Richard '64 and Joann (Harr) Hemp '65
In the fall of 2020, Regent Emeritus Richard "Dick" Hemp '64 and his spouse, Joann Harr Hemp '65, decided to establish an endowment for Luther College through a planned gift. "We had been thinking about how the humanities is such a critical element in student preparation for our vastly changing global society and economy and wanted to support the college in perpetuity by creating a chair in the humanities."
Long considered a core element of a well-rounded education, the study of humanities encourages students to think creatively and critically, to reason, and to ask tough questions. Luther College encourages students to wrestle with challenges throughout all disciplines while exploring questions about faith and values.
The recipient of the Hemp Family Chair in the Humanitiesto be selected by recommendation from Luther's chief academic officer and appointed by Luther's presidentwill be a tenured member of the faculty in a humanities discipline such as, but not limited to, classic and modern languages, literature, history, philosophy, religion, ethics, and the arts. The recipient will also embrace and embody Luther's mission statement; support and practice the college's approach to education, building community around a lively and inclusive conversation of faith and learning; and participate in and encourage a balanced dialogue to develop an active and engaged citizenry.
"Endowed professorships and chairs are of the utmost importance to Luther's mission. They exemplify the commitment our alumni donors have to the philosophy and value of the liberal arts, enhance the academic character of the college, support the development of leadership in the teaching profession, and enrich the intellectual life of our students," said President Jenifer K. Ward. "I am grateful to Dick and Joann Hemp for their extraordinary dedication to their alma mater and their foresight in establishing the Hemp Family Chair in the Humanities, which will ensure that Luther College continues to benefit from generous curricular and programmatic offerings in the humanistic disciplines."
In addition to underwriting a portion of the professor's salary, the fund will be used to provide support for student/faculty research projects, travel for professional reasons, and activities to enhance knowledge, ability to teach, and reputation in the discipline.
Dick and Joann have funded the Hemp Family Chair in the Humanities with a planned gift of $1,500,000. "Throughout our lifelong journey, we have seen the value of studying humanities for developing students' ability to use critical thinking, writing skills, analysis, and creativity in preparation for their callings. We are thrilled to support Luther College in this way."