The Wartburg College Alumni Board presented three Knights who have demonstrated a commitment to the college’s mission with Alumni Citation Awards during Homecoming & Family Weekend.

Adnan Al-Shatti, Dawn Jaeger and Gordon Soenksen received the citations during the annual Homecoming Luncheon.


Al-Shatti was a foreign exchange student in Des Moines before coming to Wartburg and working toward a degree in math and chemistry as part of the class of 1976. He earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he helped found the Islamic Center of Madison. He later taught at Kuwait University, where he was instrumental in creating the psychology department. His humanitarian efforts stretch across decades, from hiding wounded Kuwaiti soldiers during the 1990 invasion by Iraq to his work with Syrian refugees. The Kuwaiti Refugee Center now serves 18,000 child refugees in more than 21 schools.

Jaeger, a 1983 graduate, has worked at Central Rivers Area Education Agency, formerly AEA 267, for the last 22 years. She is the agency’s go-to for bullying prevention and is certified to train others. Jaeger has made presentations on bullying prevention and social-emotional learning at local, state, regional and national conferences. She currently serves as the treasurer and president-elect of the International Bullying Prevention Association. In 2012, she was given the Iowa School Social Worker of the Year award by the Iowa School Social Workers’ Association. During the pandemic, Jaeger stepped up to provide weekly support to teachers and school leaders, checking in with co-workers and sharing self-care practices.

Soenksen, a 1972 graduate, returned to Wartburg as a development assistant. He led alumni relations and annual giving efforts before taking on the role of director of the Wartburg Design for Tomorrow. He then served as an associate director of development at the University of Chicago, where he earned his Master of Business Administration. Soenksen went on to lead development or advancement offices at Duke University, Guilford College, St. Olaf College and Wake Forest University, and he has served as a consultant for many other institutions of higher learning. Soenksen has served on many volunteer boards, including Hospice for the Carolinas, Leadership Greensboro, United Way of Northfield, Hospice at Greensboro, National Hospice Foundation, Hospice of Minnesota, Family Life Council and Eastern Music Festival.

Nominees for the annual award are reviewed and selected each year by the college’s Alumni Board based on their personal and professional application of the college’s mission statement pillars: leadership, service, faith and learning. Details about the award and a nomination form are available at www.wartburg.edu/alumni-citation.


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