Class of 1962 Reunion - Homecoming 2012

Summer 2012

Dear Class of 1962,

It seems like yesterday that we were thinking about arrangements to get to the 25th anniversary; that was in 1987.  Academics, historians, particularly, tend to be conscious about the passage of time and how it changes things and also how things don’t change.  So, this fall, we will have an opportunity to see both these aspects in the lives (and bodies) of our classmates.  How many of us were looking a half century into the future on that Sunday late in May in 1962?  Indeed most of us were anticipating what the following fall would bring―new jobs, seminary or grad school, teaching―and not a huge span of time like that.

Old memories bring renewed life.  It was just yesterday that we registered under the watchful eye of Ruth Mostrom.  Requirements, flimsy class cards, classes closed, freshmen last―all that comes back.  How many still have their green beanies?  Mine was all gunked up with grease from the pole climb so my mother threw it out when I wasn’t looking.  But I still have my tuxedo tie from my Luther Band days; it was a tie-it-yourself model.  My dad (Class of ʾ29) put his foot down, “No kid of mine is going to be wearing a fake bow tie.”  Isn’t that so Luther?  An abhorrence of the phoney and don’t brag about it even if you have done it.  Take that dizzy Dean!  It’s like Pip Qualley, “I know you don’t know that Helgeland, anyone can see that.  Why don’t you know that?”

You have a thousand memories equally wonderful from that time and that place.  And you must come and share them October 5-7, 2012.  You will be poorer for not being there, and the rest of us will miss you too.  We need, also, to find out what you have been doing since then, since the time the liberal arts turned us free-range intellectuals loose on the world.  The liberal arts are important because now the state university crowd knows more and more about less and less.

Please join us for the fiftieth anniversary celebration, Homecoming Weekend, October 5-7, 2012.  A schedule of events for the weekend celebration and housing information can be found online at  Please be sure to register by Friday, September 14th to attend the Friday afternoon reception, along with the luncheon and dinner on Saturday.  You may use the enclosed response form or register online at The Friday afternoon reception and Saturday luncheon are free of charge, but the dinner on Saturday night is $20.00 per person.  Your reservation and payment are requested in advance.

We hope you will also join us for the Alumni Dinner on Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. in the Dining Hall of the Dahl Centennial Union.  Cost is $20 per person and advance reservations can be made by mail or online.  Following the dinner, the Distinguished Service Award presentations and Jazz Orchestra concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life.  Classmates Terry Sorom and Miriam (Strum) Odden (along with her spouse, Fran Odden '59) will be presented with Distinguished Service Awards from the college.  Congratulations to Terry, Miriam and Fran!

Checking what the alumni office sent out to me, I counted fifty-three classmates who have gone on before us in death.  So come and represent those who would be here but cannot.  As head chapel checker I will never forget how Tom Torreson did a burlesque of the whole process (was he a Dietrich Bonhoeffer-type anonymous Christian – probably?)  And then there is the Roger Gard tradition, and so on.  Moreover, take care that you can be with us as well.

Presently, we remind ourselves about our class gift.  Some of us are in a position to give large sums, but others not.  What is important, though, is the percentage of participants.  Every gift says that Luther has been significant, is significant, and will be so in the centuries to come.  I say that with the confidence that the spirit of Luther propels it forward to increasing creativity and excellence.  Whatever one’s theology might indicate, Luther is one impressive form of evolution.  Come and see for yourself.

Sic semper,

John Helgeland
Class Agent