Class of 1981 Spring Letter

Class Notes
Giving List

Spring 2013

Happy Spring, ’81 Classmates!

A note from Mary: 

There’s still snow on the ground in central Iowa as I write this, so it doesn’t feel quite like spring yet; but even in these days of global warming, economic tumult, and unreliable politics, there’s something we can still count on: Spring DOES come. And there are few places I’ve seen where spring is quite as beautiful―or as appreciated―as the Luther campus. I can see the Frisbee players on the library lawn now.

I’ve been thinking of Luther a lot lately, because of the search they’ve been conducting for a new president to take office after Rick Torgerson leaves at the end of this school year. I’m sure that back in 1979 or so I didn’t think often about what Dr. Farwell was doing in that office (was it in Main, or Campus House? I can’t remember anymore). Whatever it was he did, it didn’t seem to have much to do with me.  

But now it’s clear that the president’s job had quite a lot to do with each of us―as students then, as alumni in the years since then, and also for some of us as Luther parents now as well. Luther’s president is the leading voice and representative face of the college, as much or more than the football team or the choir members, or the cafeteria or the beautiful campus, or the wise and quirky faculty. This is a CEO, a fundraiser, a PR pro, a cheerleader, an education professional, a gracious host/ess, a public speaker, and―at Luther certainly―a person of faith. And it helps to be sincerely interested in 18-22-year-olds.

You may or may not know that there’s been a bump in the road in the college’s presidential search process this time around. The final candidate being considered withdrew from the process in early March. Not something any search committee wants to have happen after months of research, input-gathering, and interviewing.

In my own life, when there’s been a bump in the road, or an unexpected curve ball thrown, the result has often been something  a) I wouldn’t have dreamed of, and b) better than I ever could have expected. Sometimes that result has taken its own good time in coming, and sometimes I only realize in hindsight that it was the right result.  You too?

That new Luther president is out there somewhere, maybe not even knowing who she or he is quite yet.  And while we’re waiting, Luther keeps going strong. Amazing performances on campus. A spring full of tennis, baseball, softball, track, and more. Mid-terms and finals. Guest lectures. Spring shows and concerts. Nurses pinning ceremony. Commencement.  Smart young people going out into the world to make a difference.  President Torgerson will wrap up his 14-year tenure and say good-bye, and a new president will come to Decorah and begin his or her own story at Luther.  And, just possibly, it’ll be better than we ever could have expected.

So that’s my musing. This college of ours, it’s a good place. It’s worth keeping around, and it deserves the right leader for the coming years.

Thank you for your contributions to Luther during this past year, and for whatever you can contribute today. Each gift is important! If you haven’t given to Luther in recent years, please consider a gift of any amount―seriously, any amount. Every gift matters, regardless of the amount, because foundations and corporations that support Luther consider your gift a vote of confidence in your college. 

It’s a good time to show our confidence in Luther, don’t you think? Let’s make it clear that the Class of 1981 has Luther’s back.

And happy spring!


Mary Sundet Jones
[email protected]

Pat Graetz Jensen
[email protected]

PS. I hope you’ll hold a good thought, or say a little prayer, or light a candle, or whatever it is you do – to support the search committee, the students, and the faculty and staff as they go into overtime with this process. It can’t be easy on any of them, but let’s hope that the final result is better than any of us could have expected.

Class Note
KELSEY BRUSO of Minneapolis was named Distinguished Engineer for Unisys Corporation, the highest engineer designation at the company. Among the 22,000 employees, Bruso is one of five Distinguished Engineers. He recently published the paper “RSQRT: An heuristic for estimating the number of clusters to report” in Electronic Commerce Research and Applications.

