“I am a hopeful person,” Luke Gascho tells us. Luke is a Professor in the Sustainability and Environmental Affairs Education Department at Goshen College and the Executive Director of the school’s environmental learning center. We thought Luke was well qualified to share his thoughts about the future of our region’s environment. As Luke said, he is hopeful, but he is also “aware of the environmental challenges of today.”
In support of his positive outlook, Luke cites what he has seen people do in just a few short years. That holds true on both an individual and region-wide basis. He cites what the City of Goshen is doing. He sees the interest in the area schools, specifically Goshen High School and Bethany Christian. He also sees the passion and commitment in his students. “They are preparing for leadership roles in this field,” he says.
Luke adds that he has faith in the resilience people can display. The issue, he says. “is something we can figure out and support each other as we work together.”
Luke was nominated by the cohort of current graduate students in his program. They told us, “Luke is retiring this year and this nomination, we feel, will beautifully cap his long, award-filled career.” We are not sure that this friendly acknowledgment of a great guy to know is enough recognition, but we are pleased to include him as one of the county’s Vibrant People.
We asked Luke what his plans are for after retirement. He chuckled. “I’ve got a list,” says. The list is long and the things he wants to do will keep him active. Luke is an avid gardener and he has his orchard. He reads and “does a little writing.” He is a woodworker, a photographer and grandparent.
Luke and his wife, Becky have three children and four grandkids. The grandkids do not live close by, so add travel to the post-retirement list of things to do.
We hope this man who is seen as hardworking, kind, dedicated, reliable and encouraging finds joy in the next phase of his life. We believe he will.