The Christus Award is given annually to individuals in recognition of the contributions they have made to strengthen the bridge between the church and the university and/or who have made significant contributions to higher education in the ELCA.
Jerry Slattum, 2015 Recipient
Born and reared in Salem, Oregon, of Norwegian and Swedish heritage, Dr. Jerald Slattum
graduated with honors from Salem High School, earned his B.A. from Pacific Lutheran
College, and then did graduate work at both UCLA and USC, attaining an MA in Art.
During his time in graduate school the Los Angeles County Museum
of Art exhibited his paintings, and he mounted one-man shows in New York and Paris. He was awarded the Purchase Award in Tucson, AZ, and the Prix de Paris Awards in New York City and Paris. Eventually he would earn his doctorate from Union of Experimenting Colleges and Universities in Ohio with a specialization in Native American Art History. It seems appropriate for the Christus Award that his dissertation was an examination of the influence of Western religion on Hopi Kachina Doll development, a commingling of arguably two of the most important passions in his life.
A resident of the Conejo Valley since 1962, Dr. Slattum came as the first art instructor hired to teach at the new California Lutheran College. He was the youth director for a Lutheran church in Westminster when he had a chance meeting with a representative ￼of Cal Lutheran who was looking for an art teacher.
Betty Jean, his wife, claims it was an act of God that he found Cal Lutheran (or it found him). An enthusiastic advocate of student activities, he was advisor to the Art Club, the International Students’ Club and other groups. He taught Head Start classes, judged regional art shows, and was Professor of the Year four times. He was an active member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and designed that parish’s altar, pulpit, monumental cross and Baptismal font.
For 42 years, Dr. Slattum led interim study tours with students to Scandinavia, Europe, Central and South America, the Soviet Union and the Hopi Indian Reservation in Arizona. It is not an overstatement to claim that he was responsible for getting more students into church than anyone else in Cal Lutheran history (of course, these churches were hundreds, sometimes thousands of years old, and the students were more interested in the stained glass and architecture than communion). In his travels, he met kings, popes, and Native American Chiefs, but always found interacting with more common people to be more interesting and rewarding. Perhaps this guiding principle that all people are equal and deserve respect is what makes him so deserving of this award today.
|Recipients of the Christus Award|
|2013||Jim and Sue Swenson|
|2012||Dr. Jerry Miller|
|2011||The Rev. Dr. Paul Egertson|
|2010||Mr. Marvin Soiland|
|2009||The Rev. Dr. Howie Wennes|
|2008||Mrs. Beverly Anderson|
|2007||The Rev. Lauren "Bud" Egdahl|
|2006||The Rev. Dr. Luther Olmon|
|2005||Dr. Louise Evenson & Karsten Lundring|
|2004||Mr. Norman Lueck|
|2003||The Rev. Gerry Swanson and Dr. Jan Bowman|
|2002||The Rev. John Embree|
|2001||Mr. Bob Samuelson|
|2000||The Rev. Paul Nakamura/Aina Abrahamson|
|1999||The Rev. Quentin Garman|
|1998||Dr. Ray & Mrs. Helen Olson|
|1997||The Rev. Erling & Dr. Marge Wold|
|1996||Dr. Gaylerd Mercer & Mrs. Joan Falde|
|1995||The Rev. Carl & Mrs. Ruth Segerhammar|
|1994||The Rev. James Bessey|
|1993||Mr. Gaylord Mercer|
|1992||Ms. Diane Nelson|