Nov. 13-17, 2023

St. Elizabeth Week is devoted to community activism and service. St. Elizabeth’s Week is usually 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 Knights Who Serve.

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.

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

2016: Kourtney Lilke, Anna Askegaard, Hailey Franzen

2017: Kennedy Haut, Andrea Leisinger, Jocelyn Keller

2018: Nick Arp, Kyera Love, Emma Bowman, Katie Linthicum

2019: Saffa Bockarie

2020: Jared Feigenbaum and Bree Gryp

2021: Rocio Amaro Marquez

2022: Rachel Green, Arinda Barthel, Jenna White, and Aloaye Abdul-Saliu

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, Engineering 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

Jenna Haglund, Visiting Assistant Professor of Social Work
Whitney Baker, Area Coordinator of Residential Life
Dr. Daniel Kittle, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students

Tony Smith, Associate Director of Alumni & Parent Relations
Jennifer Onuigbo, Student Life Office Coordinator
Craig Hancock, Professor of Music

Krystal Madlock, Multicultural Student Services
Tara Winter, Admissions
Steve Foelske, Maintenance 

Carrie Gleason, Camps, Conferences, Front Desk and Events Scheduling Manager 

Hope Elbert, office coordinator for Alumni & Parent Engagement

Rebecca Baird, pastoral intern
Butch McLey, maintenance

Dean Cockerham, deputy director, Safety & Security
Michaeleen Golay, associate professor of biology

2023 St. Elizabeth Week Events

Monday-Tuesday, Nov. 13-14
Buy a Rose for a Friend
11 a.m.-1 p.m., Student Center
Continue the magic of the Saint Elizabeth roses and purchase roses for your friends for just $3 each or 2 for $5.

Tuesday, Nov. 14
Shot in the Arm Documentary Screening
7-8:30 p.m., McCaskey Lyceum, Saemann Student Center
Join us for a special screening of a documentary by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Academy Award nominee Scott Hamilton Kennedy. Shot in the Arm explores vaccine hesitancy historically and in the context of our modern pandemic. Panel discussion led by Wartburg faculty members Dr. Stephanie Toering Peters, Dr. Daniel Walther and Dr. Caryn Riswold. Reservations required.

Roses can also be purchased during the screening. 

Wednesday, Nov. 15
Saint Elizabeth Chapel Service
10:15 a.m., Wartburg Chapel
Join us for Chapel while we detail the history of Saint Elizabeth and award the Saint Elizabeth and Pastor Trachte service awards.

Wednesday, Nov. 15 
Life Serve Campus Blood Drive with Tri Beta
2-5 p.m., Cardinal Commons
Every two seconds, someone needs blood in the U.S. Help patients of all ages by making a blood donatiion. 

Wednesday, Nov. 15
Knights to Know: Spotlight on Service
7 p.m., Virtual event
Hear from Alexis Oberdorfer, vice president of community engagement and partnerships at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota; Liza Gashi, deputy minister of foreign affairs and diaspora for the republic of Kosova; and the Rev. Emily Harkins Norris about their work serving the needs of others. Learn more at

Thursday-Friday, Nov. 16-17
Rose pick-up

Information Desk
Roses purchased earlier in the week will be available for pick up.