I’m using my skills to help meet the needs of those around me

(L to R) Rich, Laurie, Luke ’21, and Adam Everhardt stand in front of Old Main. Luke is in his graduation gown and holding his Wartburg diploma.
(L to R) Rich, Laurie, Luke ’21, and Adam Everhardt

NAME: Laurie Gitch Everhardt
MAJOR: Secondary education, American government, and American history 
CURRENTLY: Director of Development, Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa

WHY WARTBURG: I transferred to Wartburg at semester in my freshman year. I was looking for a smaller college with the opportunity to get involved in co-curricular activites to enhance my college experience.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WARTBURG TRADITION: While I was a student, it was Outfly! While I was working on campus, it became the tradition of the faculty lining up to “clap-in” the incoming first-year students at Opening Convocation AND doing the same to “clap-out” the graduates at Commencement. I literally cannot watch either without crying!

WHAT WAS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER IMAGINED YOU WOULD DO BEFORE COMING TO WARTBURG: I had never envisioned myself traveling abroad, but I was fortunate to spend my first May Term touring Europe with the “world famous” Wartburg College Concert Band. 

HOW DID YOUR WARTBURG EXPERIENCE PREPARE YOU FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE: I was involved in a variety of co-curricular activities while at Wartburg. I gained valuable experience in managing my time and also saw the worth in trying out new experiences.

HOW DO YOU STAY CONNECTED TO THE COLLEGE: I was blessed to work on campus in Alumni/Parent Relations, Annual Giving and Development for seven years. It was an opportunity to reconnect with friends, alumni and the Wartburg experience. My son, Luke is a 2021 grad and my husband, Rich, works in Information Technology Services, so I’m not sure I could disconnect! Serving on the Alumni Board will be a great complement.

HOW ARE YOU LIVING OUT THE WARTBURG MISSION: Ever since I started working for the YMCA in 1996, my career has been focused on service to the community. I’ve worked in variety of industries; community programming, health care, highter education, volunteer management and development/grant making, The common thread has been using my skills in a vocation that meets the needs of those around me. The Wartburg mission is all about helping each student find the place where their talents and passion can serve the needs of the world.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Be open and consider every opportunity that comes your way! Some peoples’ paths in life are linear, but many are not! I’ve spent most of my life working in positions I wasn’t even aware of in college.

WHY WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE WORTH IT: The liberal arts curriculum gave me a broad educational experience which has benefitting me post college. Early on, my career path detoured from education into nonprofit work and I’ve always felt prepared for the challenges of the various positions I’ve held.