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The Joy of Giving

Dr. Roland and Sherry Martinson

Dr. Roland and Sherry Martinson

Dr. Roland, '64, and Sherry Martinson

Dr. Roland and Sherry Martinson, St. Paul, Minnesota, model the joy of giving through years of service, advocacy and financial support to Concordia College. Roland spoke with Minneapolis based gift planner, Michelle Brislin, providing a peek into their lives and the motivation behind their generosity.

Q. You graduated from Concordia in 1964 with a degree in biology. What was your experience like as a Cobber?
A. The quality of the professors is what stands out in my memories as a Concordia student. Their command of the subject matter coupled with their genuine interest in students allowed them to develop our capacity as students, and as humans.

Q. You continued your education with a master in divinity and doctorate in science and served as Dean of Students for Luther Seminary throughout your career. What are you doing now?
A. I retired in 2013 from Luther Seminary. Now I am a researcher and author — developing several projects that are close to my heart and provide a good easy flow of work and family.

Q. Speaking of family, how long have you and Sherry been married?
A. We've been married for 54 years and have 4 children and 9 grandchildren. All of our kids are in the U.S. — they live here in Minnesota and we have one in Ventura, California.

Q. As an alumnus, you have served your alma mater by providing insight and guidance as a member of the Board of Regents for 13 years. Why is this important to you?
A. Concordia has made significant contributions to three generations in our family. We experience first-hand the genius of a college that educates the whole person as our family faces the challenges of the 21st century. Sherry and I are delighted to support Concordia College in its mission of preparing young men and women to make a difference in their communities and the world.

Q. You have also been very supportive of the Concordia Annual Fund and most recently, you used the IRA Charitable Rollover to make a tax-free gift to Concordia. Thank you. Why is giving to Concordia a priority for you and Sherry?
A. Making an IRA gift to the science building was easy and a delightful way to say, "thank you" and give back to an institution that helped form and launch me, our daughter and our granddaughter.

Want to support Concordia College?

You too can make a difference at Concordia and leave a lasting impact on our students. To learn about the many different gift options available and to find the best gift for you, contact Trina Hall at 218.299.3445 or