Class of 1985 Fall Letter

Fall 2012

Dear Member of the Class of 1985,

It’s been a terrific fall semester here at Luther! New enrolled students total 681 and come from throughout the U.S. and 25 other countries. Construction on the new Aquatic Center is well underway and will be completed in the summer.  A stunning solar array, the largest in the state of Iowa, now supplies energy for Baker Village and propels Luther even closer to its carbon reduction goals. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute selected Luther to receive a $1.5M grant for its science education Preparing Future K-12 Teachers program—an amazing accolade for the college, and Luther is now ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the U.S. 

Soon, Luther students will experience a new college president, just as we did with President H. George Anderson’s arrival on New Year’s Eve, 1981.  President Torgerson will end his service as Luther’s president this summer.  The college is incredibly fortunate to have had his and Mrs. Torgerson’s leadership since 1999, and a celebration to honor the Torgersons is set for sometime in April.  The search for Luther’s next president is in progress, with plans to name the college’s new leader, its 10th president, in February 2013.

It seems that the class of 2013 will share an honor with our class, as senior Georgianna "Annie" Whiteley of Wayzata, Minn., was named a Rhodes Scholar.  You’ll recall that Mary Larson was also named a Rhodes Scholar.  Annie was selected from a pool of 838 candidates nominated by their colleges and universities. She was the only student from an Iowa school selected for the honor.

We invite you to stay in touch with Luther. If your name hasn’t been on the classmate updates list in awhile, let the Alumni Office know where you are and what you’re doing these days. Your classmates would like to know!

Thank you for your past support to Luther students,

Cindy Zautcke
1985 Class Agent
[email protected]

Charlie Hoven
1985 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 66 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

SONJA (BARRINGER) CARLSON is a self-employed marketing and communications consultant specializing in health care and non-profits in Minneapolis.

KRIS (MADSON) FOLSOM is marketing director at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay.

JULIE GROTNES is the business initiatives manager/HR policy and corporate ER with Wells Fargo in Des Moines, Iowa.

JANE (JOHNSON) JACOBS is senior manager of enterprise operations change implementation at Allianz Life in Minneapolis.

ERIC OLSON delivered the 2012 spring semester convocation address, “The United Nations’ Quest to End Extreme Poverty,” at Luther. He is economic affairs officer for the Department of Economic and Social Affairs in the United Nations Secretariat in New York City.

ERIC RINGLIEN is a direct care professional at Trempealeau County Health Center in Whitehall, Wis. He is also a substitute teacher at Whitehall Memorial High School.

MIKE SCHEETZ is vice president of group marketing at Ameritas Group in Lincoln, Neb.

MARK SCHMIDT is a process development engineer at Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. in South Portland, Me.

MARCIE VAAGE earned a master’s degree in professional accountancy from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She is director of finance at Attic Angel Association in Middleton, Wis.



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