Current THRIVE Season: Rejoice

BLUE CIRCLE with "THRIVE at PLU" and "rejoice" and a person arms stretched celebrating

About Rejoice

Rejoice (end of the spring semester) // The end of the spring semester is also the end of the academic year and a time for reflective rejoicing. As you for finals, capstones, and, for some, commencement, how are you celebrating yourself and others?

Reflection Questions
  • What are the major milestones for you in this season (e.g., finals, capstone, commencement)?
  • Who and what can support you as you close the chapter of this semester and academic year, including all the things you are carrying right now?
  • How are you expressing gratitude right now as you reflect on the gifts of this semester/year and who/what has helped sustain you?

A Reflection on Rejoice from Rev. Jen Rude

The end of the spring semester is also the end of the academic year and a time for reflective rejoicing. As you for finals, capstones, and, for some, commencement, how are you celebrating yourself and others? Instead of either just coasting to the end or crawling to the finish line, take some time this month to pause and rejoice! The academic year is almost complete! This semester has certainly held both joys and challenges for most of us. What can you rejoice about? Maybe you can rejoice that you didn’t navigate those challenges alone, or that something you learned opened up a new path for you, or that you kept going even when you weren’t sure you could, or that you are that much closer to your goal. Even small things are worth celebrating. We hope you’ll join in some of the communal rejoicing through upcoming end of the year events for continuing students and for graduates. We rejoice that each of you is part of the PLU community!

Opportunities to Rejoice in Community

Pastiche: Senior Capstone Exhibition | For times, click here! | Ingram Hall

Creativity Exhibition | For times, click here! | Hinderlie Hall Main Lounge | Hosted by Hinderlie Creativity LC*

Global Happy Hour: Global Desserts | Friday, May 3rd from 4pm-5pm | Kreidler Hall Main Lounge | Hosted by Kreidler Global LC*

Jeopardy Night Friday, May 3rd from 6pm-10pm | South Hall Main Lounge | Hosted by South Upper Division LC*

Hinderlie Hall Open Mic Night: Under the Stars |​​​​​​​ Friday, May 3rd from 8pm-10pm | Hinderlie Hall Front Lawn | Hosted by Hinderlie Creativity LC*

Studal Farmer’s Market | Tuesday, May 7th from 4pm-6:30pm | AUC Red Square | Hosted by Stuen & Ordal DJS LCs*

H.M.S. Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan | May 9-12, Various times | Karen Hille Phillips Eastvold Auditorium | Hosted by PLU Opera

Queer Prom | Saturday, May 11 from from 7pm-11pm | AUC (Check in at Clock Tower) | Hosted by Oasis Youth Center & Center for DJS | RSVP is required. $2 suggested donation

Arts on Red Square Saturday, May 11th from 12pm-4pm | AUC Red Square | Hosted by the Collective

Dog Days | Wednesday, May 15th from 12pm-1:30pm | AUC Clocktower | Hosted by Counseling Services

Legend of Crow: A choose your own adventure playMay 16-18 from 7:30-9:30pm | Karen Hille Phillips Studio Theater| Hosted by The Clay Crows

LuteFest | Saturday, May 18th from 3:00 pm-7:00 pm | Foss Field & Olson Fieldhouse | Hosted by ASPLU

*LCs = Learning Communities (click here to learn more)

PLU Spirit of Diversity Awards and Graduation Ceremony (Text)

Rejoice in Diversity

Spirit of Diversity Awards | Friday, May 10, 2024
5:30-7:00 pm | Scandinavian Cultural Center, Anderson University Center
Event is open to all. Graduating students of color, Queer students and First in Family students are invited to be recognized at this celebration, please RSVP.

PLU Celebration of Leadership Awards (Text)

Rejoice in Leadership

Celebration of Leadership | Monday, May 20, 2024
5:30-6:45 pm | Scandinavian Cultural Center, Anderson University Center
All students, staff, and faculty are invited to join as we recognize student leaders from around campus, including graduating students. Students are encouraged to bring any supporters they want to invite, including friends, family, faculty, and staff. Refreshments are served 5:30-6:00pm and the award ceremony begins at 6:00pm.

