Douglas Eckheart taught in the art department at Luther College for forty years. Born on November 6, 1943 in North Dakota, Eckheart studied art at Concordia College Moorhead. After graduating in 1965, he continued his studies at Bowling Green University, earning his MFA in 1968. Eckheart briefly taught at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa, before accepting a position at Luther College, where he remained until his retirement in 2009.
Eckheart was mentored by and worked with three of the Running brothers throughout his career; he studied with Cyrus Running at Concordia and Paul Running at Bowling Green, then worked alongside Orville Running at Luther.