Mike Lutzenkirchen, father of former Auburn student-athlete Philip Lutzenkirchen, spoke to students in Callaway Auditorium on Thursday on behalf of the Lutzie 43 Foundation. The event was sponsored by the LaGrange College Athletic Department and Counseling Center.
Lutzenkirchen is executive director for the foundation that continues his son's legacy. Philip died in a single vehicle accident June 29, 2014, in Troup County.
Lutzenkirchen has presented "Philip's legacy…what legacy are you leaving?" more than 180 times across the United States. Thursday evening was an emotional one for Lutzenkirchen, who was speaking in LaGrange for the first time.
He began by speaking of his son and examples of the type of person he was. Lutzenkirchen recalled how Philip escorted a student with Down's syndrome to his high school prom, and took the time to speak to a young girl facing major surgery from a cancerous tumor.
Lutzenkirchen finished with the retelling of the accident that claimed his son's life. Alcohol was a leading factor in the crash, and he challenged those in attendance to help prevent the same thing from happening by being "not just a good friend but a great friend."
The Lutzie 43 Foundation also offers its 43 Lessons to Legacy character development curriculum and $4,300 PFL (Performance for Life) Character Scholarship Program.
A native of Wheaton, Illinois, Lutzenkirchen said he identified with the LaGrange College student-athletes. He was a two-sport athlete at NCAA Division III Coe College where he played baseball and basketball. Lutzenkirchen also has two daughters who played Division I soccer.