Class of 1963), Jim Olsen (Class of 1963), and Paul Olsen (Class of 1967).

Peace Lutheran Church (Rainier, Oregon)

  • ELCA 6.2.9
  • Corporate body
  • 1954-1969

Peace Lutheran Church was assembled first as a Lutheran Mission in Rainier, Oregon in 1954. The mission was initially named Rainier First Lutheran and was led first by Pastor Leroy E. Pillman and, beginning in 1957, Pastor James H. Goss. The congregation officially organized in 1958 under the name Peace Lutheran. Peace Lutheran had several visiting pastors until 1962 when they called Pastor Wilton H. Anderson, who they shared with Brownsmead congregation. In 1969, the church was disbanded due to low membership.

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

Puget Sound Publishing Company

  • Corporate body
  • 1905-1941

The Puget Sound Publishing Company, based in Tacoma, published the Norwegian newspaper, The Western Viking, and the Swedish newspaper, The Puget Sound Posten. The company sponsored "The Scandinavian Hour" radio program on Tacoma KVI. Another local newspaper, Vestkysten, was sold to the Puget Sound Publishing Company in 1931.

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.

Richards Photo Service

  • UA 8.7.1.9
  • Corporate body

Names: Richards Film Service (1919), Richards Commercial Photo Service (1949)
Address: C of C Building

Rieke, William O.

  • UA 1.2.10
  • Person
  • 1931-2006

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.

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.

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