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University Archives

Anderson, Loren J.

  • UA 1.2.11
  • Person
  • 1945-

Loren J. Anderson was born on July 6, 1945 and was raised in Rugby, North Dakota. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Concordia College, and a master’s degree in rhetoric and public address from Michigan State University in East Lansing. Later, he earned a doctorate in communication theory and research from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He has also participated in the Institute for Educational Management and the Seminar for the New Presidents at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.
Before joining Pacific Lutheran University as president in 1992, Anderson served Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, between 1972 and 1992 as the director of institutional research, assistant professor of speech communication, assistant to the president, vice president for planning and development, and executive vice president. Anderson also worked for the American Lutheran Church between 1984 and 1987, first as its executive direction for the division of college and university services, and later as its national director of the Commitment to Mission Program. Anderson retired from PLU in 2012.
In addition to his duties as president of PLU, Anderson was also involved with many civic and professional organizations. He served on the Council of College Presidents – ELCA; was a board member of the Washington Association of Independent College and Universities; past chair of the National Association of Independent College and universities; and was a board member of the American Leadership Forum.

Harstad, Bjug Aanondson

  • UA 1.2.3
  • Person
  • 1848-1933

The founder of Pacific Lutheran University, Bjug Aanondson was born on December 17, 1848 on a farm named Harstad in Valle, Setesdal, Norway. His father was Aanond Tellefson AAkre and his mother was Torbjør Kittilsdatter Harstad He was one of ten children and they lived on a farm called Gangshei above Harstad. his family was very poor. Young Bjug took care of the cattle at the family farm during the winter months and in the mountains during the summer months. Bjug and his family emigrated to America in 1861 and settled in Illinois and Minnesota. He continued his education in the US and was accepted as a student at Luther College in 1865. It was there that he changed his last name to Harstad upon a suggestion of the president of the college. He studied theology at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis from 1871 to 1874 and it was his experiences there that became the model for the rest of Bjug's scholarly and religious life. After seminary, he traveled as a pastor to remote places in Minnesota where he built schools and churches. Bjug Harstad was married February 14, 1877 to Guro Omlid in Minnesota. She was a native of Valle and ws born September 29, 1858. In 1889, the church sent Bjug Harstad to the Pacific Coast. He visited Portland, Seattle and Tacoma and when he returned to Minnesota, it was decided that Brookdale, as Parkland was called then, should be the important Lutheran education center of the Northwest. The Pacific Lutheran University Association was incorporated December 11, 1890 with Bjug Harstad as president. The cornerstone for the first building, Old Main, was laid October 4, 1891. The occasion of the cornerstone was a grand event. Several Lutheran pastors spoke both in Norwegian and in English and the president of the Norwegian Synod sent greetings with his hope that the undertaking would succeed. Old Main was renamed Harstad Hall in 1960 in honor of Bjug Harstad. In 1917 the Norwegian Synod that Pacific Lutheran University was founded under, merged with the United Church, and the Hauge Synod to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. Harstad refused to join the new Norwegian Lutheran Church, thus formally separating himself from the school he had founded. Bjug Aanondson Harstad died on 20 June 1933 at age 84. His wife Guro, eight of his children, and eleven grandchildren survived him.

Hong, Nils Joseph

  • UA 1.2.4
  • Person
  • 1866-1939

Nils J. Hong was born 7 February 1866 in Westby, Wisconsin, and the family moved to Minnesota shortly thereafter. He attended the Willmar Seminary in Minnesota off and on from 1881 to 1892, and taught public school when he was not attending classes. Hong graduated from Luther College in 1895 and returned to Willmar Seminary as an instructor.

In 1897 Hong came to Pacific Lutheran Academy as a professor, where he taught at least a dozen subjects over his many years at the institution. He took over from Bjug Harstad as president in 1898, oversaw the official accreditation of the school, and helped to start Parkland Light and Water (now the oldest operating nonprofit public utility in the US), as well as many other advancements until PLA briefly closed in 1918. During the closure, Hong took a position as an English teacher at Lincoln High School in Tacoma.

After PLA merged with Columbia College and reopened as Pacific Lutheran College, Hong returned and taught languages and literature there until his retirement in 1938. He died the following year.

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.

Eastvold, Seth Clarence

  • UA 1.2.7
  • Person
  • 1895 - 1963

Reverend Dr. Seth Clarence Eastvold was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 19, 1895 to Reverend Dr. Carl Johan and Ellen Sophia Eastvold. He graduated from Jewell Lutheran College and Academy (Iowa) in 1913 and St. Olaf College (Minnesota) in 1916. In 1920, Eastvold received the degree Candidate of Theology from Luther Theological Seminary (Minnesota). He received from Augustana College and Theological Seminary (Illinois) the following degrees: Bachelor of Divinity (1924), Master of Sacred Theology (1926), and Doctor of Sacred Theology (1931).

