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Ringing Rose

Luther welcomes new board members

Martin Luther University College welcomes four new members to the school’s Board of Governors including Ken Seiling, former chair of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo; Mary Thompson, distinguished professor emerita at the University of Waterloo; Linzy Abraham; speech-language pathologist with Waterloo Region District School Board; and Liz Hood, a recent graduate of Luther’s MA in Theology program.

In addition to welcoming new members during a recent board meeting, the board bid farewell to three departing members including Andrew Thompson; adjunct assistant professor of political science at the University of Waterloo; Chun Zhang, pastor at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Niagara Falls; and Karen Redman, chair of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo.

The new members were appointed by the Synod Council of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Luther’s parent organization, during its executive meeting in late September.

"I'm really pleased with the breadth of skills and life experience this new slate of appointees will bring to the Board of Governors,” said Rev. Michael Pryse, the synod’s bishop. “We've recruited some very fine people.

"I am sorry that Karen Redman's term on the board has concluded but delighted that Ken Seiling will be her successor,” Pryse added. “As people of faith who have served with distinction in such prominent public roles, Karen and Ken exemplify many of the values that inform what we are and what we do at Luther."

The new members are:

Linzy Abraham is a speech-language pathologist with the Waterloo Region District School Board.

“I had been looking for an opportunity to extend my community service,” Abraham said. “I was just so impressed with Luther’s vision statement and association with the Earth Charter.

“I felt Luther brought together so many pieces: social justice; nurturing of spiritual practices; academics,” she added. “All of those pieces connected with me.”

Liz Hood, a spiritual care provider at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, said she accepted an invitation to join the board “because I love this place.” Hood graduated from Luther’s Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy program in 2017.

“It’s a great way to give my time and energy to my profession, and support the training of new spiritual care providers,” she said.

Ken Seiling served as chair of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo from 1985 until his retirement in 2018. Raised in St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church in Elmira, Ken has served as an organist and choirmaster for many years, most recently acting as interim music director at St. Matthews Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kitchener.

“I saw the opportunity to lend my experience in Waterloo Region to the work of Martin Luther University College,” Seiling said.

Mary Thompson, a distinguished professor emerita in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Waterloo and a member of Mount Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waterloo since 1969, said she found Luther’s developments -- including the Delton Glebe Counselling Centre; a recent $9-million overhaul of the school’s building; and new academic programs -- moving and inspiring.

“It’s definitely a terrific place to be,” Thompson said.

After a career at the University of Waterloo, “I thought I might be able to contribute from that perspective,” she said.

For more information, visit Luther’s governance webpage.

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