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Authority record
Corporate body

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.

Holden Village

  • ELCA 6.4.1
  • Corporate body
  • 1957-present

In 1896, James Henry Holden made his first claim on the area which would later become Holden Village. However, due to the expense and difficulty involved in transporting copper from the isolated mine, the operation did not begin its full productivity until 1937. By 1938 the mine had become successful and processed 2,000 pounds of copper ore daily.

The Howe Sound Company built a town site on the north side of Railroad Creek soon after the mine began to thrive. The town site consisted of a number of dormitories, a gymnasium, bowling alley, mess hall, school, and hospital, among other things. West of the town site was a patch of small houses intended for miners and their families. The Holden Mine and its town site flourished for many years despite the isolation. However, after World War II the price of metal fell and the resources of the mine began to diminish. The mine was closed in 1957.

With the closing of the mine in 1957, the Howe Sound Company sought a buyer for the Holden Mine and town site. With an asking price of $100,000, the remote piece of property did not sell. However, Wes Prieb, a man active in the Lutheran Bible Institute of Seattle, saw the potential for a spiritual retreat center at the old mine. Originally he asked the Howe Sound Company to give the land to the Lutheran Church as a gift. The Company refused, but eventually agreed to sell the mine, town site, and all the land for one dollar.

With the purchase of the land came a multitude of problems for the Lutheran Bible Institute. The structures were old and decrepit. Many were on the brink of collapse and those that still stood did not meet current building codes. With the help of large brigades of volunteers, the Lutheran Bible Institute successfully cleaned and refurbished many of the buildings. The Village began to function as a summer retreat center soon afterward. Originally, the Lutheran Bible Institute imagined a summer-only center, and kept limited staff on-hand for the first few winters. However, both the infrastructure needs of the community and the natural beauty of Holden Village in the winter led to the creation of a year-round retreat center.

Today, Holden Village operates as a year-round retreat center and is one of the most remote continuously inhabited places in the contiguous United States. Largely run by volunteers, the Village offers educational programming and outdoor recreation opportunities to visitors from all over the world.

Sons of Norway District 2

  • SIE 1.2.2
  • Corporate body
  • 1903-

Sons of Norway is the largest Norwegian-American organization in the world, comprised of members in the United States, Canada and Norway. The organization provides opportunities for members to familiarize themselves with the culture and traditions of Norway through local lodge and district lodge activities and events. Sons of Norway was organized as a fraternal benefit society by 18 Norwegian immigrants in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 16 January 1895. The purposes and goals were to protect members and their families from financial hardships during times of sickness or death. This was gradually expanded to include the preservation of Norwegian heritage and culture.

Originally, to qualify for membership, one had to be male, either Norwegian or of Norwegian descent, give proof of being morally upright, in good health, capable of supporting a family, at least 20 years old, and no more than 50 years of age.

Today, their extensive insurance program offered to qualifying members provides a firm foundation and economic base from which their numerous programs are carried out, furthering the cultural values of the Norwegian heritage.

The organization Sons of Norway consists of a main office and district offices that gathers all the reports and payments from the different lodges. The lodges are run by a president, finance secretary, secretary, cashier, and the members. All of the lodges have to send in financial reports and member lists every six month. The district secretary then meets with the main office secretary for a yearly meeting where they go through the reports.

There are 47 Sons of Norway lodges found in District 2, located in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. The oldest lodge, Leif Erikson Lodge No. 2-001 was organized in Seattle, Washington on 13 May 1903.

Daughters of Norway Grand Lodge

  • SIE 1.1.1
  • Corporate body
  • 1908-

The first Daughters of Norway lodge was formed in Seattle, WA in 1905. In 1908 the Grand Lodge was organized to act as a coordinating organization for all the lodges.

The lodges provided an opportunity for Scandinavian immigrant women to enjoy the fellowship of other women of similar backgrounds.

Lodges in Alaska, the Midwest, and on the West Coast prospered. Many of the original lodges remain although the needs of the members have changed.

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.

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.

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