Eastvold enlisted in the United States Army (1918) and served as a non-commissioned officer with the American Expeditionary forces in Europe (1918 – 1919). He was appointed chaplain in the Officers Reserve Corps and served until the expiration of his appointment (1928).

Before coming to Pacific Lutheran College (PLC), he served Lutheran parishes in Parshall, North Dakota (1920 – 1923), Jackson, Minnesota (1923 – 1927), Madison, South Dakota (1923 – 1933), and Eau Claire, Wisconsin (1933 – 1943).

In 1943, Dr. Eastvold was offered the presidency of PLC and $40,000 to settle the college’s debt. During his presidency, the institution paid off its debts, 41 buildings were added, the institutions assets increased from $250,000 to $9 million, enrollment soared from 144 students to 2,409 students, and the college was accredited as a university. Eastvold was a strong proponent of such policies as mandatory chapel attendance and the prohibition of dancing and enforced them strictly. While president he traveled extensively and chronicled these experiences for publication in newspaper and book form. During his time the school attained university status in 1960 and became Pacific Lutheran University. In 1962, Eastvold left the presidency of PLU after a continuing conflict with the Board of Regents on the role of the president following the Ocean Shores scandal. The university granted him a handsome retirement package and stipulated that the Chapel-Music-Speech Building would be rededicated Eastvold Chapel. He became acting president of California Lutheran College on January 1, 1963.

Dr. Eastvold held many other church-related offices before and during his presidency at PLC/PLU. He was a Vice Pesident of the South Dakota District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church for four years, Vice President of the Eastern District for seven years, and first Vice President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church for twelve years. Eastvold served on the Board of Trustees of St. Olaf College for seven years and on the Board of Education of the ELC for eleven years. He was a delegate to the Lutheran World Federation conventions in Germany (1952) and Minneapolis (1957). He was a member of the executive council of the National Lutheran Council, and he represented the ELC at the North American Study Conference of the World Council of Churches (1957).

Dr. Eastvold was president of Independent Colleges of Washington, Inc. for seven terms, and he was a member of the higher commission of the Northwest Association of Secondary & Higher Schools. He was a participant in the White House Conference on Education (1955). In Tacoma, he served as President of the Tacoma Health Council and Vice President of the World Affairs Council. Throughout his many years of public life, Eastvold was honored by numerous community organizations and educational institutions. He was a recipient of the Lutheran Brotherhood award (1958). Luther College (Iowa) conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree on Dr. Eastvold in 1959 and Gonzaga University gave him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1962.

He was the author of several books and numerous pamphlets. His pamphlets included “Let Us Go to Chapel,” “The Pastor and His Spiritual Life,” and “Why Attend a Christian College?” He authored the books Paul and Luther , Beyond the Grave, and Around the World in 180 Days, along with several others. Transcripts of some of his addresses were distributed throughout the Lutheran church and his chapel speeches were often broadcast over local radio.

Seth Eastvold married Enga Eastvold on June 20, 1918. They had two children. Their son Donald Wallace Eastvold was Attorney General of the State of Washington from 1952 – 1956 following which he went into real estate and development and was involved in the Ocean Shores development. Their daughter Eleanor Melva married Sr. D.K. Holian, a surgeon. Dr. Eastvold died from a massive cerebral hemorrhage on February 25, 1963 in Minneapolis, Minnesota while attending the annual meeting of the college presidents of the American Lutheran Church.

Wiegman, Eugene

  • UA 1.2.9
  • Person
  • 1929-2020

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.

Campus Ministry

  • UA 12.2.1
  • Corporate body

The Student Congregation of Pacific Lutheran College (PLC) was formed in 1955 through the combined efforts of President Eastvold, the PLC faculty and the student body. It was created with the intent to be a congregation made up of and run by the students of PLC, functioning under the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC). It functioned the same as any ELC congregation of the time, with a Church Council and its officers, a Board of Trustees to handle material matters, and a Board of Deacons of handle spiritual matters. The recently constructed Chapel-Music-Speech Building was to function as its place of worship, and the first pastor called to minister to the Student Congregation was Reverend Robert W. Lutnes.

Pastor Lutnes served as Pastor to the Student Congregation during its formative years, at first only overseeing the congregation and its needs, but by his final year (1958) acting as official advisor to all of the religious clubs on campus. Also in 1958, he was officially asked to assist the Dean of students in arranging speakers for the required Chapel services that took place four days a week in the Chapel-Music-Speech Building--a task that had previously been the responsibility of the Dean and the President.

