LTSS alumni celebrate the past and support the future

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Lenoir Rhyne University hosted its third annual Day of Giving and the seminary’s annual Alumni Day on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Worship service at LTSS Alumni Day 2023

On Alumni Day, graduates return to campus to join faculty, classmates and friends for a day of activities and togetherness. This year’s event brought together more than 60 alumni, spanning graduation years from 1962 through 2023.

“Our alumni are amazing. They are faithful to LTSS and to the friendships they found here. Most importantly, they are faithful to Christ’s call in their lives. The seminary faculty and staff are privileged to host them, worship with them, and learn with them,” shared Brent Driggers, Ph.D., LTSS associate dean for academic programs.

Taking on the challenges of daily life, author Ann Garrido, D.Min., delivered this year’s Yost Lecture, “Redeeming Conflict, One Tough Conversation at a Time.” She also led a workshop on this topic later in the day. The Rev. James Armentrout, M.Div. ’99, received the annual Bedenbaugh Award, honoring an ordained minister for exemplary leadership and service. Armentrout has served as pastor for St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Roanoke, Virginia since 2010.

Workshop at LTSS Alumni Day 2023

“Alumni Day is such a wonderful opportunity for seminary graduates to come together and acknowledge the important role Southern has played in their lives,” said Cat Serrin Niekro, vice president for advancement. “It is a gift to see the love that our alumni have for one another and LTSS.”

The Day of Giving, entitled “Make Your Mark,” exceeded its goal of 100 donors contributing to the seminary in honor of the day. 120 donors made a gift to raise $76,040 for the day. The total includes $50,000 claimed when the donor roster reached 100, as well as a $2,500 matching gift from anonymous donors.

“Our Day of Giving celebrated the many ways LTSS students and alumni are using their education to make their mark on God’s kingdom. We are grateful for the outpouring of support for the seminary from our alumni and friends, enabling us to deliver on our mission to teach, form and nurture a new generation of leaders for ministry,” shared Tatum Pottenger, director of annual giving.


Mary Lou Cooke Hall '43 has spent a lifetime serving others, having adventures and learning about new topics. This year she celebrates her 100th year of a life well-lived.

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Before her own study-abroad year, Melanie Mora '25 is making the most of her international education at LR by mentoring and befriending students who come from around the world to study here.

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