Class of 1942 Fall Letter

Fall 2012

Dear Member of the Class of 1942,

It’s been a terrific fall semester here at Luther! New enrolled students total 681 and come from throughout the U.S. and 25 other countries. Construction on the new Aquatic Center is well underway and will be completed in the summer (you can search on the Internet for “Luther Aquatic Center” and check out the YouTube video). A stunning solar array, the largest in the state of Iowa, now supplies energy for Baker Village and propels Luther even closer to its carbon reduction goals. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute selected Luther to receive a $1.5M grant for its science education Preparing Future K-12 Teachers program—an amazing accolade for the college, and Luther is now ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the U.S. 

But if you put any stock in the adage all good things must end, you won’t be surprised that President Torgerson will end his service as Luther’s president this summer.  The college is incredibly fortunate to have had his and Mrs. Torgerson’s leadership since 1999, and a celebration to honor the Torgersons is set for sometime in April.  The search for Luther’s next president is in progress, with plans to name the college’s new leader, its 10th president, in February 2013.

Another great honor for Luther was announced recently, when senior Georgianna "Annie" Whiteley of Wayzata, Minn., was named a Rhodes Scholar.  Annie was selected from a pool of 838 candidates nominated by their colleges and universities. She was the only student from an Iowa school selected for the honor. We are especially thrilled with Annie’s selection, as it affirms the type of education Luther offers—one that moves students beyond immediate interests and present knowledge into a larger world. Rhodes Scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England, and may allow funding in some instances for four years. One of 32 outstanding scholars selected, Annie will begin studies at Oxford in October 2013. She has maintained a 3.988 GPA while majoring in chemistry and pursuing a minor in biology at Luther. Annie is Luther’s 8th Rhodes Scholar.

Please stay in touch with Luther. If your name hasn’t been on the classmate updates list in awhile, let the Alumni Office know where you are and what you’re doing these days. Your classmates, and all of us at Luther, would like to know!

Thank you for your past support to Luther students,

Sue (Franzen) Drilling ’78
Director of Special Programs

RODNEY JAMES McCONNELL of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, died Feb. 17, 2012, at age 91. After graduation from Luther, he began his career with Dupont Co. and married Lillian (Stadsvold) McCONNELL ‘44 in 1943. Rodney served as a commanding officer in the Pacific Theater with the U.S. Navy during World War II. His career encompassed many aspects of the automotive industry and he was employed by Sinclair Oil Co., Monsanto Chemical, Ford Motor Co., Automotive Research Associates-San Antonio (from where he retired, as president), and Shell Chemical Co., as a consultant. Rodney was active in the Society of Automotive Engineers, American Petroleum Institute, and American Society for Testing Materials. He enjoyed his hobby of restoring antique cars and was a member of Alamo City Corvair Association, Key to the Hills Vintage Car Club, and Fredericksburg Vintage Car Club. Rodney was active in the Lutheran church, serving on building committees, councils, and offices, and most recently he was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Boerne. He is survived by his wife, Lillian; sons, David and John; and two nieces. He was a member of Luther’s Heritage Club.

Don’t forget your Annual Fund giving!

Each year nearly 9,500 alumni, parents, and friends support the Annual Fund with gifts from $5 to $50,000.  Strong support from alumni helps Luther secure additional funds from foundations and corporations, and your gift each year helps us to reach our goal of 27% alumni giving to the Annual Fund.  Here’s how your class is doing so far this year:


Have you made your 2012 gift to Luther.  Please visit to make a difference for Luther students.  Thank you!

Please note: Your Spring 2013 class agent letter will include a listing of your classmates who gave to Luther during 2012.  Be sure to make your gift before December 31 to be included. 

*as of October 18, 2012

Luther College Bell