As I was driving between White Lake, Mich. and Columbus, Ohio, as I've done frequently as of late because we have daughters and granddaughters in each location (and we actually live in Florida), I noticed there is a stretch of landscape, once I turn off of I-75 onto Highway 15/23 that reminds me of vistas from my car windows when I drove from Minneapolis to Decorah 45+ years ago. The distance, of just over three hours, is about the same as well. What took my breath away, aside from the beauty of the landscape, was the fact that it brought my mind back to Luther, as it does when I pass similar scenery. Sometimes it’s the far reaching checkerboard fields of crops, the rolling hills or the rocky bluffs, and the occasional horse drawn Amish buggies.
At first I thought “How odd?” Then I realized it really wasn’t. It was that connectedness to Luther once again. It just creeps in at various places and stages in our lives. It's where some of us met our spouses, and/or our lifelong friends, first learned how to be more independent and laid a foundation for how we contribute to our world today. We can't escape it. It's the Luther landscape in our minds.
With our 45-year class reunion clearly in our rear view mirrors, don't feel you have to wait until our 50th to visit Luther and/or Decorah. Here is a list of suggestions to help keep the Luther landscape in your mind.
The emails and Luther Magazine provide wonderful summaries of what's happening on and off campus with our students and alumni. Do you ever wish, as I do sometimes, for a “redo” of certain parts of Luther life? There are so many amazing opportunities in which students of all ages can be involved. Of special interest this summer is the first ever Dorian Choral Retreat for adults led by Dr. Andrew Last ’97. This is designed for Luther alumni, music educators, church musicians, friends of Luther, career musicians, and folks who just love singing. So if you’ve always regretted not singing in Nordic Choir, this will be chance to let your voice be heard. Save the dates, June 29th-July 1st. Visit for the latest and greatest.
And don't forget about events and activities right in Decorah as well.
Upcoming Decorah Events
Did you know there are two breweries in Decorah?
Luther’s Alumni Office coordinates and/or promotes a number of travel tours each year. Upcoming tours in 2018 include Nordic Choir Companion Tour to Germany and Czechia (May-June 2018) and Sicily and Malta (October 2018), .
If you've been considering making a gift to Luther, but just haven't figured out the easiest way to do that, check out recognition/loyalty. If you make a gift at any level for three consecutive years, you become a member of Luther’s Loyalty Society. You can even sign up for monthly giving if that's easier for you. Visit givenow.luther.edu to get started.
I know the Alumni Ambassador program has been mentioned in a few previous letters but here is a “real time” example of how it works. Marilyn recommended a young woman she knows from her church. If this prospective student attends Luther, she will receive a $1,000 scholarship per year (in Marilyn’s name, no less). She is choosing between Concordia, her family’s alma mater, and Luther but she has fallen in love with Luther and wants to play her trombone in the Luther Band. This referral program is easy to do and very rewarding. Feel free to call the Alumni Office at any time 563-387-1861 with questions. Someone is always willing and happy to explain all the different options and funds.
Wherever your journeys take you this year, always feel free to reach out to us via email, phone or text, and share a Luther memory as it enters your mind (because we now know how quickly it can leave that brain space). We love hearing from you!!
Soli Deo Gloria,
Bev (Ulstad) Borgstrom
1972 Class Agents:
Bev (Ulstad) Borgstrom
Marilyn (Fritz) Shardlow
Rick Fromm is managing editor at Decorah Newspapers. He was named the “best sports columnist” in the weekly division (class III) of the Iowa Newspaper Association’s annual better newspaper contest for the second consecutive year.
Lee Olson is the reinsurance manager for CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wis.
John Whitham is staff physician at Wellmed at Wooldridge in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Cletus L. Houdek of Florida City, Fla., died Feb. 28, 2017, age 65.
Full obituaries can be found on the Luther College website at: luther.edu/in-memoriam
If you would like a printout of the full obituaries from your class mailed to you, please contact us at: [email protected], or 563-387-1509.