PLU Rose Window

Rejoice in Spirit

Baccalaureate Service | Thursday, May 23, 2024
1:00-2:00 pm | Lagerquist Concert Hall, Mary Baker Russell Music Center
Baccalaureate is for all graduates and their guests.
This gathering is rooted in faith and spiritual traditions and practices, marking this moment of transition with reflection, celebration, gratitude and ritual with your classmates and communities of support.
Attire is whatever feels comfortable and festive to you (no need to wear your cap and gown). Graduates will be invited to come on stage for a portion of the service.

Graduating student in Mortar Board

Rejoice with Graduates

Commencement Ceremonies | Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24, 2024
Times Vary | Olson Gym at Pacific Lutheran University
Commencement is for all graduates and their guests. Check out the 2024 Commencement & Celebrations Schedule Webpage for additional graduation events.

From Arriving to Thriving: Supporting Lutes in Every ``Season``

The academic year (and the terms that comprise it) have a rhythm.  While fall and spring semester follow similar cycles, their timing in both the academic and calendar years present slightly differently. Below is an outline of these annual rhythms presented through the THRIVE “Seasons” (each represented by a different “R”). As we move into each season of THRIVE, we will update the content on this page with a deeper dive into the opportunities and challenges that each season brings.

BLUE CIRCLE with "THRIVE at PLU" and "rejoice" and a person arms stretched celebrating


Rejoice (end of the spring semester) // The end of the spring semester is also the end of the academic year and a time for reflective rejoicing. As you for finals, capstones, and, for some, commencement, how are you celebrating yourself and others?

Reflection Questions
  • What are the major milestones for you in this season (e.g., finals, capstone, commencement)?
  • Who and what can support you as you close the chapter of this semester and academic year, including all the things you are carrying right now?
  • How are you expressing gratitude right now as you reflect on the gifts of this semester/year and who/what has helped sustain you?

Spring 2024 Rejoice eNewsletter (Sent 4/29/24)

What does it mean to Rejoice? Why does it matter as we approach the end of the spring semester & academic year?

We are nearing the end of the semester and academic year! There are many celebrations and things to rejoice about! New students are completing their first semester or academic year, which is a huge accomplishment! Continuing students may have experienced personal and academic milestones, such as declaring a major, identifying internship and/or study away opportunities, or vocational discernment. Upper division students may be celebrating completing capstones! Graduating students may be finishing their last semester and preparing for graduation celebrations!

AND, to be fully present in all these things, we invite you to pause/reflect too. As we round the corner toward the end of the school year, we can feel bombarded by projects, timelines and mounting pressures. Frequently we can get lost in the minutiae of our everyday busy-ness. We often try to divert the time that was meant for sleep or self-care, with a belief that it is necessary for increased productivity. Unfortunately, less sleep and self-care tends to be linked to less productivity. Instead, we suggest that the end of this academic semester is the time to pause and reflect. Although counter-intuitive at first glance, with the timelines coming due and snowballing pressure, this type of self-reflection helps us to finish strong. Reflect: think deeply about your plan to reduce the non-important distractions and use the calendar to schedule the rest of this semester in half-hour study blocks. Honor your  “reflect”  by choosing an intentional set of behaviors moving forward to honor your plan. Finally, when we do the best we can, we can honestly rejoice in the try, that we made an attempt, and our good efforts.

Pink circle with "THRIVE at PLU" across top and "rest" across bottom. In the middle is drawing of person stretching


Rest (summer term/break) // The period between spring and fall semesters is a longer season during which we are all invited to rest. 

  • What does rest look like for you? What helps you feel most rested and energized?
  • What opportunities (and sometimes challenges) does the summer season hold for you this year? 

THRIVE Rooting


Rooting (beginning of the fall semester) // Whether you’re returning to campus or arriving as a brand-new Lute, THRIVE will invite you to set down roots and be intentional about setting yourself up for success—as you define it.

