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National Lutheran Communities & Services’ Chief Philanthropy Officer Awarded Valparaiso University Alumni Service Award

October 6, 2017

Rockville, MD- National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) is pleased to announce that Chief Philanthropy Officer Kathryn Baerwald has been awarded the Alumni Service Award from Valparaiso University, in Valparaiso, Ind. The award recognizes alumni who have rendered outstanding service to the University.

“Valparaiso was instrumental in my life for a number of reasons,” said Kathryn. “I learned critical thinking and not to take what is being presented at face value. At the same time, I gained an appreciation for living a life in which service to others is an essential component.”

Kathryn joined NLCS in 2010, creating a thriving philanthropy program which benefits the entire National Lutheran family of organizations. Supporting NLCS’ mission to expand beyond its physical walls, Kathryn spearheaded the development of the Community Impact Grant program. The program supports other senior-focused organizations and to date has awarded 68 grants totaling $713,317 in support.

Having remained active at Valparaiso University throughout the years working to enhance the undergraduate experience and future careers for students, Kathryn partnered with the Institute for Leadership and Service at Valparaiso as both a fellowship supervisor and an alumni mentor for the Calling and Purpose in Society (CAPS) Fellows program. As a result, the past four years, NLCS hosted nine undergraduates and one graduate student through the CAPS program, enabling these students to explore career opportunities in senior living.

“Whether professionally or personally, Kathryn Baerwald is an exemplar of what it is to lead and serve in church and society,” wrote Hannah Albers and Emily Knippenberg, both former CAPS Fellows at NLCS, in their letter to the Alumni Association nominating Kathryn. Additionally, Larry Bradshaw, president and CEO of NLCS, and Dr. Elizabeth Lynn, director of the Institute for Leadership and Service at Valparaiso, both provided letters of support for Kathryn’s nomination.

Kathryn earned her bachelor of arts with highest distinction in history and German and was a student in Christ College at Valparaiso University. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Germany in 1972, but declined in order to attend law school. In 1975, she earned her juris doctor, magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School, and received her master of laws degree with distinction from Georgetown University Law Center in 2007. Kathryn and her husband, Tom Baerwald, currently live in Alexandria, Va.

About National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS)
Based in Rockville, Md., NLCS is a not-for-profit, faith-based ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) Delaware-Maryland, Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Virginia Synods, serving people of all beliefs. With more than 125-years’ experience, NLCS honors, inspires and supports opportunity and choice to seniors through retirement communities and services in Maryland and Virginia. Other communities and services sponsored by National Lutheran include The Village at Rockville in Rockville, Md., The Legacy at North Augusta in Staunton, Va., The Village at Orchard Ridge and myPotential at Home in Winchester, Va., and The Village at Providence Point in Annapolis, Md., subject to Maryland Department of Aging approval. For more information, visit