By Rita Gilbertson, Waldorf College Alumni Director
Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa began its life as a luxurious hotel built in 1901 to accommodate the many salesmen and other visitors who traveled to the county seat via the railroad. It was built for a costly $69,000, and was not able to make ends meet due to the competition of a second new, opulent hotel, The Summit, located across town. Therefore, it closed its doors after only 4 months of operation.
Rev. C.S. Salveson was a pastor of several area congregations at the time and it was his vision to purchase the Waldorf Hotel and establish a Lutheran educational institution. In 1903, he purchased the building for the nominal price of $18,000 and recommended that an association of area churches be formed for the purpose of founding and maintaining a Lutheran college.
The Waldorf Lutheran College Association was formed, and Salveson transferred ownership of the building to them for what it had cost him. The Association became the legal owners and founders of an academy institution known as Waldorf Lutheran College, with C.S. Salveson serving as the first president.
Although we still recognize Oct. 11th (1903) as Founder’s Day, Homecoming is the event that truly celebrates Waldorf’s rich history and the impact it has had on generations of students. Each fall, all alumni are invited back to campus to reminisce with old friends, meet new ones, mingle with current students, cheer on the Warriors, receive a college update and more!
Homecoming 2014 is scheduled for Oct. 31 – Nov. 2, and all online students and alumni are invited to attend the weekend festivities! For more information, including a complete schedule of events and registration form, visit our Homecoming page. I look forward to meeting you and hearing your Waldorf story!