Greg (‘77) and Vickie Fields receive the Spirit of Luther Award

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Greg (‘77) and Vickie Fields receive the Spirit of Luther Award

President Paula Carlson presents the Spirit of Luther Award to Greg ('77) and Vickie Fields.

President Paula Carlson presents the Spirit of Luther Award to Greg ('77) and Vickie Fields.

Grace Onsrud ('20) | Chips

President Paula Carlson presents the Spirit of Luther Award to Greg ('77) and Vickie Fields.

Grace Onsrud ('20) | Chips

Grace Onsrud ('20) | Chips

President Paula Carlson presents the Spirit of Luther Award to Greg ('77) and Vickie Fields.

Grace Onsrud, Staff Writer

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President Paula Carlson gave the Spirit of Luther Award to Greg (‘77) and Vickie Fields during the Alumni Dinner in the Caf on Friday, Oct. 26. Carlson gave a brief testimony recognizing the couple’s service to the Luther community before calling them up to the podium and presenting them with a framed certificate.

Greg and Vickie Fields of South Holland, Illinois have co-hosted numerous events for alumni organizations, Admissions, and Development and served on the Presidentsråd, an advisory group to the President. Greg Fields served on the Board of Regents from 2005 to 2017. He is currently a human resources analyst at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, and Vickie, who is preparing to retire, has served as a vice president at Bank of America.

Greg Fields has also been a key figure in planning and hosting black alumni reunions on campus as well as in Las Vegas and Chicago, the first of which was in 2003. The idea for these reunions came out of a goal that he and former Luther President Richard Torgerson had to improve engagement with alums of color, especially alums who may not have been involved with the college for many years.

“Sometimes you have to take advantage of the position that you’re in in a positive way to ensure that other people get the opportunity to experience what you’ve experienced.”  

-Greg Fields (’77)

“[Torgerson and I] decided, why don’t we invite the alumni back?” Fields said. “It’s not always a given that people feel welcome, so if we invite them to come back that might make a difference. And I thought it was important that an alumnus of color be the one doing the invite.”

Fields said that one of the reasons for his involvement and work with Luther is to improve the college experience for students of color.

“For me, it’s to find a way to help influence some of the decisions that are made that give other minority students an opportunity to go here and to experience this,” Fields said. “Sometimes you have to take advantage of the position that you’re in in a positive way to ensure that other people get the opportunity to experience what you’ve experienced.”

Vickie Fields added that while she did not attend Luther as a student, she has important connections to it that have influenced her dedication and commitment to the school.

“I just love Decorah, I love the college, I love campus,” Fields said. “Our son graduated from here as well, so I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people from Greg’s era as well as Brandon’s (‘04) era, so I love this place.”

Dean of the College and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kevin Kraus is a member of the Honorary Degrees Committee that looks at nominations for the award. He says that the Spirit of Luther Award is unique because over the years it has gone to a wide variety of people who have dedicated an array of services to the college, from the Luther Women’s Club to prominent Decorah families to alums like the Fields.

“[Greg] and Vickie have been very generous in opening their home for alumni events, for admissions events, for gatherings after Cubs games, so they are just very generous in terms of their time and the use of their home for Luther gatherings,” Kraus said. “In addition to 12 years of service on the Board of Regents, they are just a real strong Luther family in [the] Chicago [area].”

Greg Fields was surprised and honored to receive the award.

“It’s certainly an honor,” Fields said. “It was unexpected and it was quite a shock to receive that notification that we were being honored like this. I am very pleased with it; it brings a smile to my face.”

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