Dear 1955 Classmates:
It has been a nice summer and fall in the Upper Midwest. For those of you who live elsewhere, you have missed some gorgeous fall colors. But, cooler weather is just around the bend. Wherever you live, enjoy each day of this season.
Mary and I attended Homecoming, Friday only, to get up to date on Luther. Alas, much of the weekend was marked by poor weather. The football team defeated Nebraska Wesleyan 41-38 after a long delay due to lightning. At that point that team’s record was 3-0, the first such start since 1990. Men’s soccer is doing well, and the women’s tennis team won the conference champion.
Overall, the Homecoming weekend was full of the usual good activities – class reunions, receptions, Friday chapel, Sunday worship and Nordic Choir, Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band performances. More than 2,500 alumni, family members, and friends attended. It was a busy time.
Class agents were brought up to date on campus events, changes, and planning. Admission of new students is once again down moderately. This is something that many small private liberal arts colleges are experiencing. Thus, the Admissions Office is putting added emphasis on the Alumni Ambassador Program, encouraging alumni to be alert to high school students who would fit well at Luther, sending the name(s) to the Admissions Office.
A recent survey showed that class letters were read in detail by 61 percent of those responding, and that 25 percent skimmed campus news but read the personal class notes in detail. To continue the letters while reducing the time and cost of on-campus production, Luther will now use a mailing service to send them out. In the future, letters will be limited to two pages, and a firm deadline will apply to submitting draft letters to the campus. Thus, if or when you send me a personal note for inclusion, please be brief, to save editing, and send it by the deadline I indicate.
For a number of years, Luther alumni have been asked to contribute to the Annual Fund. The name of the fund is now the Luther Fund. This is not a new fund but a change in name to reflect a more diverse and ongoing solicitation to emphasize investing in the students. Please take note.
Also, the college is in the final months of developing a new strategic plan with some new endeavors planned to carry out the mission of educating students for future work and contributing to society. The final document will be released this spring as now planned.
During the fiscal year that ended May 31, 2017, 26 percent of alumni contributed to the Luther Fund or some other fund. Once again our class has shown itself to be among the more generous when it comes to the number of members making a gift. I invite you to continue this level of support. Thank you so much.Also, you may recall that as part of our 50-year reunion, our class inaugurated the Golden Anniversary Endowed Scholarship Fund, where small, perhaps regular, gifts could be made and pooled. Later classes sometimes promoted this fund as well. At the end of the last fiscal year the value of this fund was $101,550. This year a scholarship of $4,300 was awarded. It is a good example of how modest gifts can make a difference in a student’s life. It has been my practice in recent years to make a gift to this fund in memory of a classmate. You might consider this.
For the first time in several years there are no obituaries of classmates to report. This is pleasant news. Not such good news is that only two class notes were received. Barbara (Sells) Pollei says she and husband Jack’s grandson, Daniel Flucke ‘12, is pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Greene, Iowa. His wife, Christin ‘12, is youth director. Barbara also says that she and Jack "do well for our ages and spend five months in Texas to escape the cold." From Ted Tweed’s LinkedIn site I learned that after 49 years he is now retired from clinical audiology at the U of Wisconsin, where he also served as program director. Prior to this he was in audiology at the U of Iowa. That is a long career! Mary and I will be attending Christmas at Luther on Sunday, December 3. I hope some of you can as well. It is always such a fine way to begin the holiday season. After Christmas and New Year’s we go to Arizona, not only to escape the cold winter weather but also to catch up with friends from other places, returning to Minnesota around May 1.
If you use the Internet but don’t receive an email from me soliciting personal information it is likely that I don’t have your email address. I invite you to send it if you have one. Otherwise send something by snail mail. The deadline for submitting news for the spring letter will be February 14. If this changes, I will make note of it by email. Personal notes are important. They are one of the few ways we stay connected as classmates, which is important at our time in life.
I’m not sure how many of you use the Internet for communicating, but if you do, you may want to navigate the college website www.luther.edu. It is newly redesigned with access to social media, campus news, and other items worth bragging about.
Finally, wherever you spend the fall, the holidays, and the winter season, my wish for you is good health and a peaceable life in spite of the conflicts and chaos in the world and in our country.
Be well. Best wishes,
1955 Class Agent