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Each year, LSTC’s Alumni Board invites nominations for the Distinguished Alumni Awards and chooses the most outstanding candidates to receive awards in several categories.
The Rev. Tom Gaulke (2008, MDiv) is seen as a leader in the church, the community, and in the city of Chicago. In his five years as pastor at First Lutheran Church of the Trinity in Chicago, he has revitalized the congregation by helping it become more family-friendly, strengthening its relationship with the ELCA, and by empowering it to become involved in its community. He is a leader in Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL), IIRON, and the Bridgeport Alliance. Gaulke has a gift for bringing people together in ways that deepen faith and service to others. He built an Episcopal-Lutheran Campus Ministry in Chicago’s South Loop that included Sunday evening sandwich delivery to homeless people and monthly community meals. One person who nominated him describes Gaulke as “what you hope clergy to be. He is kind, calm, and accepting. He brings scripture to life, not only in the church, but through his actions in the community.” He will receive the 2015 Emerging Voice Award for alumni who have been in ministry for less than 10 years.