Reverend John Larsgaard was called to be the second pastor to the Student Congregation in 1959. In 1960, Pacific Lutheran College became Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), and in 1962 President Eastvold resigned, to be replaced by Dr. Mortvedt. With the steady growth of the Student Congregation, the workload quickly became too heavy for one pastor to handle everything. Thus, a number of different Associate Pastors--many of them housefathers--were hired part-time to help ease the burden. They included Pastor "Pops" Malmin (housefather of Old Main (Harstad)), Pastor S.M. Moe (housefather in Ivy Hall), Pastor Alf Kraabel (housefather in Pflueger), and Joseph Shefveland (Foss Hall). By 1966 the work load became heavy enough that a second full-time pastor became necessary and Reverend Morris Dalton was called to be Associate Pastor to the Student Congregation.

In addition to his duties as Pastor to the University Congregation, Pastor Larsgaard was also University Chaplain, and therefore in charge of organizing Chapel. Ever since the Chapel-Music-Speech Building was built in 1952, all students had been required to attend Chapel four days a week. In 1966, though, the student body began to argue against mandatory Chapel attendance. Pastor Larsgaard agreed with the students, supporting voluntary Chapel for everyone, and the school year of 1967-1968 was the first year that students were not required to attend Chapel.

Both Pastor Larsgaard and President Mortvedt left PLU in 1969. President Mortvedt was replaced by Dr. Wiegman, and Pastor Larsgaard by Reverend Don Taylor. This was a time of upheaval and change at PLU. It was generally considered that the Student Congregation was not meeting the needs of the students on campus, and President Weigman felt that it was important to find alternate worship possibilities and a different form of organization for religious groups on campus. In response to this, the Religious Life Council was formed as a governing body for all religious groups on campus. Additionally, the Religious Life Council was given the authority to appoint ministers to the university. Thus, the ministers called to the University were no longer Pastors to the Student Congregation, but Ministers to the University at large, with the Student Congregation being only one of their responsibilities.

Following this change in structure, Pastor Dalton's contract was not renewed, and Pastor Taylor's was only renewed for one year. In 1971, Reverend Gordon Lathrop was called to be University Minister. He worked as the only pastor on campus for two years, though he had interns to help him with his duties. In 1973, the Student Congregation revised its constitution and changed its name to the University Congregation. In that same year, the workload again became too heavy for one pastor, even with the help of interns, and Reverend James Beckman was called to minister alongside Pastor Lathrop. During their two years together, the PLU administration reached a point of upheaval. President Wiegman took a leave of absence for his final year as University President, and Provost Jungkuntz took over for him. In 1975, Dr. William Rieke was chosen as PLU's next president.

Pastor Lathrop left PLU in 1975, and Reverend Donald Jerke was called to take his place. Pastor Jerke worked alongside Pastor Beckman until 1976, when Pastor Beckman died of cancer. That year Reverend Ronald Tellefson was called to be Campus Minister alongside Pastor Jerke. In 1978, the Religious Life Council revised its constitution and changed its name to the Campus Ministry Council. One year later, Pastor Jerke resigned his post as University Minister and accepted a position as Vice President for Student Life.

Pastor Tellefson stayed as University Minister for ten years. During that time the Beckman Memorial Lectureship Series was initiated in Memory of Pastor Beckman, the first being held in 1978. In 1980, Reverend Ron Pierre Vignec was called to be Associate Pastor. Together he and Tellefson saw the establishment of ties between PLU and Africa, the creation of the Chicago Folk Services, the 1982 Peacemaking Conference, and another revision of the Campus Ministry Council's constitution. Pastor Vignec left PLU in 1985, the same year that the University Congregation celebrated its 30th Anniversary. Pastor Tellefson stayed as Campus Minister until 1987, when he accepted the appointment as Director of Church and University Support at PLU.

In 1987, three University Ministers were called simultaneously to serve PLU. Reverends Daniel Erlander, Susan Briehl and Martin Wells ministered to PLU until 1994.

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.

Cady, Jack

  • UA 3.4.2
  • Person
  • 1932-2004

Jack Andrew Cady was born on March 20, 1932 in Columbus, Ohio. As the author biographies in his books often tell, he worked at many jobs including logging, truck driving, and the Coast Guard. Many of these jobs feature prominently in his novels. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Louisville in 1961. He published stories in a few journals and anthologies and he published many more short stories and two collections before publishing his first novel, The Well, in 1981.

During this time he taught at Knox College in Illinois, Clarion College in Pennsylvania, and the University of Alaska before starting his career at Pacific Lutheran University. He worked there for 13 years until his retirement. He taught writing and literature classes and continued to write prolifically, publishing a total of nine novels and nearly uncountable short stories and essays. He won numerous awards and honors, including the Nebula and World Fantasy awards and a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

He made Port Townsend, WA his home and lived and worked there. He married writer Carol Orlock in 1977. He died of cancer in 2004 at age 71.

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