  • Put down roots in your WHY (why are you here at PLU, getting a degree, working here, living according to certain values, etc.).  
  • Find or reconnect with “your people.” Who are your academic and social supports? You are not alone!
  • Make a plan for the overall wellbeing of mind, body, and spirit.

Fall 2023 Rooting eNewsletter (sent 9/6/23)

Philosopher Simone Weil said, “To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.” At PLU, we agree! Rooting means creating intertwined connections that are both broad and deep. Rooting helps us feel connected to something greater-than-self. Rooting in our university values (diversity, justice, sustainability) and personal values (what are yours? This quick Values Sort activity can help you identify your top three values) can help us remain grounded in our “why’s”.

During your time in college, there will be exciting times and challenging times. Rooting in our values can help us to prioritize what is really important. Paraphrasing philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, people who have a why to live for can persist through (almost) any how: A firmly rooted tree can weather most storms and stay standing tall. Being rooted is key to student persistence and thriving while in college! 

Social & Community Thriving

Academic & Spiritual Thriving

  • For new first-year students, PLUS 100 is a class that helps you get rooted in meaningful communities with peer cohort that starts with LUTE Welcome and an instructor that will be connected with you beyond the course (e.g., as an Advisor, Coach, and/or Community Director)!
  • Get connected with peers through tutoring & supplemental instruction
  • Get rooted in your own spiritual practice and/or PLU’s spiritual community through Chapel Break every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:30-11am

Mental & Physical Thriving

  • Get connected with providers who can support your mental and physical thriving through TimelyCare
  • Get connected with peers through movement and play with Recreational Sports (including Outdoor Rec, Club Sports, Intramurals, and/or Group X classes)

Welcome to the start of the fall semester! We are so excited to engage with you as you establish your rhythms for this term and very much look forward to the learning, connections, dynamic community, and adventure that we will share! As you settle into your schedule, please remember that we are here for you and that PLU offers many services and resources to support your wellbeing and success. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Student Care Network if you have experienced impact from one of the many tragic events affecting the world right now, including the fires in Maui and in Eastern Washington. Emergency funds are available that may support an immediate need and our Student Care Network team is ready to assist you to problem solve challenges that may affect you in the longer term. Please also be sure to download TimelyCare, if you haven’t already. TimelyCare has added multiple new resources that may help in a moment or contribute to your wellbeing over time.

My door is also always open to you. When you have a minute, please stop by Anderson University Center 159 to say hello and let me know how things are going. Wishing you an energizing and amazing semester, Lutes! Can’t wait to hear about all that you are learning and doing!

Joanna Royce-Davis (AKA JRD), Vice President for Student Life

THRIVE refresh


Refresh (middle of the fall semester) // Amid the long to-do lists from classes, job and graduate school applications, and work, it’s essential to rest, play, check in with ourselves, and reconnect with our hopes and goals. Mid-semester provides the opportunity to disrupt the burnout cycle and focus on your wellbeing to sustain you through the end. 

  • How can you refresh your priorities for the semester? Are there people and/or campus resources that can support you?
  • Rejuvenation through rest, play, and refueling is key to caring for mind, body, and spirit. Interweaving these with your commitments can bring greater meaning and joy.

Fall 2023 Refresh eNewsletter (sent 10/9/23)

Refresh is the start of the middle third of the fall semester. In this THRIVE season, the fall semester is in full swing and nearing midterms. Students are settling into their routines. You may have joined a club or started an on-campus job. First major assignments and/or tests are coming due in classes. The weather is changing (shorter days, more rain). The Refresh season invites a pause to (re)evaluate the rhythm of your semester: Are your routines supporting the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the semester? Are there any new or amended strategies you want to try on as you recalibrate your progress at this mid-point of the semester? As weather and stress of class papers/tests may affect your mood, how are you taking time for self-care and community care during this season?

Thriving in Community

Check out these additional great events to refresh your connections within PLU’s communities:

New! Monthly Community Meals: Students, faculty, and staff: Come and share a meal with neighbors from PLU, Trinity, and Parkland! *Meals will be 2nd Thursdays from 5:00-6:30pm at Trinity Lutheran Church, 12115 Park Ave. S. All are welcome to come for dinner. And, we also need volunteers! This is a partnership between PLU and Trinity Lutheran Church.

