InterVarsity Alumni - Anne Luppeno Rommel

InterVarsity creates a lasting impression in students’ lives through strong biblical teaching, thoughtful community, and missions experiences that ripple into the world.

In 1951 Anne Luppeno entered the State University of New York at Oswego as a first-year student. Anne grew up in a Lutheran home and had a basic knowledge of Christianity. She knew Jesus as savior, but she had not yielded to his supreme guidance.

Anne hungered to be fed spiritually. As she ambled through campus one evening, an intriguing poster for a lecture, hosted by the InterVarsity chapter on campus, spoke to her need for spiritual nourishment. She decided to attend the talk and soon found herself in a lecture hall filled with people chatting with one another. Anne sidled into a seat and listened intently to Dane Gordon’s address the topic of Christianity on the British campus.

At the end of Dane’s presentation, Anne felt compelled to speak with him. She intended to simply thank him and move on, but instead, Dane engaged her with challenging questions about her faith. During their conversation, the void in Anne’s life began to fill as Dane illuminated some truths about Christianity. She left the lecture hall craving a relationship with God.

Anne sought out and began a friendship with the InterVarsity staff worker on her campus, Dorothy Farmer. Dorothy encouraged Anne to participate in the chapter, where she met a community of believers. Through the relationships she made with other InterVarsity students, Anne learned to open her heart to God’s grace. “I learned about opening my life and my heart to Christ and how to live for him,” she said. As Anne participated in the InterVarsity chapter, she thought deeply about issues of faith. The other chapter members invited her into their dialogues, which made a lasting impression on her.

Over the next few years, Anne continued to grow spiritually through the community and spiritual direction she received from her InterVarsity friends. Then on Christmas Eve, 1954, while spending time with her grandmother, Anne received a phone call from Dorothy. She reported that someone had given Anne a full scholarship to attend the Urbana Student Missions Convention. The day after Christmas Anne rode down to the convention at the University of Illinois-Urbana with another InterVarsity student.

Out of all the opportunities for growth at Urbana, Anne learned the most from her small group leader, Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie, a Dutch woman, was sent during WWII to a concentration camp because she and her family hid Jews from the Nazis. At Urbana, Corrie’s words inspired Anne to consider God’s call on her life.

Anne’s years in the chapter propelled her to involvement in her own community once she had left school. God used InterVarsity in Anne’s life to develop her gifts and prepare her for his purposes; she used those gifts and a sense of calling to invest and lead a younger generation in following Christ. In the mid-fifties she took part in God’s mission by mentoring seven teenagers in a Young Life club that she began in New York. In two years the club grew to over 90 participants. Many of the teenagers that Anne invested in continue to devote their lives to God’s purposes in the world—and so the ripple continues.

The influence of InterVarsity on Anne has endured. Anne’s time as a chapter member in InterVarsity has long past, but she continues to support the ministry through prayer and finances. God is using InterVarsity as a catalyst for many students to leave college with a desire to change the world around them.