Nov. 13-17, 2016

St. Elizabeth Week is devoted to community activism and service. St. Elizabeth’s Week is always celebrated the week of Nov. 17 (the anniversary of her death) in conjunction with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week.  Service-related activities are planned throughout the week by the St. Elizabeth’s Committee, which involves student representatives from Habitat for Humanity, Manna, Campus Ministry, Students for Peace and Justice, Student Senate, and the Volunteer Action Center.

History of St. Elizabeth
Born in 1207, Elizabeth married Ludwig of Thuringia, the landgrave of the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany. Through her commitment to a life of service, Elizabeth is known for developing a hospital near the castle and feeding up to 900 poor people who came to the castle gates each day. St. Elizabeth is associated with the legend of The Miracle of the Roses. According to the legend, she smuggled bread and leftovers from the castle kitchen to share with the poor. The practice was forbidden, so she hid the food in her robes. When accosted by suspicious courtiers on one of these trips, they demanded she open her robes. When she did so, the hidden bread had turned to roses. She was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church after her death in 1231.

St. Elizabeth Connections

Wartburg College has many connections with St. Elizabeth. Widely regarded as the first social worker, St. Elizabeth shares a connection with Wartburg’s social work program, which is the oldest in the State of Iowa.

In addition to this week of service, other college organizations and locations share St. Elizabeth’s namesake. The women’s choir is named The St. Elizabeth Chorale. One of the campus ballrooms is named The St. Elizabeth Ballroom.

Past recipients are listed later on this page.

St. Elizabeth Week Events

All weekClothing DriveHave unnecessary or unwanted shoes or articles of clothing? Look for collection locations at residence halls and donate your shoes or clothes to a great cause!Penny Drive for ProfessorsRaise money to alleviate local homelessness by placing loose change in designated jars around campus. Dr. Bechtel, Dr. Nelson and Dean Kittle have volunteered to participate—whichever professor’s jar has the most money donated will dress as St. Elizabeth for a day of classes!

Stop n’ Serve (Saemann Student Center) 
Stop by and write cards for children in poverty. These will be sent to the NE Iowa Food Bank, where they will be distributed to families that get supplies from them.

Sunday, Nov. 13 St. Elizabeth’s Week Launch (Chapel Commons)6 to 8 p.m.Live music, food, and information about serving and St. Elizabeth Week!St. Elizabeth Festival Worship Service10:30 to 11:30 a.m.Join us in the Chapel as we begin the celebration of St. Elizabeth Week with our St. Elizabeth Chorale, Psalm 149, and a special message to begin the week.Monday, Nov. 14Bread Night (Residence hall kitchens)7 p.m.Come get free bread in your dorm’s kitchen and learn more about events during St. Elizabeth Week!

Tuesday, Nov. 15

Northeast Iowa Food Bank Backpack Pack (W Fieldhouse)

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Stop by to fill bags of food and essential items that will be sent to northeastern Iowa families. Take as little as 15 minutes to an hour of your time to serve those who are in need. Email us at to sign up for an email reminder!

Food for Hoops (Levick Arena)

7 p.m.
Food drive held during home basketball game. Bring canned foods or nonperishable items to donate to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank when you come to watch the Knights play basketball.

Wednesday, Nov. 16

St. Elizabeth Chapel & Award Ceremony (Wartburg Chapel)

10:45 a.m.
St. Elizabeth Award for Service and Pastor Larry Trachte Award for Service Award recipients will be recognized during the chapel service

St. Elizabeth Sanctuary Service (Chapel Commons)

9 p.m.
Celebrate with us during a special Sanctuary gathering!

Thursday, Nov. 17

Voices of the Issues Panel (McCaskey Lyceum)

11:30 a.m.
Hunger and homelessness are present in our own community. Come engage in dialogue with those who work closely with people experiencing these situations.

Orange Band Social Issue Awareness Initiative (during panel discussion)

What issue will you take a stand for? Share your views and listen to the views of others through intentional conversations about things that really matter in our society today.


St. Elizabeth Award for Service

The St. Elizabeth Award for Service is intended to recognize student members of our community that have exemplified a commitment to service. Members of the Wartburg community are invited to nominate students who live out that commitment to service in, with, and for the community.

2000: Sarah Speltz, Luther Bartelt, Sara Kluender, Andrea Payne, Amanda Porter

2001: No information

2002: Emily Speltz, Suzy Piel, Danielle Dyvig, Austin Roberts, Latasha Hamlet

2003: Kelly Dotson, Erin Hedeen, Derek Riley, Matt Townsley, Hilary (last name unknown)

2004: No information

2005: Brian McCarty, ’06, Shigeru Ota ‘07, Erin Yoder ‘07, Marcella McCormick (student life staff).

2006: Dr. Tammy Faux, Dr. Scott Fullwiler, Beth Engelbrecht, Tyler Vachta ’08, Kara Aanenson ‘06, Vern Klobassa ‘07

2007: Linda Smith, Campus Visit Coordinator in Admissions, Dr. Jeff Stein, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts, Andy Bell, ’08, Brian Borchers, ’08, Sarah Dentlinger, ’09, Jessica Foster, ’08 and Ryan Hahn, ’08, Alicia Henry, ’08, Krystina Irvin, ’08, Timothy Maybee, ’09, Janna McClintock, ’08, Tarra Norem, ’08, Zakh Ward, ’10, Jill Wiebke, ’09.

2008: Nate Palmolea ’09, Biology Major; Randon Ruggles ’09, Education Major; Jean Buckingham, Events and Scheduling Coordinator, Jim Ohmstede, Broadcast Engineer; Dr. Tammy Faux, Assistant Professor of Social Work;  Rev. Larry Trachte, College Pastor.

2009:  Amy Tucker, ’10, Community Sociology Major; Kartika Putri, ’11, Music Performance Major; Abbie Smith, ’10, Biology Major; Krystal Madlock, Director of Student Diversity Programs; Dr. Kathy Book, Associate Professor of Education. Honorable Mentions included: Eboni Coates, ’11, Emily Johnson, ’10, Haley Hanson, ’12, Kristin Huinker, ’11; Beth Goskesen, Clinton Resident Hall Director; Dr. Tammy Faux, Associate Professor of Social Work & Dr. Fred Ribich, Professor of Psychology.

2010: Haley Jo Hanson, ’12, Kristin Huinker, ’11, Angie Mullenbach, ’11

2011: JoHanna Smrcina, ’12 Kelsey Nulph, ’14, Michael Stevensen, ’12

2014: Jenna Manders ‘15

2015: Michaela McIlravy, Angela Zook, and Kaitlyn Behnken

Pastor Trachte (PT) Award for Service

After 35 years of faithful service, Pastor Larry Trachte (fondly referred to as PT) retired from Wartburg College in May 2009. He taught, mentored, honored, and befriended thousands of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. In honor of his retirement and dedication to service The Pastor Larry Trachte Award for Service is given during St. Elizabeth’s Week to staff and/or faculty whom embody PT’s enthusiasm, support, involvement, dedication and overall commitment to Wartburg’s mission of service.

Elizabeth Goskesen, Residential Life Hall Coordinator
Dr. Bill Withers, Professor of Communication Arts


Bernard Holland, Security Officer
Terry Letsche, Professor of Computer Science 


Chris Knudson, Marketing and Communication
Susan Vallem, Professor of Social Work

LeAnn Faidley, Engineer Science
William Soesbe, Education
Pastor Brian Beckstrom, Spiritual Life and Campus MInistry

Gloria Campbell, Business Department
Kathy Traetow, Study Abroad Office
Revs. Bonita and Nelson Bock, Wartburg West