Yarn Group: Yarn Group! Come to relax, refresh, be in community, and craft.  All supplies provided (yarn, needles, hooks, etc).  Every Thursday 3:45 – 5:00pm at Trinity Lutheran church (enter through glass doors on Wheeler St). 

Refresh with PLU's Wellbeing Services & Resources (WSR)

James Innocent, new Assistant Director for Outreach/Counselor and Counseling Services are excited to consider how it is that we refresh and notice which ways that refreshing is happening around us. With that in mind, we formulated a video (see below) to talk about some of what we have in the pipeline.

Multidimensional Wellbeing

Multidimensional Wellbeing: James and the Counseling Services team have created and shared several presentations this year about multidimensional thriving that you may find useful!

Additionally, we are starting to compile a list of coping strategies (separated by type of coping) from PLU’s incoming freshman. You can check that out here.

THRIVE Reflect


Reflect (end of the fall semester) // The end of a semester often represents an overlapping of occupations, from focusing on finals and finishing the semester to looking ahead to next opportunities and preparing for crucial transitions. The end of the semester also provides another opportunity to check in with yourself and reflect mindfully on the past few months. It’s important to do this intentionally, and reaffirm for yourself what the semester has meant to you. 

  • Reflect on the journey of this semester: What have you learned? How have you grown? Where have you experienced joy?
  • Reflect on the goals you established at the beginning of the semester. Which ones will you carry into the next chapter? 

Fall 2023 Reflect eNewsletter (sent 11/20/23)

Take a deep breath.  Like really, take a deep breath (I’ll wait).  Pause for a moment. Pause from rushing, frantic scrolling, hurriedness in general (other things will wait). 

In this moment of pause, let me introduce to you the THRIVE season of Reflect.  It might seem strange to have this theme of reflect, a practice that necessitates a pause, when we’re barreling toward the end of the semester and your to-do list is long and growing.  Although taking a moment to reflect may not help you make progress on your to-do list, it might remind you of why you’re doing all this (all this learning, growing, studying!) in the first place.  Pausing to reflect can help you stay motivated, root you in your deeper Why, help celebrate your accomplishments, and remind you to take some time for JOY!

So, as you pause for a reflective moment today, you might consider these questions: 

  • Reflect on your journey this semester: What’s something you have learned that’s been impactful?  How have you stretched and grown?  
  • Reflect on the goals you established at the beginning of the semester. Celebrate your accomplishments!  Which goals will you carry into the next semester? 
  • Where are you experiencing joy? How might you cultivate more joy this season?

In this newsletter you’ll find several good opportunities to reflect with others and share some joy this season.  In particular, I hope to see you at one of my favorite annual events, the Celebration of Light, on Wednesday November 29th, 4:30-6pm in KHP/Red Square!  


Pastor Jen Rude, Campus Ministry

Holiday table set with sweets and nourishing food

Students, faculty, and staff: Come and share a meal with neighbors from PLU, Trinity, and Parkland on the second Thursday of the month from 5-6pm at Trinity Lutheran Church (across the street from the PLU Library)! This is a partnership between PLU Campus Ministry, Trinity Lutheran Church, Wellbeing Services and Resources, and the Center for DJS. All are welcome to come for dinner. And, we also need volunteers!  

DJS Coalition Series Logo

The DJS Coalition Series curates a calendar of DJS learning experiences and asks students to reflect and consider how those experiences deepened their understanding of DJS.  The DJS Coalition Series is open to ALL PLU students, and welcomes people at all stages of learning.  Students are invited to participate in the DJS Coalition Series for any or all of their years at PLU.  Those who participate will be celebrated at the end of each year and in a special ceremony upon graduation. Learn more about why and how to get recognized as a DJS Coalition Member on the website. 

  1. Click Here to Sign Up
  2. Click Here to Submit a Reflection



Renew (winter break & J-term) // The period between semesters presents an opportunity for renewal. As you prepare to engage the next cycle of spring semester, it’s important to take time to (re)fill your cup!

