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Graduation At Eau Claire —


Some of the “daily bread” for which we have been taught to pray was well represented at ILC on commencement weekend: the gift of a new building; the gift of a new and improved pipe organ; the gifts to the CLC of a day school teacher and three candidates prepared for the parish ministry; the gift of faithful teachers of the Word at ILC … those leaving; and the great gift of a complete faculty of called servants ready for the next school year. A weekend of gifts and dedications, but above all a weekend of thanksgiving and praise to Him who faithfully supplies all our needs.

The May 17-18, 1996 closing of the school year at Immanuel Lutheran College, Eau Claire, Wis. included the following events:


In addition to the traditional appearance of “Louie the Lancer” and the distribution of recognitions for achievements in academics, extra curricular activities and sports, the students elected four representatives to address a valediction to each of the faculty members who would not continue their work at ILC — a bit of nostalgia, a bit of humor, a bit of fond memories, and a farewell.


The ILC band performed music outdoors under the covered entrance of ILC’s new building. The ILC Strings began the indoor concert, followed by the presentations of the student body choir and the tour choir based upon the theme of DEDICATION — the Dedication of God’s Son; the Dedication of God’s Gifts; and the Dedication of God’s Servants.

The choirs presented a wide variety of significant church music (including Professor John Reim’s music written for two of the numbers). Students accompanied the choirs in several numbers, using the organ, percussion, trumpet, flute, and violin. Truly a night of beautiful sounds of praise and thanksgiving unto our most gracious God!

At the intermission Pastor Vance Fossum, chairman of the Board of Regents, conducted a brief dedication ceremony for the new building. The building provides a modern and efficient kitchen, dining area, commons area for students, several rooms including the Dean’s office, an enclosed entrance to the fieldhouse, all designed to be an architectural compliment to the campus. The new building also includes new parking areas with easy access for supply trucks. A great input of donated time and skill made the project a reality.

Prof. Reim then commented on the new pipe organ console mounted on a movable platform and activated by a fiber-optic relay system; the pipechamber renewal, repair and improvement (adding electronic voices to replace damaged facade pipes). The improved capabilities of the instrument were then demonstrated by Prof. Reim and student David Schaller. Robert Dommer, retired ILC instructor, designed, produced, and installed the instrument. This included the expert building skills of retired Professor James Pelzl who made the console and platform. Here too, a great amount of donated time and skill made this instrument a reality.

At the close of the concert the assembly was invited to the dining hall for an opportunity to speak to the faculty members who were retiring from teaching at ILC (Professors Paul Koch and Robert Rehm), Professor Paul Nolting who has accepted the Lord’s call to minister at Immanuel of Mankato, and Professor Dean Carstensen who is leaving his teaching career for a business career.


Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. President John Lau conducted the service and addressed the assembly with the words of 1 Corinthians 10:11-13. Attention was called to the Lord’s wondrous encouragement to those whom He has made His own through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. President Lau pointed out that it is indeed a blessed thing to have confidence that we are children of God, that we enjoy God’s blessings, and that we are eternally saved and are heirs of God.

Professor John Pfeiffer presented three Seminary graduates with the certificate of CRM (candidate for the Holy Ministry). Professor Clifford Kuehne presented the college department graduates with their diplomas: one with a B.A. degree; one with a B.S. degree; five with their A.A. degree. Professor Jeff Schierenbeck presented ten high school graduates with their diplomas. Pastor Vance Fossum, representing the Board of Regents, addressed the four instructors who will not return to teach this fall. He expressed to them the gratitude of the CLC for their dedicated ministries at ILC. Each was presented with a plaque and a purse of appreciation.

Note: Gordon Radtke graciously consented to serve as our reporter for graduation at Eau Claire. We thank him. The written report was slightly abridged by the editor.