President Richard L. Torgerson Biography
Richard L. Torgerson was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He completed a B.S. degree in biology and physical education at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota, in 1964. He completed his master’s (1966) and doctorate (1969) in entomology from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. In 1981 Dr. Torgerson completed the college management program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Dr. Torgerson has served in faculty and administrative positions with six church-affiliated liberal arts colleges, all but one being a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. His career began at Wartburg College as assistant professor of biology (1969-72). Dr. Torgerson then taught biology at Texas Lutheran College for ten years where he also served for two years as assistant dean for academic affairs. After a three year stint as vice president for academic affairs and dean at Baker University, Dr. Torgerson returned to Lutheran higher education when he accepted the post of vice president and academic dean at Bethany College. He served as Bethany’s dean from 1985-89, and 1991-92. In 1990, he was Bethany’s acting president. In 1992, Dr. Torgerson returned to Wartburg College where he served as vice president for development. In 1998, he accepted the position of vice president for development at Gustavus Adolphus College. In 1999, he became the ninth president of Luther College.
Dr. Torgerson is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including an outstanding faculty award at Texas Lutheran, the Council of Independent Colleges Academic Deans Award, and a Distinguished Service Award from his alma mater, Concordia College (Moorhead, Minn.). Torgerson has been a frequent lecturer and presenter on topics related to higher education leadership, including fundraising, strategic planning, learning assessment, and campus environmental sustainability initiatives.
The president’s family includes his wife, Judy, and two sons. Their son and daughter-in-law, Brennan and Kristie Torgerson, live in Buhler, Kansas, where Brennan is a high school teacher and coach. They have two children, Trevor and Taryn.
Their son and daughter-in-law Korey and Deana live in Wichita, where Korey is director of compliance in the athletic department of Wichita State University.They have three children, Quinn, Drew and Cole.