  • What are you looking forward to doing or not doing in this in-between time (before spring semester commences)?
  • What gives you energy and life? How can you focus on these things as you take time to renew your mind, body, and spirit?

Drawing of person with headphones on


Routine (beginning of the spring semester) // The start of spring represents not just a new semester, but a new calendar year as well. Whether you are a new or continuing student, the start of spring invites you to consider what routines and habits for the semester and year will bring you joy, wellbeing, and sustainable progress toward your goals? 

Reflection Questions
  • What helps you get into/develop a routine at the start of a new year and/or semester?
  • How can your routines support flourishing for you and others? 
  • How do your routines support your values (for example, diversity, justice, and sustainability)? 
  • What goals do you have for the upcoming year/semester?
  • What are 1-2 sustainable habits you would like to cultivate to support your concurrent goal progress and wellbeing this semester? Why are these habits (or routines) important to you

Spring 2024 Routine eNewsletter (sent 2/7/24)

Routines are sets of regular habits that help you to thrive. Particularly at the beginning of a new season, such as a new year or a new semester, reflecting on goals and setting new or updating existing routines can be a strategy to sustain your daily, weekly, and monthly habits to engage your goals. 

How do routines support wellbeing? (Insights from Northwestern Medicine)

  • Routines help with effective stress management
  • Routines can support healthy sleeping, mental clarity, and emotional wellbeing and energy
  • Routines can support healthy eating, including making time to make or get healthy meals and snacks
  • Routines can support us getting and staying active with regular movement and/or exercise habits

How do I start a routine? (Tips from Northwestern Medicine)

  • Start small: try on one or two small things at a time. Once you have a new habit down, you can consider adding another one
  • Make plans & identify ways to hold yourself accountable to those plans (like co-planning with an accountabili-buddy)
  • Reframe thinking: Routines and habits don’t need to be boring chores. Reflect on how the routines and/or habits you consider keeping, changing, or adding this semester can help you live a life that is more joyful, healthy, fun, and thoughtful?

Social & Community Thriving

Academic & Spiritual Thriving

Mental & Physical Thriving

  • Make LuteTelehealth part of your routine with a variety of active and passive resources available to all Lutes! 
  • Make Recreational Sports (including Outdoor Rec, Club Sports, Intramurals, and/or Group X classes) part of your routine for fun movement & connection with others!

Why is it that New Year resolutions seem to fade away without sustainability?

Fear, uncertainty, and doubt are common barriers that often show-up which get us off-track and take us to places we don’t want to be. This is a very human situation. We all want to make healthy habits to get back on-track and where we want to be.

Here is a brief video clip (longer version here) that shows common barriers and pathways for rooting in useful routines. If you have any comments questions or concerns or would like us to present on the material, feel free to contact us at or 253-535-7206.

Purple circle with "THRIVE at PLU" across top and "rejuvenate" across bottom. In middle is drawing of person sipping tea


Rejuvenate (middle of the spring semester) // The middle of the spring semester represents a time to pause and reflect. How are the routines you set at the beginning of the semester serving you? Are you making expected progress toward your semester goals? As you reflect on your progress so far and perhaps semester mid-terms, big projects or other deadlines begin to approach, in what ways can you adjust your routines and/or your goals to continue progress through the semester toward your self-authored definition of success?

Reflection Questions
  • How is your energy feeling right now?
  • What helps sustain you throughout the semester?
  • What does rest look like for you?
  • How are you tending to your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, creative, financial, and social wellbeing?
  • Are your daily and weekly habits support accomplishing the goals you have for yourself?
  • Do any routines or goals need to be adjusted now that you’re midway through the semester?

Spring 2024 Rejuvenate eNewsletter (sent 3/22/24)

What is Rejuvenation? Why Does it Matter As We Approach Midterms?

