At a special Daily Chapel service this week, the 2022 graduating class of seminarians presented gifts that they are giving to the Seminary in gratitude for the wonderful education and experience they have had during their time here.
Announced by class president John Dolde, the soon-to-be graduates gave money for the restoration of the Te Deum series banner in the Student Commons. The class also chose to honor beloved Professor Dr. John Nordling with the gift of a portrait (which is soon to arrive and will be hung in a place of honor beside other great teachers and leaders who have left a lasting legacy at CTSFW).
Speaking on behalf of the class, Vincent Shemwell spoke fondly of Nordling and shared some of the many reasons that he is so deserving of the honor. He noted how Dr. Nordling is really the first professor that students get to know at the Seminary and sets the tone for quality education in so many ways. “It’s always clear in his classroom that he wants you to succeed. He will make sure that you do.” Sprinkling humor throughout, Shemwell joked, “the class of 2022 has had a special relationship with John Nordling. Maybe it’s because he’s the best of the best and, frankly, so are we.” He emphasized “what a joy it is for this class to be able to present this gift. We love you. We appreciate you. We hope this gift will remind you of us and all of the students that you’ve helped along the way. We hope it will be forever a reminder to the habitants of these hallways of what ‘the Nord’ has meant to so many students, now pastors, over the years. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to stand up here and say a few words to express my personal gratitude and participate in giving this gift to you, to a coach, to a professor, the finest Greek scholar there is, a pastor, a father confessor, and a friend.”
Dr. Rast expressed his gratitude to the students, his congratulations to Dr. Nordling, and spoke of his time as class president and of the portrait he was honored to present in memory of one of their professors, the Rev. Dr. George Richard Kraus. “We are pleased to see this tradition continue and thankful to the class for this gift of Dr. Nordling’s portrait . . . it is a great thing to walk down the hallway and look at these portraits of our wonderful servants who have been part of our community here over the course of many, many decades.” Rast, who has known Nordling for years, referred to his colleague as “a delightful friend and fellow worker in the kingdom. What an appropriate way of recognizing his work.” He also noted how the Seminary is thankful for all of the gifts given by graduating classes over the years. “We are so deeply thankful for them. They underscore the community that we share and the way that the Lord continues to gather together his people to spread abroad His gifts and to ensure that the Gospel of Christ is proclaimed in all the world.”
We congratulate and commend Dr. Nordling for all of his work and dedication to our students—the honor is well deserved. We also thank God and the students of the class of 2022. Your thoughtful gifts will bless our community for many years to come.