Class of 1979 Fall Letter

Fall 2012


The most recent copy of the Luther Magazine had pictures and an article on the completion of the bike trail running through and around Decorah.  The trail provides the user great views of the Upper Iowa River, Trout Run, Siewers Spring, and other scenic vistas of Decorah. One of my favorites is the initial glimpse of Luther as you arrive at Decorah from the south or west on Highway 52 or 9. That view always inspires a certain feeling. In any case, this trail came about through a cooperative effort of many Luther alumni, the Decorah community, as well as the college in general.   The trail will provide many benefits to the entire Northeast Iowa region for years to come.  The combined efforts of Decorah and Luther have provided many benefits to Luther students through the years.  The trail is a great example of people working together to provide benefits to both communities.  I would encourage everyone to experience the trail next time you are in Decorah.

Each year Luther supporters (alumni, parents, and friends of the college) have the opportunity to come together as a group to contribute financially to Luther.  On behalf of Luther, I thank you for your past support and ask you to participate this year and in the years to come.  I have never had the resources to make a large donation but have not missed many years since my initial contribution to the Regents Center in the 1980s.   

Best of luck with all you do.  Your continued support to Luther College makes a difference!

Keith Ellingson
1979 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 41 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
BRIAN ANDREAS of Santa Barbara, Calif., launched tumblecloud, a new destination on the web for collaborative digital storytelling.

RUTH BROMAN is a high school guidance counselor at the Jefferson-Scranton School in Jefferson, Iowa.

CHRISTOPHER CUDWORTH is a corporate marketing officer for Cooper Hong in St. Charles, Ill.

KEITH ELLINGSON teaches physical education at McKinley Elementary School in Des Moines.

MARK GOULD is director of liturgical music at St. Bruno Parish in Dousman, Wis.

DONNA LAGER is director of renal pathology at ProPath in Dallas.

JIM NIELSEN is a self-employed investor engaged in management/human resources consulting in Wuxi, Jiangsu, China.

BARBARA (VASKE) NORLAND is director of CHARLEE of Dade County in Miami, Fla. 

ROBYN SAND ANDERSON is an artist in New Ulm, Minn. Her exhibit, “Contrasts: Suffering and Hope,” was shown at Luther last winter. She is exhibiting her abstract paintings in acrylic at the Nina Bliese Gallery in Minneapolis from November 2012 through January 2013 and will continue working on the theme of contrasts.

CHERYL WESTRUM and Richard Bressler, Feb. 19, 2010

TIMOTHY JAMES TWITO of Northfield, Minn., died Dec. 24, 2011, at age 54. He earned a medical degree from the University of Iowa in 1984. After an internship at Hennepin County Medical Center, he attended Yale University for three years as a psychiatry resident. Tim practiced general psychiatry for nearly 25 years, first at Park Nicollet Clinic in Burnsville, Minn., and the last ten years at Allina Medical Clinic in Northfield. He had a deep and abiding love of literature, writing, and nature, and had participated in a writing group for nearly 20 years. Tim's kindness, intelligence, humor, and devotion to family and friends will be remembered always. He is survived by his wife, Deb; children: Sam, Isaac, Emma, Chris and Sarah; his parents, Donald and Dominy; and his siblings, Eric Twito, Julie (Twito) Gergen ’82, Keith Twito, and Sarah Crain; and many dear friends and colleagues. 

MARTHA MEADE of San Francisco died June 25, 2012, at age 55, as the result of a car accident west of Spring Grove, Minn., as she was traveling to Decorah to visit friends.  A 1975 Mt. Pleasant (Iowa) High School graduate, Martha majored in history and Latin American studies at Luther, graduating in 1979.  From 1980-85, she served as an admissions representative at Luther; from 1985-86, she studied immigration history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After moving to San Francisco, Martha taught social science at Westmoor High School in Daly City, Calif., from 1990-2008. She served as vice principal for guidance at Westmoor from 2008-11, after earning a master's degree in education from San Francisco State University in 2005. Martha started a new position as associate superintendent of Jefferson Union High School District in 2011. A warm and generous hostess and treasured guest, Martha loved laughter and conversation, reading, hiking, collecting ceramics, and sharing good food and wine with friends.  She traveled extensively throughout the United States and visited many places in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Martha is survived by her partner, Steve Turmes; siblings Daniel, Richard, Teresa, and Leo; and eight nieces and nephews. Donations may be sent to two scholarships in her name: the Martha Genevieve Meade Memorial Scholarship, c/o Luther College Development Office, and the Martha Meade Scholarship, c/o Jefferson Union High School District, 699 Serramonte Blvd., Suite 100, Daly City, CA 94015. The scholarships will help to carry on Martha’s dedication to providing all students with a quality education, regardless of financial circumstances.


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