Leading the Way, Like Luther

Courtesy Alycia Ashburn

Luther College President Richard Torgerson with Alycia Ashburn after receiving his award. Courtesy Alycia Ashburn

Last night I had the rare privilege of dining with the president of my alma mater, Luther College, as he accepted a well-deserved Climate Leadership Award from Second Nature on the college’s behalf. 

While I’d met President Richard Torgerson a couple of times before at alumni gatherings, I hadn’t had the opportunity to talk with him about the extensive sustainability efforts that the college has undergone during his tenure. And there have been a lot of such efforts to discuss. Nor had I been able to ask him about his experience as an entomologist. I was keen to find out if his love for bugs was inspired by a great professor, as mine was by Dr. Kirk Larsen in the biology department at Luther. It takes a special person, after all, to get others excited about God’s creepy crawly little creatures and to use that excitement to launch a lifelong commitment to environmental stewardship.