Retiring Dr. Sigrid Luther receives sweet parting gift

| April 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

By Meredith Kreigh
Managing Editor

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Drs. David and Sigrid Luther / photo by Jessalyn Pierce

The Alumni Association surprised Drs. David and Sigrid Luther during Voices Uplifted, a choral concert on Friday, March 21.

All of the alumni and past members of chorale filled the stage as the performance ended with a tradition: everyone singing “When I Survey.” Once the song ended, the Luthers were called onto the stage. Arm-in-arm, they strode to the center. There, daughter Kelly Stultz first presented her mother with an original watercolor from Susan Wilhoit, an adjunct professor.

Wilhoit, who has been painting with watercolors since college, said she was honored to give this gift to Dr. Sigrid Luther.

“I love them dearly and have since we met in college. When Kelly asked me to do this, I was sworn to secrecy and she wanted to make sure that I would ‘face it where mom taught,’” Wilhoit said.

The painting is of Rudd Auditorium’s main entrance and focuses on the window in Dr. Sigrid Luther’s studio.

To her father, Stultz presented a framed letter from Dan Forrest, a Christian composer and musician, and also one of his favorite composers. This letter promised an original choral piece that is to include some of his favorite scripture; Dr. Sigrid Luther mentioned Joshua 1:9 as a distinct possibility.

It will be an original arrangement to premiere during homecoming on Oct. 11.

“While dad had the signed letter, mom was really the focus of the night. With her retirement, we wanted to show her how much she is appreciated,” Stultz said.

Stultz arranged the honors for her parents, commissioning both Wilhoit and Forrest nearly a year ago. A card that she gave her parents after the two gifts, included the names of everyone who had donated to this project. According to Stultz, there were nearly 50 names on that list and more have given donations since. Stultz, along with the Alumni Association, will continue to accept donations until Aug. 1.

“This is such an outpouring of love. To be on the receiving end is truly incredible,” Dr. Sigrid Luther said.

The entire project cost $4,250. Donations that exceed this amount will be given to the Bryan Scholarship Fund.

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