Class of 1971 Fall Letter

Fall 2012

Dear Friends from the Class of ’71,

Greetings from Decorah!  Homecoming 2012 has come and gone, and a few of us from the class of ’71 dropped in on the class of ’72’s reunion dinner to reconnect with our “younger” friends.  What a testimony to the Luther experience it is that so many graduates return to Decorah for their reunions.  This just doesn’t happen in most other colleges and universities. 

News notes: 

  • I (Jim) participate in a small group men’s Bible study that meets in the Sampson Hoffland Science Building.  One of our members is Lance Huber, the swim team coach, so we get to hear all about the new aquatic center construction, which is scheduled to be finished in the summer.  We are only $700,000 short of $6.5 million, and this is an opportunity to make a tangible contribution to a wonderful facility - a Myrtha pool, which is made of stainless steel.  Myrtha pools are used by the Olympics in trials and competition and are highly respected. We will be the first college in the Midwest to have this kind of pool! 
  • Luther received the 2012 Climate Leadership Award and continues to model responsible stewardship to students and community.  The new solar energy field north of the athletic fields is one of the largest in Iowa.
  • All residence halls have been remodeled in the last decade.
  • The new Trout Run Trail is now complete - all eleven miles and the bridge over Highway 9.  As you may imagine, Luther was involved. I can report that I’ve never been on a more scenic and enjoyable bike trail.
  • Luther continues to graduate successful, well grounded, and well equipped young adults (Just like we were?).  Placement statistics show that 96% of graduates are employed, in grad school, or working as interns or volunteers, within six months.
  • To continue to do that, incoming students look to financial aid, and they look to we alumni who support Luther’s endowment, which funds scholarships and provides faculty and program support.  Financial aid is the only way most students can have the Luther experience.  Our class has continued to help future students  have that experience. There are still 449 of us; 135 of us (30%) have contributed $94,681.05 (to endowment).  There are many ways to support our alma mater - Annual Fund, specific goals (like the aquatic center), sponsor a scholarship, remember Luther in your will, etc.  It would be great if we could increase the percentage of us who contribute something.  (The class of ’62 has a 62% participation rate.)
  • President Rick Torgeson is going through the last time at each of Luther’s annual events in preparation for the end of this tenure.  One of his legacies will be that Luther has never looked better than it does now.  He has been a tireless campaigner for all things Luther across the country. 
  • Congratulations to classmate Bruce Tammen, the 2012 recipient of the Weston Noble Choral Award for distinguished achievement in the field of vocal music.
  • Luther will be presenting its 31st edition of Christmas at Luther, “Tidings of Comfort and Joy,” November 29-December 3. If you aren’t able to attend, look for this year’s telecast on PBS on December 23.

Diane and I are looking forward to the holiday season in Decorah.  We continue to enjoy the seasonal and cultural differences we’ve experienced by moving from San Diego to Decorah.  We wish you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Jim and Diane (Vlahovich) Hinrichs
1971 Class Agents
[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 56 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
CHARLES FINDLEY is a broker at RE/Max Ideal Brokers in Grants Pass, Ore. He also tutors part-time at Rogue Community College in math, GED prep, and English.

JANET PREUS is editor of Specialty Fabrics Review magazine in Roseville, Minn.

JANE LARSON and Ralph Ross, Oct. 1, 2011

Jim and Diane Hinrichs