What is occupying your time and thoughts these days? I find myself more often remembering and reflecting…perhaps it is age! The following comments from the wife of a former classmate provide an opportunity for remembering. In her email, she shared that her husband loved his years at Luther and that they were formative years for him, his career, his friendships, and his character…wonderful words to inspire our own Luther reflections.
If you enrolled at Luther for this school year, you would be “elbowing your way” through a larger number of new students…681 first-year and transfers, which is about 300 more than when we began. You would still be surrounded primarily by Midwesterners, since over 80 percent of the student body comes from the four states of Minnesota (leading the way), Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois, with international students comprising 6.2 percent. If you now imagine yourself as a returning sophomore, you are part of a class that has a healthy 87.8 percent persistence rate. If instead you graduated this past spring, you would be one of 95 percent of graduates who are either employed, attending graduate/professional schools, or volunteering.
Perhaps like me, you don’t have time to read all the Luther Alumni Magazine when it arrives. When I recently returned to articles in the Spring 2012 edition, I found the results of the National Survey of Student Engagement survey interesting. Luther students, in comparison to Midwestern universities, rated more highly their relationships with faculty, their participation in co-curricular activities, their personal and spiritual development…again, demonstrating the strength of the Luther community.
Thank you for your very generous financial support! For 2011, the class of 1960 demonstrated a genuine caring and commitment to making a difference. Among all classes, we ranked 6th in total gifts to both the Annual Fund and all funds. Please consider continuing your financial commitment or giving a new gift of any size. Regular alumni giving is vital in both supporting current students and in obtaining funds from corporations and foundations. Also sincerely appreciated are the ways you support Luther through staying connected, and through your prayers.
Hope you are looking forward to the holidays and other special times in the months ahead. Christmas at Luther and a January road trip to Florida will help me enjoy (and avoid) at least some of the Wisconsin winter. Please continue to stay in touch. Best to you and yours for a blessed holiday season.
1960 Class Agent
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 participation goal of alumni giving to the Annual Fund. Here’s how your class is doing so far this year:
CLASS OF 1960 TOTAL GIVING: $52,858.53 FROM 30% OF THE CLASS*
Have you made your 2012 gift to Luther? Please visit www.givenow.luther.edu 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
GERALD "JERRY" LEE passed away on June 28, 2011. He lived and worked in the Seattle and Snohomish County, Wash., areas since 1968. Jerry taught at the University of Washington, and held a joint position at the university's counseling center. Later, he practiced as a psychologist in Everett until retiring in 2007. Jerry had a lifelong passion for sports, which led to youth coaching in recreation leagues in Seattle and South Snohomish Co. He played basketball himself until age 69; the highlight of his basketball playing was the World Master's games in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1989. Jerry is survived by his wife, Rita; children, Christine Carr, Elizabeth McAmis, Andrew Lee, and Michael Lee; and 6 grandchildren.
JAMES W. YLVISAKER of New Canaan, Conn., died Nov. 22, 2011, at age 73, in Rochester, Minn., where he was being treated for cancer. He grew up in Minneapolis and Decorah, where his father, J.W. Ylvisaker ’21, served as president of Luther College from 1948-62. After graduating from Luther, James served in the U.S. Army for two years, then joined the actuarial department of North American Life and Casualty Insurance in Minneapolis. Later, he was employed by IDS Insurance in Minneapolis as an associate actuary, and then by Cologne Reinsurance in Stamford, Conn., where he was executive vice president and COO. James also served as president and CEO of IdeaLife Insurance Co., as president and CEO of Horizons, LLC, and as an independent consultant. James worked as managing director and president of U.S. Living Benefits, LLC, from 1997-2007, when he became consulting actuary for the company. He was a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and the International Actuarial Association; he was named a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and served as chair of the Society of Actuaries Task Force on Capital Projects. James was listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. He was involved in the communities where he lived and had served many organizations, including the W. Ogden Booker Chorale, the New York Mission Society, the United Way, and the Phyllis Wheatly Community Center in Minneapolis. James established the J.W. and Lucille Ylvisaker Endowed Scholarship at Luther in 1985, in honor of his parents. He was a life member of Luther’s President’s Council and a member of the Heritage Club. James served on the Luther College Board of Regents from 1990-2003. He is survived by his life partner, Grace Eide, and his sister, MARTHA (YLVISAKER) LIMBURG ’56, and her husband, JAMES LIMBURG ’56. He was predeceased by his parents, J.W. YLVISAKER ’21 and Lucille Ylvisaker, and his grandfather, JOHANNES THORBJORNSEN YLVISAKER (LC 1874). Memorials are suggested for the J.W. and Lucille Ylvisaker Endowed Scholarship at Luther.