Every other month we get an update on what’s been happening recently at our Immanuel
Lutheran High School, College and Seminary in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Up until the 1980-81 school year at ILC, when North Hall was built and then occupied in the second semester, the boys’ dormitory supervisors had routinely been college or seminary students. When the boys’ dormitory was located in Northwest Hall (no longer standing), Prof. Paul Naumann served as the supervisor while enrolled in college. CLC president Rev. Michael Eichstadt served next in that same capacity while attending Immanuel Lutheran Seminary. This pattern of the past is about to be repeated when Gus Falkenberg returns to Immanuel Lutheran College this fall as a part-time student who takes on the duties of serving as the next dormitory supervisor of North Hall. He replaces Brian Fox, who concluded his service at Immanuel shortly after graduation.
Gustave Falkenberg comes back to ILC seventeen years after his last stint as a part-time college student preparing himself to enter the seminary. After graduating from UW-Madison in 1999, he spent three semesters at Immanuel Lutheran College taking pre-theological courses in Greek, Hebrew, and religion. A change in plans, however, saw him forego seminary enrollment and instead obtain a post-graduate degree in library and information science. During his time away from Immanuel, he and his wife Karen have lived in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls. They have three children, the oldest of which will continue as a 10th grade student at Immanuel and live in South Hall, the girls’ dormitory.
As for Gus, his enrollment as a student will unfold in a gradual way. He is scheduled to take three college courses in the fall semester and two college courses in the spring semester. His part-time load will allow him to learn the ropes of supervising and mentoring the high-school boys under his care. His predecessor, Brian Fox, was in a similar situation as he took part-time college classes at ILC to gain CLC certification as a Christian day school teacher in our fellowship. Earlier this year, Brian accepted the divine call to serve as teacher and principal of Valley Bible Academy at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Clarkston, Washington, where he will put his course work at ILC to practical use.
God willing, Gus will enter the seminary in the fall of 2019 and follow a similar path as that which Pastor Michael Eichstadt followed forty years ago. A main difference, of course, will be Gus’s family status—and about twenty more years of life experience. Gus looks forward to the challenges of his dual role as student and supervisor. His motivation to be the dorm parent has much to do with the positive impact that his dorm parent had on him when he attended Immanuel Lutheran High School and lived in North Hall himself. He hopes to have a similar impact on the resident students under his care.
Four years from now he may be in a similar position as Brian, that of leaving ILC to serve elsewhere in the kingdom work of our Lord and His Church. For the outgoing and the incoming dorm parents of North Hall, we seek from our Lord His continued blessing in the callings these men now have, and the work that they will do for Him.
Steven Sippert is president of Immanuel Lutheran College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.