Lundring Youth Leadership Endowment
If it’s true that “a family that prays together stays together,” then the Lundring family will be together for a long, long time. This endowment, with its specific focus on youth leadership, is just one example of the family’s joint endeavors. Axel Lundring, patriarch of the Lundring tribe, and his wife Hazel deserve kudos for inspiring their family to achieve great things.
It was Axel who first conceived the idea behind the endowment to foster youth leadership. He had started out in life as an auto mechanic but then quickly established a career with Lutheran Brotherhood Financial Services, a career that lasted 54 years. As a lifelong Lutheran and proud Norwegian, he was concerned about the future leadership of the church. Axel and Hazel were faithful members of Hill Avenue Grace Lutheran Church in Pasadena. They were also involved from the very start in helping to create California Lutheran College. They sent not only their financial resources but also two of their children—Karsten ’65 and Catherine ’69—to demonstrate their faith in the new college. In due time, the next generation began to appear on campus—Erik ’94, Desta Ronning ’96 Goehner, and Rachel Ronning ’99 Lindgren.
On April 13, 1998, Axel celebrated his 90th birthday. In anticipation of the event, he made a major gift to CLU that created the Lundring Youth Leadership Endowment. (An earlier gift had established a scholarship centered on CLU’s choral program.) Axel’s vision for this second family scholarship was that it would encourage young people to consider careers that would include Christian service—perhaps as youth ministers, hospital chaplains, lay leaders and possibly parish ministers. As he observed the effect that service as a counselor at Lutheran Bible camps had upon his granddaughter, he was convinced that this type of experience was a proven way to develop church leadership potential.
It was Axel’s decision, therefore, to designate these scholarships for students who have spent the previous summer at one of the Lutheran Bible Camps or Holden Village in Washington State. Not only did the entire Lundring family applaud Axel’s decision to create this scholarship, but each family member pledged financial support.
Axel later expressed his feelings about his decision to create this endowment: “I get more excited each time I think about it. To think that I might have some influence in the life of some young person many years after I have gone to the heavenly mansions is beyond my thinking.” Well done, Axel.