Spring 2010 Class Agent Letter

Dear Friend,

Did you know that you can share your updates by posting them in the comments section below?  You may also share your updates by logging on to the Alumni Directory or emailing [email protected].  No matter the method you choose, everyone looks forward to reading about where your life has taken you, and the unique direction your path has gone. 

Here on campus we are well into the Spring 2010 semester, and in a few short weeks, another class of seniors will graduate and become Luther alumni! In addition to their academics and co-curricular activities, seniors have been learning about the importance of charitable giving in their own lives, and about the many years of alumni gifts—your gifts to Luther—which enhanced their own educational experiences.

Students see the tangible results of your gifts to Luther

  • the new entrance to campus with stonework and plantings
  • new directional signage
  • Sampson Hoffland Laboratories and newly renovated Valders Hall of Science
  • new furniture in the library
  • extensive upgrades to practice fields and ball diamonds
  • a re-surfaced outdoor track

and the effects of the intangibles, such as scholarships, are felt by many.

Luther’s senior pledge campaign—Luther 10 (formerly known as Alumni Challenge)—gives senior students an opportunity to “pay it forward.”  Luther 10 builds on the power of community and is coordinated by a committee of senior students who seek pledges from their classmates, which they don’t begin paying until a year after graduation. Each year seniors challenge themselves to outdo the previous class. Last year’s Class of 2009 reached 216 members of the class who pledged $26,951, with an average gift of $40 per year. The Class of 2010 is off to a great start with over 150 pledges so far, and an alumni couple has offered to match $20,000 of the total.

Thank you for your past gifts, which inspire our graduating seniors and programs like Luther 10! Your willingness to give back to Luther not only keeps this place vibrant and strong, it teaches our students about the importance of giving. If you have not yet made your gift to Luther this year, please send in an envelope, or give online at givenow.luther.edu.

Remember to mark your calendar for October 8-10, Homecoming 2010.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Sue Drilling

Sue (Franzen) Drilling ’78
Director of Special Programs
[email protected]

PS.  Thanks to the generous support of many alumni donors, Luther has benefited from the member-matching program—GivingPlus—with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.  Unfortunately, GivingPlus was eliminated by Thrivent at the end of 2009.  The "replacement" program—Thrivent Choice—will include a component called Choice Dollars, which some members will be eligible for. Members eligible for Thrivent Choice can still choose to direct their charitable support to Luther (which will be greatly appreciated, thank you!).  More information about the program (which is scheduled to begin sometime in April) is available at https://www.thrivent.com/thriventchoice/news/index.html


CARLETON SPERATI of Parkersburg, W.V., died Oct. 3, 2009, at age 91.  The grandson of legendary Luther College Band Director Carlo A. Sperati (LC 1888), Carleton played in the Luther Band and other musical organizations throughout his years at Luther, including the 1936 tour to Norway. He earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Illinois in 1941 and began a 38-year career with the DuPont Company in Arlington, N.J., transferring to Wilmington, Del., in 1950, and to Parkersburg in 1972.  Carleon held multiple patents and was instrumental in the research and development of polytetrafluorethylene (Teflon®). He retired from DuPont in 1978 as a research fellow and became the Stocker Visiting Distinguished Professor at Ohio University in Athens.  Carleton continued to be active in chemistry through participation in standards organizations (ASTM, ISO) and consulting. In January 1988, he taught a course in chemistry at Luther and had the privilege of staying at Sperati House, the original Decorah home of his grandparents. Carleton enjoyed canoeing, camping, and skiing, but the love of his life was music. He began playing flute at age 10 and continued playing and conducting in bands, theatre, and other musical organizations until age 89.  Carleton received the Distinguished Service Award in 1993 and the Carlo A. Sperati Award in 1978, during the centennial celebration of the Luther College Band. He was a member of First Lutheran Church, and Luther’s President’s Council and Heritage Club. Carleton is survived by three children, including C. ROBERT SPERATI ’66 and SOLVEIG SPERATI KORTE ’74; seven grandchildren, including CHRISTINE SPERATI EASTBURN ’88 and KENDRA KORTE ’03; and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Eloise, in 2003; his parents, CARSTEN ’13 and MARTHA SPERATI ’45; a brother; and a sister, BEVERLY (SPERATI) WEEKS ’41. Memorials may be sent to the Luther College Sperati Scholarship Fund.

RALPH ANDERSON of Fergus Falls, Minn., died Dec. 12, 2009, at age 92. He attended Luther College and graduated from the College of Mortuary Science at St. Louis. Ralph enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 and worked as a surgical technician with the Navy Hospital Corps until 1944. Following military service, he lived and worked in Leon and Jewell, Iowa. From 1950-65, Ralph owned and operated a furniture store and funeral home in Wykoff, Minn. He moved to Fergus Falls in 1965 and worked at Olson Funeral Home and Furniture Store until 1978, and was later employed at the Regional Treatment Center until his retirement. Ralph was a member of First Lutheran Church, the VFW, American Legion, and DAV. He is survived by three children, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Ralph was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy.

ALVIN VICK of Decorah died Nov. 15, 2009, at age 100. He attended Luther Prep School, Luther College, and Waldorf College. During World War II, Alvin served in the U.S. Army and was recruited for the 99th Norwegian Battalion (nicknamed "Norsemen of the Northwest") as an interpreter. He served in England, Germany, France, and Norway and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. In February 2009 Alvin was recognized as the oldest World War II veteran of Winneshiek County. Following the war, he returned to Decorah and made a living doing odd jobs, home repairs, building, and painting. Alvin was a member of Decorah Lutheran Church and the VFW. He enjoyed photography and traveling, and had a passion for knowledge and reading.


Campus in bloom