J. Wilhelm Ylvisaker Presidential Papers, 1832-1974
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Brief Description: This collection contains correspondence and subject files from 1832 to 1974 from the office of J. Wilhelm Ylvisaker (1900 - 1981), fifth president of Luther College, during his administration.  These materials include personal and official correspondence with family members, students, and college and church associates; administrative papers, docments pertaining to special events, and correspondence and documents concerning Lutheran Organizations such as the Board of Christian Education. Much of the correspondence is in Norwegian.
Held at:
Luther College Archives
700 College Drive
Decorah, IA 52101
Phone: 563-387-1805
Email: archives [at] luther.edu
Record Series Number: LCA/RG02/5th President
Created by: Ylvisaker, J. Wilhelm (1900-1981)
Volume: 8.1 Linear Feet

This collection is arranged into four series;

1.) Correspondence and Personal Papers (1832 - 1974)

2.) Administrative Papers (1865 - 1966)

3.) Special Events (1925 - 1963)

4.) Lutheran Organizations (1928 - 1960).

Biographical Note for Ylvisaker, J. Wilhelm (1900-1981) :

Johannes Wilhem Ylvisaker, Luther class of 1921, became president of his alma mater in 1948.  Before returning to Luther, he completed a CT at Luther Theological Seminary, an M.Th at Princeton Theological Seminary, married Lucille Torgerson, and worked as a teacher and a pastor.  Ylvisaker’s presidency from 1948 to 1962 was marked by growth and development in almost every aspect of the college.  Six major buildings were completed, attendance skyrocketed, the endowment grew, and a development plan was created and implemented for the first time.  While many changes took place over his fourteen years in office, Ylvisaker tried to work within the traditions of the school to maintain the stability established by his predecessor, O.J.H. Preus.  His patience, intelligence, and wit were assets to his office and college.  J.W. Ylvisaker resigned in 1962 after developing Parkinson’s Disease and passed away in 1981.


Johannes Wilhem Ylvisaker, som gikk ut fra Luther College i 1921, ble president ved Luther i 1948. Før hans tid som president, tok han en CT ved Luther Theological Seminary, en M.Th. ved Princeton Theological Seminary, giftet seg med Lucille Torgerson, og jobbet som lærer og prest. Ylvisakers periode som president fra 1948 til 1962 var preget av vekst og utvikling i nesten alle områder av skolen. Seks viktige bygninger ble gjort ferdige, søknadsmassen økte kraftig, tondsmidlene vokste, og en utviklings plan ble laget og satt i verk for første gang. Selv om mye ble forandret i løpet av hans fjorten år som president, prøvde Ylvisaker å ta hensyn til skolens tradisjoner så han kunne opprettholde den stabiliteten som forgjengeren hans, O. J. H. Preus, hadde oppnådd. Ylvisakers tålmodighet, intelligens og klokskap var nyttige egenskaper for stillingen og for skolen. J. W. Ylvisaker gikk av stillingen i 1962. Han døde i 1981.

Access Restrictions: All materials are available for research.
Subject Index
Evangelical Lutheran Church
Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - Administration
Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - College Finances
Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - Faculty and Staff
Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - Students
Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - Students - Organizations
Women's Missionary Federation (Evangelical Lutheran Church)
Genres/Forms of Material
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Norwegian [nor]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Though we may hold the property rights, Luther College Archives does not hold the copyrights for all materials. Individuals may use materials for non-commercial, private use, but commercial users must secure permissions from the copyright holders and/or Luther College Archives to reproduce, publish, or quote protected materials and photographs. For more information about the Luther College Library and Information Services copyright and fair use policy, please visit http://lis.luther.edu/about/policies/copyright.
Other Formats: Some materials in this collection are reproductions and the originals are held by the publishing company that created them.

Cite unpublished materials: J. Wilhelm Ylvisaker Presidential Papers, RG02 Office of the President, Luther College Archives, Decorah, Iowa

Cite published materials as required by your chosen citation style (Chicago, MLA, APA, etc.).