Pool of Remembrance

Pool of Remembrance

More than 300 stones from locations across the United States and around the world fill the Pool of Remembrance on the west side of the Wartburg Chapel. Sent by congregations and institutions, the stones signify the important link between the college and the people who provide Wartburg with students and support its mission with their prayers and gifts.

Note to church leaders and parents: Help your ELCA congregation support young adults as they pursue their education at a Lutheran college or university by starting or supporting a congregational scholarship program. If you would like some ideas on how to do this, contact the Admissions Office at 800-772-2085 or via email at

Educational Partners in Covenant

Wartburg’s EPIC (Educational Partnerships in Covenant) program is a cooperative venture with congregations of the three Iowa synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Iowa. The EPIC program refers to a matching grant program that is available to ELCA congregations across the United States.

ELCA Congregations: Individual congregations who are new to EPIC enroll in the program by filling out the enrollment form and annually completing a participation form listing student names and the amount of the congregational gift.  Wartburg College will match congregational gifts up to $750 per academic year per student.

Who can qualify? Any full-time student who is a member of an ELCA congregation and who has fulfilled their congregation’s requirements to receive an EPIC gift from the congregation.  Students and families who are interested should first of all be in conversation with their congregations.  Congregations that already participate in EPIC need to fill out an annual Participation Form and return it to EPIC Coordinator, 100 Wartburg Blvd., Waverly, IA, 50677.

Adopt-a-Church Program

Our Adopt-a-Church program offers other options for Orange Ambassadors. Alumni volunteers establish a connection with their church or other churches they may be involved in their area to act as a recruiter for all prospective and admitted students, in addition to acting as local Wartburg resources for church leaders. Activities include delivering Wartburg messages  in the Sunday bulletin, making congratulatory calls to admitted students and representing Wartburg at their adopted church.

Suggested Calendar of Activities

September – October: Post messages in your church bulletin. Have a brief 15 minute meeting with the church leaders. Introduce them to Wartburg College and what we are all about! Leave packets with and introduction letter for prospective students to pick up when interested. You can order a packet by contacting the Admissions Office. Talk with your pastor about inviting an admissions representative to come to your church to talk about Wartburg.

November – December: Answer calls/questions from prospective students and encourage students from your church to apply to Wartburg. Encourage youth in your community to attend Christmas with Wartburg. Encourage your congregation to participate in the EPIC program.

January - March: Receive rosters of admitted students. Make congratulatory calls and send postcards, letters or emails to encourage students to enroll.

April: Make a secondary contact to all admitted students. If you have the resources, offer to meet for coffee or dessert with the student and his/her parents to discuss what your Wartburg degree has meant to you. Talk informally about Wartburg college and encourage the student to attend a campus visit.

May – August: Attend graduation parties and ceremonies you will be invited to as a Wartburg representative for incoming students you worked with. Perhaps go the extra mile and organize a summer send off picnic, brunch, or reception for incoming students in your area.


The Graven Award is funded by the Judge Henry N. and Helen T. Graven Endowment for The Ministry of the Laity: The Church in the World and goes to a person “whose life is nurtured and guided by a strong sense of Christian calling and who is making a significant contribution to community, church and society.”

Judge Henry N. and his wife, Helen T. Graven, were lay people from Greene, Iowa, who made significant contributions to the church, including the outline for the first pension plan for workers of the church. Mr. Graven, a federal Judge in Iowa, along with his brother, did much of the legal work in the combining of three separate Wartburg College sites into one.

The Gravens’ son Lloyd, an economic research consultant, spoke about his father’s work as a federal district judge. He said, “Long before the U.S. Supreme Court started ruling on Civil Rights issues, my father fined the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake for not letting a black man in.” He also said that his father believed it was important for Christians to contribute to society.

Wartburg College Graven Award Recipients:   

1990 Arnold R. Mickelson, general secretary, American Lutheran Church
1991 Anne H. Carlsen, superintendent, Lutheran Hospitals and Homes Societies, champion of rights for children and adults with physical handicaps
1992 Reinhold P. Marxhausen, educator (art and biology at Concordia, Seward)
1993 William H. Foege, physician, Centers for Disease Control, credited with the global strategy that led to the eradication of smallpox and national education about vaccines
1994 Ralston Deffenbaugh Jr., president of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services and Lutheran World Federation’s assistant general secretary for International Affairs and Human Rights, Department for Theology and Public Witness
1995 Weston H. Noble, musician, educator, entrepreneur
1996 James J. Raun, executive director of Lutheran Services
1997 Henry W. Foster, physician, educator, provided national model for providing prenatal and postnatal care to thousands of poor families
1998 Anne Knutson Kanten, Secretary of Agriculture for state of Minnesota
1999 Her Excellency Anna Josephine Mkapa, first lady of Tanzania and advocate for children
2000 Gen. John W. Vessey, United States Army, served as chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
2001 Neil and Lillian Williams, medical missionaries in Tanzania
2002 William Fintel, oncologist, educator, writer
2003 Gaylord Thomas, director of ELCA’s Hunger Grants and Loan programs and director of Africa Continental Desk/program director for East Africa Global Mission of the ELCA
2004 Carl Schalk, hymn writer, educator, musician
2005 David Scheie, Iowa broadcast journalist, community service, congregational service
2006 Robert D. Ray, former governor of Iowa
2007 K.D. Briner, judge, educator, champion of liberal arts education
2008 Greg Mortenson, author and activist who built schools for girls in Pakistan
2009 Robert F. Kennedy Jr., recognized for environmental work and his children’s book about St. Francis
2010 Lane Shetterly, served as Oregon State House representative and director of the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
2011 Jane K. Rodeheffer, philosopher, educator, involvement in Catholic Workers House movement
2012 Kenneth Inskeep, sociologist, director of Research and Evaluation, ELCA
2013 James C. Ellefson, federal judge in Iowa, congregational leadership, community service
2014 Michael Dennis Browne, poet, educator, librettist
2015 Dr. Elijah Anderson, urban ethnologist, educator about racism, Yale University
2016 Bruce Weber, men’s basketball coach, Kansas State University
2017 Diane Levy Jacobson, professor emerita, Luther Seminary
2018 Gloria Kirkland Holmes, associate professor of early childhood education, University of Northern Iowa

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons