Skip to content

ILC School Opening —

Induction of Four New Professors

Opening ceremonies at Immanuel Lutheran College on August 26 reminded me of Jesus’ question to His disciples: “When I sent you . . . lacked ye anything?” And they said: “Nothing” (Lk 22:35). Four new faculty members inducted by Chairman Vance Fossum; organ accompaniment by John Reim; group singing; address by ILC President John Lau; students glad to see ach other; parents go home with emptied cars. Pretty exciting, huh?

Not as thrilling to the senses as the Wisconsin Harley Owners’ Group convention and parade just ended in Eau Claire; not as flamboyant as our political conventions. But Pres. Lau brought perspective to our modest opening ceremony with Acts 4:13: “Being with Jesus.” Actually, we lacked nothing.

Pres. Lau reminded us that being with Jesus is our need and our goal at ILC. To the charge and query whether they were ready to promise to serve by faith and devotedness, the four newly called professors responded with the modest but stout “I am!” Faculty and student body voiced their support in the same way: simple, short, direct, and lacking nothing.

Gifts Of God

Let me introduce you to each of the new professors, gifts of God, witnesses unto Jesus.

* Prof. Joseph Lau, the youngest of the new quad, finished the ILC BS program in ’89, gained an MA in History at Univ. of Wis.-Eau Claire in ’91, and has taught both at Messiah of Eau Claire and Holy Trinity of W. Columbia, SC. His ILC subjects range from 9th English to a large variety of college Education Methods courses. He and Julie (nee Sippert) have three young children. Joe’s father, David Lau, has been an ILC professor for five years, so we have a father and son team here.

Prof. Lau claims that his interest in social studies was sparked already at ILC by his teachers. We anticipate this influence will continue to another generation. His enjoyment of team sports will be registered with 9/10 boys’ Phy Ed and wherever else his talents are directed.

* Prof. Ross Roehl, a ’79 ILC graduate from the three-year Education program, also the son of an ILC faculty member (Prof. Ronald Roehl has 37 years seniority at ILC!), joins the faculty with seventeen years of teaching experience gained at Holy Trinity of W. Columbia, Gethsemane of Saginaw, and Luther Memorial of Fond du Lac, Wis. Prof. Roehl’s subjects center on math and science in both high school and college, and Education Methods classes for education students, with some coaching just for fun. He will also be the ILC faculty supervisor of the student teaching program, the nine weeks’ hands-on teaching tour for ILC seniors in the BS education program.

Prof. Roehl anticipates doing some coaching of basketball and baseball (just like Dad!), while fishing and computer activities are favored when time allows for hobbies. Ross and Lynette (nee’ Hulke) have two pre-school children.

* Prof. Paul Schaller returns to ILC after 24 years in the pastoral ministry served at St. Stephen of East Bay, San Francisco, Calif., St. John’s of Clarkston, Wash. and Trinity of Spokane, Wash. Prof. Schaller is a fifth-generation Schaller to serve as Lutheran clergyman/educator and shares his grandfather’s gifts as musician. His subjects range from 10th Religion and 2nd year German to college English, history, and music. Paul and Nona (nee Thurow) have three children: Jeanine, an ILC alumna, David in the Seminary, and Julie in 9th grade. Prof. Schaller enjoys preaching, teaching, and almost anything connected with music.

* Prof. Michael Sydow completes the quad. His 31 years in the ministry began in 1965 at Holy Cross of Phoenix, continued at St. Paul’s of Winner, So. Dak., Faith of Ballwin, Mo., Redeemer of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Faith of Markesan, Wis. Prof. Sydow’s classes include three high school subjects and a variety of cycling college subjects in addition to his calling as Dean of Students. Mike and Kathy (nee Firle) have three surviving children, the youngest currently a student at ILC.

Prof. Sydow has had a full range of background for being professor and Dean. He himself has been an ILC student and graduate. He served on the Board of Regents for twelve years. He sent three children to live away from home at ILC. Prof. Sydow will also serve as faculty advisor of the Thespians and of the Spring Musical. His hobbies range from light reading to sports officiating, all of which are done with vigor, good humor, and a dramatic flair.

We rejoice that the Lord has blessed ILC with these talented and dedicated men who will use even their “free time” to coach ILC sports activities and supervise other extra-curriculars. They will probably get enlisted to become drivers of the ILC buses too. Hallelujah, and God bless them, one and all!

Prof. em. Paul R. Koch