Class of 1976 Fall Letter

Fall 2012

Hello Classmates,

We cannot believe it’s already been a year since our 35th class reunion.  So much has happened since then.  Chris moved her ailing mom to Janesville in May―a good move―and in August watched her hometown burst onto the national radar screen with the selection of local boy Paul Ryan as the Republican vice presidential candidate.  (Begging the question, what happens to all this free local publicity if Romney/Ryan lose?  We’ll know more by the time you read this!)  In May, Julie celebrated the wedding of her older daughter, Kallie, with great heart and style and, as of October, has become an official empty nester with all three children now through school, employed, and out of the house.  Chris welcomes her to the empty nest club.  Are you there yet?  

Even though the year has flown by, a lot is happening at Luther, too.  As many of you know, Luther President Rick Torgerson is stepping down at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.  The Presidential Search Committee hopes to be interviewing in Minneapolis―a neutral site―in mid-January with recommendations to the Luther Board of Regents in mid-February. 

We’re pleased to report that construction on Luther’s new aquatic center has begun and will be finished in the summer.  It is looking to be a fabulous state-of-the-art facility that will serve Luther’s competitive swimming and physical education programs, as well as the community at large.  The college is just $700,000 short of its $6.5 million goal for the project.  While Luther has exceeded its Sesquicentennial Fund goal of $50 million, the aquatics center is one of those projects that was added to the Fund late in the game, and costs have exceeded original estimates.  If sports and wellness were part of your Luther experience, please consider a special donation to help the aquatics center project to completion. 

Not surprisingly, given the track record of recent years, Luther’s sustainability efforts continue to make new benchmarks: 

  • The college received the 2012 Climate Leadership Award selected by the Second Nature Board of Directors.
  • Luther’s solar energy field is one of the largest in Iowa.
  • With solar panels, Baker Village will be a net-zero emissions facility, the largest in Iowa.
  • Last year 49 percent of the food served on campus was grown locally. 
  • Finally, Luther distributed collectively $32 million in financial aid to the Class of 2012.  Only $2 million came from Luther’s endowment; a portion of the balance came from fundraising efforts, such as the Annual Fund.  We hope you will take this opportunity to make a cheerful year-end gift to the Annual Fund in support of this generation of Luther students. 

The Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons will soon be upon us.  Enjoy their beauty and blessings wherever they may find you.  

Our best to you all,

Chris (Ericksen) Moore
1976 Class Agent
chremoore@charter.net

Julie (Pederson) Knutson
1976 Class Agent
knutson54@charter.net


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:

CLASS OF 1976 TOTAL GIVING: $22,187.03 FROM 13% OF THE CLASS*

Have you made your 2012 gift to Luther?  Only 59 more gifts are needed to reach 27% for your class.  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


Class Notes
JANICE OLDENBURG is the vice president of patient engagement for Aetna Consulting in Menlo Park, Calif.

Anne (PETERSON) ’78 and CHARLES Pietscher of Keokuk, Iowa, visited the Antarctic Peninsula last winter with their grandson, Karston.

PENNIE PRIES is a simulation technologist educator in the simulation center at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

AL SERSLAND retired after 10 years as principal at Circle High School in Towanda, Kan. The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association presented him with the Thomas E. Frederick Award of Excellence for contributions to his profession at the 42nd Annual National Athletic Directors Conference banquet in Indianapolis last year.

ROSS SUTTER was awarded the Sally Ordway Irvine Award in education from the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. He is a self-employed musician and teacher in Minneapolis.

GREG WYMORE works in outside sales at Bert Gurney and Associates in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Members of Luther's dance squad