About the Center

The Richard L. and Judith A. Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies is an endowed program established in 2018 with the appointment of its first director. The Center promotes Luther College’s relationship with modern Norway and other Nordic countries; provides transformative learning opportunities for students and faculty; and collaborates on programming with the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. The Center works in tandem with the college’s Nordic Studies program to provide excellent education in language, history, politics and literature.

With the generous support of a lead gift from O. Jay and Patricia A. Tomson, the Torgerson Center was established in recognition of the Luther College sesquicentennial and to honor former Luther College President Richard L. Torgerson and Mrs. Judith Torgerson for their 14 years of exceptional leadership. The Tomsons are long-time friends of the college and are the parents of Marti (Tomson) Rodamaker, Luther class of 1984 and Regent Emerita.

The work of the Torgerson Center is guided by the following Core Values:

  • Rooted and forward-thinking - The Torgerson Center honors Luther College’s Norwegian heritage while commending the Nordic region’s status as a contemporary global leader in its emphasis on the common good.
  • Global education - As a community of learners, Luther students and faculty benefit greatly from cross-cultural study, and the Torgerson Center facilitates such learning in the Nordic region.
  • Partnerships - On campus, in Decorah, nationally, and abroad, the Center fosters collaborative relationships.
  • Place - Decorah, a town with a strong Norwegian heritage and home to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, makes Luther College uniquely positioned to support an exceptional Center for Nordic Studies.