Malpica named to Luther Regents

Felix Javier Malpica, Luther College Class of 2009, will join the Luther College Board of Regents.

Luther College Pesident Jenifer K. Ward is announcing that Felix Javier Malpica ’09 will join the Luther College Board of Regents.

“Luther College’s governing documents include a provision that a member of the Board of Regents must be a sitting Bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I was excited when I learned that Pastor Malpica was standing for election as bishop of the La Crosse Area Synod–not only because of its proximity to our campus, but especially because of how Bishop Malpica shows up in the world: someone who demonstrates that justice and joy can be companions, and whose own experience as a pastor, a person of color, and a musician will bring diverse perspectives to our board,” said President Ward.

Malpica will attend his first official Board of Regents meeting in October. The regents serve as trustees and stewards, ensuring that Luther fulfills its mission and that the needs of students, faculty, staff and other college constituents are being met.

“I am a very proud Luther graduate and am delighted to serve on the Board of Regents,” said Malpica. “What a great opportunity for me to give back, serve the church and have a hand in shaping the next generation of servant leaders. As I step into this role, I am humbled by the amazing people who serve on the board and know I will become an even better leader because of them.”

In June, Malpica became the youngest, and the first person of color to be elected as bishop of the La Crosse Area Synod. He was installed as bishop on Sept. 26 and now serves 73 congregations spanning western Wisconsin. Born in Puerto Rico, Malpica moved to Chicago with his family in first grade when his father, the bishop of the Caribbean Synod, was called to serve at the ELCA Churchwide Offices. Felix Malpica graduated from Luther in 2009 where he studied Spanish and music. From there, Malpica earned his Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary. Malpica served as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Janesville, Wis., from 2017 until August 2021. Prior to that, he served as associate pastor of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas.

Currently, Malpica is working, along with members of the La Crosse Area Synod, to assist in relief efforts for Afghan people settling in the area. He also has a seat on the Institute of Liturgical Studies Advisory Board. Malpica and his wife, Jessica Malpica, have two children, Javier and Ruben. They live in La Crosse, Wis. 

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