Class of 1978 Fall Letter

Fall 2012

Dear Classmate,

It’s great to be writing to you again! We weren’t able to attend homecoming this year (more on that later), but we have some news from the college to pass along:

  • This fall Luther welcomed 681 new students which exceeded the goal.  Thanks to those of you that helped achieve this by encouraging the young women and men you know to consider Luther College. It’s often a personal invitation that leads to an inquiry, a visit, and a new student.
  • While increasing the college’s endowment is the prime focus of the current Sesquicentennial Fund campaign, ground was broken this fall on a new aquatics center. The facility will feature a competition pool and diving area, as well as a shallow pool for lessons, classes, and water aerobics.
  • The college continues to be a leader in sustainability. The college recently dedicated one of the state’s largest solar fields, which powers much of Baker Village. Luther received the 2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award and was named one of eight colleges across the country to receive an "A" on the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card.  

Although we didn’t attend homecoming this year, we will definitely make it next year—and we hope you do, too! Next year will be the thirty-five-year reunion of our class of 1978. Dates are October 4-6, 2013. Now is the time to start carving out the time in your schedule and planning to attend.  Check for lodging options here.  Come back home to Luther, experience the campus, and, most importantly, renew friendships.

As we close, please seriously consider a gift to the Luther College Annual Fund. Annual giving and increased alumni participation are critically important if Luther is to remain the best teaching and learning environment in the Midwest. All gifts, large or small, make a difference and have an important impact on Luther. Charitable foundations and corporations that support Luther consider your annual gift a vote of confidence in the college, and your gift encourages their gifts. Thank you for your continued support.

John and Julie (Johnson) Nelson
1978 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 59 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
TIM FISHER teaches mathematics at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

DENNY HANSON is a research investigator in biomedical imaging at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

NANCY (HAWBAKER) HARMS retired from teaching physical education and special education in the Madison (Wis.) Metro School District.

CECELIA (NYBRO) MANLOVE is chief operation officer of Amerigroup Community Care of Austin and San Antonio, Texas.

Anne (PETERSON) and CHARLES Pietscher ‘76 of Keokuk, Iowa, visited the Antarctic peninsula last winter with their grandson, Karston.

MARK SCHULTZ is president of Schultz Brothers Co. in Lake Zurich, Ill.

GAIL STEARNS is dean of the Wallace All Faiths Chapel and associate professor of religious studies at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. She is author of the book Open Your Eyes: Towards Living More Deeply in the Present, Wipf & Stock Publishing.

Luther alumni JERRY WRIGHT, KIRK JOHNSON '82 (Luther associate director of alumni relations), JOSH HILDEBRAND '02, JESSE REYERSON '03, and PETER YLVISAKER '84 were among the competitors in the Almanzo 100, a 100-mile bike race on gravel roads between Spring Valley and Preston, Minn., last May. Temperatures were in the upper 80s, with wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour.


John and Julie Nelson