Greetings from your 50th Reunion Committee,

According to recent PLU grad Nick Etzell ’23, vocation is “creating a life which balances monetary needs, service to the world and outlets for joy. Sometimes all of those can be the same thing.”

As part of the Wild Hope Fellows Program, Nick led rich discussions with his peers about vocation – a topic that has become distinctive of a PLU education. As the PLU Class of 1973 Executive Committee, each of us feel strongly about the value of the Wild Hope Center for Vocation.

In honor of our 50th reunion, we invite you to join us as classmates to invest in the futures and vocational discernment of all those who come through PLU.

As a member of the Class of 1973, you understand the seriousness of purpose and desire to live a life of deeper meaning and contribution. We graduated from PLU during a highly conflicted time in U.S. history. Within this context, we made decisions about our future career paths, many of us feeling called to make an impact on the world around us but unsure of how.

History is certainly still in the making today, and current PLU students have unique support in identifying their roles in the world. Since 2003, The Wild Hope Center for Vocation has provided workshops and seminars guiding students through exploration of their deeper purpose through reflection, curiosity and wonder.

PLU is one of three schools in Washington State that offers this type of support for exploring vocation. This is a distinctive dimension of a PLU education that sets our alma mater apart and adds value above and beyond a major and minor.

Vocation is part of everyone’s life, whether you are aware of it or not. This is why Wild Hope programming extends beyond students to support staff, faculty and other community members through similar vocational discernment.

The far-reaching impact of vocation is why we’re reaching out today. For our 50th reunion, our goal is to establish an endowed fund for the future of Wild Hope programming. With your help, we know we can accomplish the ambitious and impactful goal of raising $50,000 by December 31.

Our class collectively raising an endowment of this size will provide stipends for student fellowships and cover the cost of participation at multiple vocation seminars for students, staff and faculty each year. These seminars and workshops are transformative experiences for all participants. Your gift will help ignite the spark of purpose and guide participants toward fulfilling futures.

Join us and our classmates to ensure there is space for current and future Lutes to ask big questions, challenge themselves and lean into inspiration. Make your gift of any amount by December 31 to leave an enduring legacy of enriching experiences at PLU.

As Nick explains about Wild Hope programming, “We work together to learn more about what we can do for the world and what the world needs from us.” With your gift today, you are creating rich opportunities for students and the communities they serve.

If you have any questions or would like to connect about the work of the Wild Hope Center for Vocation, please reach out to Dr. Samuel Torvend ’73, Director of External Relations for the Center, at

Thank you for your support and care of this purposeful work.

Dr. Samuel Torvend
Ms. Nikki Martin
Dr. Dale Soden
PLU Class of 1973 Executive Committee

P.S. This academic year, students will be challenged to explore their purpose in life — and the Wild Hope Center for Vocation will help guide them. Your gift by December 31 is an investment into the vocational discernment and futures for all those who come through PLU.

Join your classmates in creating a legacy for PLU students!

Celebrate your 50th reunion through impact:
Your gift by December 31 will help reach our goal of raising $50,000 that will establish an endowed fund for the future of Wild
Hope Center for Vocation programming. At this level, the endowment will help provide the following every year:

  • Wild Hope Student Fellows: 2 paid positions for juniors to study vocation and lead projects on campus
  • What’s Next Seminar: 1 cohort of 10 seniors preparing to graduate
  •  Staff Seminar in Vocation: 4 stipends for staff to learn techniques for mentoring students
  • Faculty Seminar on Vocation of Teaching: 4 stipends for faculty for biweekly gatherings
  • Faculty Workshop in Lutheran Education for Vocation in the World: 20 faculty participants

If you have questions, please contact the Office of Advancement at 253-535-7177 or

Want to Support the Class of 1973’s Gift But Don’t Know How?

  • You can simply write a check or use your credit card! And if you itemize on your taxes, you may benefit from an income tax charitable deduction! 
  • Do you own an IRA? If so, you can make a direct gift from your IRA to PLU, called a “qualified charitable deduction” and it is not taxable to you AND it qualifies toward your required minimum contribution! Can you take a charitable deduction? No, but you don’t have to claim it as income, so it is just as good! 
  • Do you own appreciated stocks that you have held for more than a year? Congratulations! Yes, you can donate those shares directly to PLU and avoid the potential 15+% tax on the capital gain! And, if you itemize your taxes, you may benefit from an income tax charitable deduction for the fair market value!
  • Do you have a Donor Advised Fund (DAF)? Well done! You can certainly make a “grant” to PLU by contacting your DAF fund and designating a gift for the Class of 1973 Gift to the Wild Hope Center for Vocation.
  • Are you thinking, “I’d like to make a gift to the Class of 1973 Gift to the Wild Hope Center for Vocation but I live off the income from my investments.” Guess what? There is even a way for you to give to the Class of 1973 Gift AND receive income for lifetime or for a period of years! How? PLU offers its alumni and friends the opportunity to fund a Charitable Gift Annuity or Charitable Remainder Trust, both of which provide income and tax benefits to you and your spouse/partner! (
  • Or maybe you are thinking that you really want to be a part of this important initiative, but you are worried about outliving your assets. Totally understandable! Perhaps you’d want to provide a gift in your will or beneficiary designation in your retirement fund for PLU. Your estate and heirs may receive estate and income tax savings too! (

Confused? Yea, we get that a lot! Maybe you own real estate or another asset you’d like to consider giving but don’t know where to begin? Doug Page, the Executive Director for Gift Planning, is ready to help! Doug can provide confidential illustrations, answer your questions, even pick up your dry cleaning. (Well, maybe not that last one!) You can reach him by phone at 253.535.8488, or via email at And remember, all gifts and pledges paid over five years will count toward the Class of 1973’s goal of securing $50,000 (or more!) for this critically important fund to invest in the futures of vocational discernment of all those who come through PLU.