As we approach midterms, it’s important to think about how rejuvenation can rekindle the inner spark that can carry us forward to achieve optimal performance. Since 90% of optimal performance is an inside job, now is the time to review your inner thinking practices. Are there any energy-vampires sneaking around the shadows of your mind? Two prime energy-drainers are ‘rehashing’ and ‘rehearsing’:

  • Rehashing is the excessive review of events or conversations that we replay in our mind. Rehearsing is the excessive preview of events or conversations that we replay in our mind. Perfectionism is the enemy of optimal performance. We get lost in rehashing trying to craft a perfect past “If only I would have…, then it would be better”.
  • Also, we get lost in rehearsing trying to craft a perfect future “If only I can say it this way…, then it will be better”.

In the next few weeks, we invite you to stay mindful of reducing the excessive time that you spend rehashing or rehearsing unwanted possibilities. This will provide more time to rest and restore your inner energy supply. Consequently, you can redirect your inner thinking practices to increase actual preparation and preferred behaviors that move you closer to optimal performance.

For more, check out this article and this video: Reduce Anxiety, Rumination: Finish Every Day with Mindfulness | HealthyPlace

Refill Your Cup for Second Half of Spring Semester: Tips for Utilizing Spring Break to Rejuvenate

  • Take a break, for real. Slow down and give yourself time to decompress.
  • Get outside. Spring in the PNW is beautiful — go for a walk, nap or read outside, take time to marvel at nature and experience wonder and awe
  • Move your body. Yoga with Adriene is an accessible yoga program to relax and keep flexible mind, body, and spirit
  • Read something new! Campus Life recommends anything by: Adrienne Maree Brown
  • Rest your mind and spirit. Examen Daily Prayer is a gratitude and guided reflection practice app that can be helpful in getting grounded
  • Reflect on your routines & habits so far. Habit Tracking Apps can be helpful to think about routines, making changes, self-care, etc
  • If you’re going to travel, go out, or party, plan ahead to keep yourself and others safe and healthy, including being smart about substances, using a buddy system, and being mindful of consent
  • *Content adapted from Colorado State University’s Self-Care for Spring Break Webpage (click to learn more!) 

A Reflection on Rejuvenation from Counseling Services

I had been sitting with what exactly we seek help for when it comes to mental health. When you go to the dentist, you may be hoping for preventative care at best. At worst, you’ll end up with an appointment for a root canal. At a doctor’s office, they’ll check your vitals and perhaps prescribe something based on your needs with the aim of getting you back to health.

But what happens in a therapeutic encounter? What transpires to make healing possible on a mental level? There could be lots of answers, but ever since I took part in a CAVE commuter event called “Letters for Lutes”, I’ve been sitting with the idea of wonder. 

The questions I pondered included: What happens when we release our obligation to know? What happens when we do not have to make the uncertain certain? What happens when we can hold fear and excitement at the same time? These are no easy or common feats as an adult and I am not suggesting it can be done all the time. On your path to rejuvenation, I invite you to join me in wondering about wonder and how we can make room for that in our lives.

A letter from James Innocent, Assistant Director for Outreach and Counselor

What does it mean to THRIVE?

Our goal is to support students as they THRIVE (i.e., support students’ Transition, Holistic-wellbeing, Retention, Innovation, Vocation, Engagement).

About THRIVE: THRIVE supports students as they flow through various seasons in the semester. The THRIVE semester flow will be highlighted digitally (on this website and via seasonal eNewsletters) and IRL (via 2023 poster series). You’ll also see these themes woven throughout university programming and engagement. This webpage is a home to organize resources for student thriving all semester long! Continue to check back in as the content, links, and opportunities highlighted below will rotate with each semester season!

The THRIVE Network includes representatives from: Admission, Advancement, Alumni and Student Connections, Athletics, Campus Life, Campus Ministry, Campus Safety, Center for Diversity, Justice, and Sustainability, Center for Student Success, Center for Wild Hope, Hospitality Services & Campus Restaurants, International Student Services, Wellbeing Services & Resources (including Counseling and Health Services and Dean of Students Office), and Wang Center for Global and Community Engaged Learning. 

Yellow, Purple, Blue, and Pink petals make a crown over the words THRIVE at PLU
Transition, Holistic-wellbeing, Retention, Innovation, Vocation, Engagement (& sticker designs in rose window)