Class of 1969 Fall Letter

Fall 2012

Dear Classmates,

I love fall!  This year I have particularly appreciated living in the autumnal atmosphere of vivid colors and cool, crisp weather.  But I also love fall because there is apparently an academic calendar imbedded in my brain that gets me excited when September rolls around!  So, once again, I am back in school.

We have many new teachers this year and one of them is a Luther graduate.  Believing that we are all responsible for mentoring new staff, I advised the young lady to remember that “Luther College graduates can do anything!”  Other faculty members have heard me say this many times, responding with much good-natured eye-rolling!  Admittedly, the statement is made with tongue-in-cheek, but there is a part of me that really believes that my Luther education has grounded me in ways that help me as I encounter life’s challenges.

Decades ago, I looked ahead to enjoying retirement as a stress-free escape from the world of work and responsibility.  And yet I find myself at age sixty-seven accepting new challenges as a teaching assistant in our school’s music department and also as the school nurse!  To be perfectly honest, I have questioned my sanity several times recently!  But I have also had a talk with myself, coming to the conclusion that this is the right thing for me to do, primarily because the students need me and because I do, indeed, have the skills to approach the reorganization of a dormant service within the school.  So, despite some fatigue and frustration, I am tackling a new challenge.   

The current issue of Luther Alumni Magazine includes an article in which President Torgerson answers questions pertaining to increased college costs.  One of the questions addresses the sustainability of residential, liberal arts education.  The president responded, in part, with these words: “I would [also] suggest that a residential, liberal arts college provides a learning experience that is unduplicated.  It creates a lifelong passion for learning, it instills curiosity and wonder, it nurtures in students the ability to develop a hypothesis and to connect the dots.  It enables the examination of why you believe what you believe and lets you develop the capacity to defend what you believe.  In no other place does that happen in the same way.  It is the reason employers like to hire liberal arts graduates.  Add to this the fact that Luther is a community of faith.  Fundamental to this intersection of faith, learning and vocation is the desire to educate whole persons with the ability to respond to a rapidly changing world.  This is the kind of transformational education that citizens of the world need.” So perhaps it is not such a stretch to say that a Luther education prepares graduates to do anything they feel called to do!

I encourage you to read President Torgerson’s article in its entirety. In doing so, you will be impressed by the need for a significant increase in alumni giving.  In fact, the Board of Regents has challenged us to increase our gifts by one percent this year.  If you are not giving regularly, please seriously consider what you might contribute.  The size of your gift is not as important as the fact that you give something.  From my own experience, I recommend a monthly amount withdrawn from a bank account as a painless procedure, and it’s easy to set up online.  Together we can show that the Class of ’69 can be a significant part of the effort to move Luther into the future as the strong institution we love! 

May you all be blessed with the gifts of health and wholeness in this season of fruitfulness, always mindful of the call to share thankfully of life’s bounty!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Richard Staff
1969 Class Agent
[email protected]

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?  Only 45 more gifts are needed to reach 27% for your class.  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

Class Notes
DOUGLAS CARDEN is retired in Duck Creek Village, Utah.

DAVID ELLINGSON is professor of children, youth, and family studies at Trinity Lutheran College in Everett, Wash. He completed a three-month kayak adventure down the Mississippi River from Lake Itasca in Minnesota to New Orleans, La., in May, in time for the ELCA Youth Gathering at the Superdome.

KAREN (OYLOE) and ED KRAMER’68 are both recently retired

Richard Staff