2019 Called to Serve Recipients

LaVern '54 and Lois (Austin) '56 Nornes 

LaVern ’54 and Lois Nornes ’56 have spent their lives dedicated to the Lutheran faith. LaVern was a high school biology teacher, a driver’s education instructor and a high school hockey coach. Lois, a retired public school music teacher, was also director of music and senior choir director at their church, Transfiguration Lutheran. In addition to their involvement with the church, LaVern and Lois have been active in Meals on Wheels and Feed My Starving Children, among others. At Concordia they’ve been members of C400, the National Alumni Board and various committees and volunteer activities. They’ve received several awards from the college for their generous gifts and sponsor, in part, the Nornes Lectureship.

Gayle (Carpenter) Denny '76

Gayle Denny ’76 has served as the executive director of the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association since 1999. She previously worked in congregationally based early childhood center management and taught pre-K through college in a variety of public and private schools. She is a current board member of the Council for American Private Education (CAPE). She has devoted her life to being a member of the ELCA, and has served as a musician and choir member for various churches. Throughout her life, she has maintained her commitment to educating others, and serving both the church and her community. 

2016 Called to Serve Recipients

Jean (Pederson) Johnson

Jean Johnson '76 recently retired from 35 years of service to Windom Public Schools. She was awarded both the MCEA Region 2 Community Educator of Excellence Award and Windom Mayor Medal of Honor for Schools/Education in 2014. She co-founded the Child's Eye View Day Care Center and has participated in many community organizations. She is a member of the American Lutheran Church of Windom and has served as a lay assistant minister.

Barbara (Peterson) Prather

Barbara Prather '87 has served as the executive director of the Northeast Iowa Food Bank since 1999. She is the current chair of Iowa Food Bank Association and serves on the Met Transit Board. She currently serves in a variety of roles at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Hudson, Iowa. She is married to Jim Prather and they have a daughter, Stephanie, who will be a sophomore.


2015 Called to Serve Recipients

Rev. Arland Fiske

Arland Fiske '48 has served as parish pastor, theologian, mentor and author. He is a strong proponent of Scandinavian heritage, was on the board of directors for Luther Seminary, St. Paul, and was instrumental in developing the ELCA's Gifts program for lay leaders and the deacon program.



Marilon (Hafdahl) Anderson

Marilon Anderson '60 is a retired teacher, minister of music and former volunteer Lutheran school director. After a 40-year career as an elementary school teacher, Anderson volunteered to serve as the director of Grace Christian Academy, a small K-8 Lutheran school in Pasadena, Calif.


2014 Called to Serve Recipient

H. Ardell Knudsvig

Ardell Knudsvig '60 is the director of the Student Outreach Project for Applied Science and Technology at the U of M, Crookston, and a crop health specialist for the northwest district of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Knudsvig was a science teacher at Crookston High School from 1976 until his retirement in 1998. He was named Crookston Teacher of the Year three times and believed in challenging students through encouragement, commitment and working together – something he adheres to in his current role coordinating U of M, Crookston, faculty and students as they teach high school students in the areas of science and technology.