Anne Ofstedal of New York died August 9, 2012, at age 53. Born in Park Falls, Wis., she graduated from high school in Storm Lake, Iowa, in 1977. After attending Luther from 1977-79, Anne transferred to the University of Iowa with plans to major in English. After traveling to Taiwan in 1981 to teach English and study Mandarin Chinese, Anne returned to the University of Iowa and graduated in 1984, with an additional major in East Asian studies. She went on to earn a master’s degree in East Asian studies from the University of Wisconsin in 1986. From 1986-88, Anne worked for the Amity Foundation and taught in Nanjing, China, and from 1988-90, she served as director of the Wellesley College Chinese Language Immersion Program in Beijing, where she met her future husband, Lu Wei. They were married in a Beijing civil ceremony first, and in 1991 Anne and Lu Wei came to the United States and were married in a Christian service at the church where Anne’s father served as pastor. After a brief time in Minneapolis, Anne accepted a position with the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (UBCHEA), a non-profit in New York. Anne and Lu Wei moved to Manhattan in 1993, and she served as UBCHEA program director—except for a brief hiatus working with the Yale China Center in New Haven, Conn. Anne and Lu Wei were blessed with the births of their daughter and son, and they enjoyed their New York community of neighbors, coworkers, Advent Lutheran Church members, the families they met through their children’s school, and their involvement with the Young People’s Chorus (YPC) of New York. An active member of Advent Lutheran Church, Anne served as usher and greeter, and recently chaired its task force on education. She seemed to have unlimited reserves of positive energy to care for her family, even using Skype and video chat to help with homework and keep the household running smoothly, while traveling in Asia for work. Additionally, Anne was committed to serving others, entering races for good causes, and being a loyal friend to many. She is survived by her husband, Lu Wei; children, Christina and Dustin; parents, Dorothea and Paul Ofstedal ’54; brothers, Dan and Joe; a sister, Ruth; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Anne was also deeply loved by Lu Wei’s parents and family. Preceding her in death were her grandfather, RUDOLF OFSTEDAL ’21, and great-grandfather, ANDREAS OFSTEDAL, Luther Class of 1878.

Don't forget your Annual Fund giving!  Each year nearly 9,000 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 reach our goal of 27% alumni giving.  Here’s how your class—and surrounding classes—did in 2012:

Class of 1980 total giving in 2012:  $208,309 from 22% of the class

Class of 1981 total giving in 2012:  $68,520 from 22% of the class

Class of 1982 total giving in 2012:  $64,234 from 26% of the class

Your gift can boost the impact your class has on current students!  Please use the enclosed envelope or visit to show your support.  Thank you!

This list includes all gifts received January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012. Making a gift each and every year is an investment in the lives of Luther students and a show of support for the Luther College community.  Thank you for your support of Luther College through your giving.

Randy Adams
Richard Allen*
Ross Anderson
Elizabeth Andress*
Jane Blockhus
Kelsey Bruso
Ruth Burstrom*
Janelle Bussert
Teresa (Lindquist) Caspar
Carole (Meyer) Cochrane
Christian Cook*
Mark Davidson*
Steven Demorest
Amy (Nordin) Duma*
Paul Dybdahl*
Darla (Huinker) Ellickson
Henry Emmons
Peter Espinosa
Wendy (Erickson) Gay
Mark Glessner*
Kathryn (Willi) Gregersen*
Carol Gustafson*
Martha (Petersen) Hageness*
Kent Hall*
Dale Hallberg*
Larry Halverson*
Kevin Harbaugh
Jenny (Antony) Haun*
Michael Haun*
Roxanne (Gunderson) Heinrichs
Lisa (Narveson) Henderson
Laurie-Ann Heyer
Michael Hicks*
Rebecca (Leschensky) Hoffman*
Terry Johnson*
Hugh Jones
Haldis (Solem) Kaasa*
Tonda (Christen) Kirton
Sarah (Bagaason) Kise
Joanna (Vasek) Koenig*
Jody (Johnson) Kolstad*
Kevin Kolstad*
Scott Kramer
Scott Layman
David Libra
William Lichtner
Kathryn (Jordan) Litow
James Luloff*
Lynn (Kneubuhler) Luloff*
Michael Martin*
Miri (Peterson) Mattson*
Paul Mattson*
John McCormick
Brian Miller
David Moe
David Molde
Charles Mueller
Caren (Tesdahl) Nemec*
Jeffrey Nesta*
Stephen Noltner*
Deborah Olson
Linda (Jensen) Olson*
Jeffrey Paulson
Julie (Betcher) Petersen*
Joan (Rohlf) Peterson
Pamela (Norris) Phillips
Mark Pribbenow*
Laura Probst*
Rudolph Raftshol
Brenda (Richter) Ramseyer
David Rathe
Brett Reese*
Michele (Wylder) Reese*
Debra (Dahl) Rilley
Sue Rothmeyer
Diane (Olson) Rugland
Raymond Rusek
Laura (Nelson) Schroeder
Steven Schroeder
Steven Stenhaug*
Kari (Morken) Strandell
Mary Sundet Jones
Brad Thompson*
Erik Torkelson*
Karen (Hanson) Tysdal*
Lisa (Newcomer) Vail
Timothy Vinger
Marilee (Kelly) Vogel*
Jeanine Vorland
Kristin Weeks Duncanson
Sara (Hawbaker) Wiemerslage*
Kristi Wold
Byron Wood
James Young*
Jodi (Palma) Young*

*made a gift in each of the last five consecutive years.

Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list.  If an error has been made, please accept our apology and contact the Luther Development Office at 800-225-8664, or email [email protected].

Mary Sundet Jones