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Commencement ceremonies set for May 12

California Lutheran University will hold separate 2023 commencement ceremonies for 1,217 undergraduate and graduate students on Friday, May 12, in William Rolland Stadium on the Thousand Oaks campus.

Howie Wennes

Treasured memories

The Cal Lutheran community lost one of its most treasured members when the Rev. Dr. Howard Wennes died on July 12, 2022.

Rev. Scott Adams and Bishop Brenda Bos

Seeing one another

“Rev. Scott,” as he is known, is the university’s first Black pastor and the first non-Lutheran to hold the post.

Enormous Luther Statue

A landmark gift

The Rod Gilbert Achievement Scholarship fund allows the university to assist up to 100 students in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 over the next eight years.

Sign for help outside of monastery in Kyiv, Ukraine

On a mission

To the Rev. Rachel Eskesen ’04, MA, MDiv ’14, the work of a pastor can look remarkably similar to the work of an English professor.

Photo of Lorri Santamaría with students at a Black History Month kickoff event.

Strategic plan in action

Cal Lutheran’s 2022-2027 Strategic Plan, developed with input from all members of the university community, outlines the university's top priorities.

Lori Varlotta

A faith-friendly focus on the future

The intersection where future-focused meets faith-friendly is unique in higher education. It is the special place where Cal Lutheran lives and thrives. I believe we can “own” this space by making it one of our true...

Lorrie Brown

Balancing the narrative in Ventura

Being an effective public servant and improving the human condition has always been an objective for Lorrie Brown ’07, MPPA ’09, whether that means working in government or helping people discover their purpose.

In Memoriam

Judith K. Larsen (1942-2022), Joyce Ann Geeting (1944-2022), Jerry L. Schmalenberger (1934-2022), James Gottlieb Wenzel (1926-2022)

TOLD Foundation President Rod Gilbert

TOLD Foundation donates $2.5M

California Lutheran University has received $2.5 million to provide scholarships to accomplished students from low- and middle-income families.

From left, Regent Ann Boynton '83, President Lori E. Varlotta, PhD, Bishop Deborah Hutterer, MDiv, and the Rev. Jim Bessey '66, MDiv, participate in the Feb. 27 installation ceremony.

Coming together

The academic, spiritual and ceremonial events celebrating the inauguration of President Lori E. Varlotta, PhD — delayed by the pandemic — were opportunities to restate her vision for the campus. Cal Lutheran is...

Point Mugu, California

Microfiber pollution

Bits of your pants, shirts, socks and fleece jackets are polluting local waters. Cal Lutheran biology students have discovered this disturbing fashion dilemma as part of a scientific research project. For the past four...

Festivalgoers can wander through an authentic Viking village and a Sami siidastallan, or community gathering. Photo: Tracie Karasik

Scandinavian Festival back after 3 years

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — May 23, 2022) The largest Nordic festival in Southern California will return to California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks on June 4 and 5 after a two-year absence caused by the...

Photo: Courtesy of Cal Lutheran Sports Information

Alumna named Cal Lutheran athletic director

Photo: Courtesy of Cal Lutheran Sports Information Alumna Holly Roepke ’14 has been named director of athletics at Cal Lutheran. A former soccer standout and member of the Alumni Association Athletic Hall of Fame, the...

IWL scholarship recipients Naomi Mbise and Julia Raszka have had a profound impact on the Cal Lutheran community. Photo: Obinna Anyanwu

Women of the world unite

Under normal circumstances, recipients of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America college scholarships for international women meet once a year in Chicago to network and share ideas. Everyone has a plan to help their...

President Lori E. Varlotta Photo: Tracie Karasik

Moving forward with promising plans

Seems fitting for me to write this column on the first day of spring. Just as the season is marked by the promise of renewal and hope, so are many of the projects and events we have undertaken this year.

Double alumnus Ken Magdaleno '89, MS '96, EdD, reentered college as an older adult and credits the support he got at Cal Lutheran for his academic success. Photo: Courtesy of Ken Magdaleno '89, MS '96, EdD

The journey continues

Being at Oxford University in England, speaking at Oxford Union Hall, was a once-in-a-lifetime, out-of-body experience. Yet there I was, a member of the “Oxford Round Table,” in 2005. Very little in my life could have...

Kathie (Schaap '89) Hale started her Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim run at the Grand Canyon's South Rim at 2:30 a.m. Photo: Courtesy of Kathie (Schaap '89) Hale

Realizing a personal victory

Kathie (Schaap ’89) Hale started her Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim run at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim at 2:30 a.m. Photo: Courtesy of Kathie (Schaap ’89) Hale When Kathie (Schaap ’89) Hale met her...

Amanda ElBassiouny thrives alongside her students as they explore the things that first drew her to study psychology. Photo: Erik Hagen

Love of learning

Nearly four years after joining the Cal Lutheran faculty as an assistant professor of psychology, Amanda ElBassiouny, PhD, likes to joke that she’s a senior.

Indigenous educators Steven Garcia and Kathy Willcuts lead a land-intention ceremony that involved a walk from south to north campus. Photo: Safi Aryan

Respecting history

In the wind air water soil sky sun moonStars planets animals birds memoriesLaughter tearsThis Indian past this Indian futureWaits  — John Trudell, Lakota activist and poet As the wind exhaled, it shook the grounds...

Cal Lutheran alumna, Angelica K. Chavez, EdD ’14, joined the Simi Valley Unified School District in July as its inaugural coordinator of diversity, equity, inclusion and humanities. Courtesy of Angelica K. Chavez, EdD ’14

Cultivating inclusivity

Courtesy of Angelica K. Chavez, EdD ’14 A new position is rapidly becoming an important part of the organizational landscape: chief diversity officer. Companies, nonprofits and educational institutions have become...

Teketa Bellamy hosted an online spoken word event in March 2022. Photo: Obinna Anyanwu

With community backing, students take on racism

As one of four CSBL recipients in 2021-22, Jaden Lyons launched the “Making Cents” financial literacy program. Photo: Obinna Anyanwu Growing up in Los Angeles, Jaden Lyons came to the conclusion that his Black community...

Helen Ahn Lim of Simi Valley received the 2022 President’s Award for Teaching Excellence during Honors Convocation. Photo: Brian Stethem

Top Cal Lutheran teaching honor awarded

Helen Ahn Lim of Simi Valley received the 2022 President’s Award for Teaching Excellence during Honors Convocation. Photo: Brian Stethem (THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — May 3, 2022) A criminology and criminal justice professor...