Wartburg News

New chair will be bestowed at Wartburg during Reformation Day Oct. 31

Wartburg College will bestow a new distinguished chair during a Reformation Day celebration Thursday, Oct. 31.

The Mike and Marge McCoy Family Distinguished Chair in Lutheran Heritage and Mission will be bestowed upon the Rev. Dr. Kathryn Kleinhans, professor of religion, at 11:30 a.m. in the Wartburg Chapel.  

The Rev. Dr. Stanley Olson, president of Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, will deliver remarks. The event will feature music by Dr. Karen Black, college organist, and the Wartburg Choir. The public is invited to attend.

The chair was made possible by the largest outright, non-estate gift to the college — a  $2 million donation from Mike and Marge McCoy of Ellison Bay, Wis., who also will be honored. The McCoys are parents of two Wartburg graduates. He is a former executive vice president and chief financial officer of Hormel Foods.

Kleinhans, a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is a highly respected scholar with expertise on the theology of Martin Luther and the Lutheran Confessions. She has taught at Wartburg since 1993. 

The distinguished endowed chair — the second at Wartburg — is intended to support the four pillars of the college’s mission — leadership, service, faith and learning — and strengthen its commitment to vocation.

Olson served as bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for eight years and also was ELCA executive director for vocation and education. He is a graduate of Waldorf and St. Olaf colleges and holds a doctorate from Yale University.

Reformation Day commemorates the beginning of the Protestant movement on Oct. 31, 1517, when Luther posted the “95 Theses” on a castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany.