Class of 1986 Fall Letter

Fall 2012

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again.

I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but I think there’s been some kind of wrinkle in the time-space continuum.  Here’s how I became aware of the problem…

I’m pretty sure it was only two or three years ago that I was sitting on the roof of the CFL at Luther (which may or may not have been a violation of campus rules), talking to a friend (who may or may not be a former Class Agent), on the last night of school before our graduation.  We were talking about really important things like the meaning of life, what we planned to do with our Luther education, and whether there would be a pizza place half as good as Mabe’s in the cities we were headed to after graduation.  This memory is so vivid that graduation couldn’t have been more than two or three years ago.  And yet somehow, inexplicably – flash forward! – I have a 17-year-old son who is currently in the process of looking at colleges.  You see, the math just doesn’t add up.   A time warp is the only logical explanation.

In all seriousness, going through the college search process with your teen is a pretty surreal experience.  On the one hand, you can’t help but experience a rush of memories of your own college years every time you set foot on a campus.  My son is getting sick of me starting every sentence with, “Well, when I was in college...”  At the same time, the realization starts to creep in that you’re not just visiting these campuses for fun.  Your child is actually going to be leaving soon, and will be living on his own, away from you.

I ran into an acquaintance the other day who said she cried every day for an entire year leading up to her child’s departure for college.  But while I know I will miss my son, I just can’t muster any tears, because any sadness I feel about him leaving is far outweighed by the excitement I feel for the experience he is embarking upon.  If his college experience, wherever he ends up, is half as awesome as mine was at Luther, he is heading for the time of his life. 

Luther changed who I am as a person.  Thought-provoking classes like “Women and Gender Roles” completely altered the way I looked at the world.  At Luther, I got to hang out with students who came from half way around the world, who grew up with perspectives totally different than mine.  I went on a mind-blowing trip to the Soviet Union (when it still was the Soviet Union).  I became well-versed in the classics.  I became a better writer.  I’m sure you have your own list of transformative experiences at Luther.  Most important, I met the people who are still my best friends. 

So I don’t feel sad my son is leaving.  Only happy for him.  And jealous.  Because I would go back to Luther and do it all over again in a heartbeat if I could.  If I can figure out a way to do that, Wally, I’ll meet you on the CFL roof. 

Gina Sauer
1986 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 60 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
NAN (UNDERDAHL) MORAN is vice president of support and services at Pivotstream in Bellevue, Wash.

THERESA KASEL is an administrative assistant at CalciMedica in La Jolla, Calif.

CHUCK SENA is president and owner of Navigator Enterprises in Beaver Dam, Wis.

JAIME SCHULTZ '96 and PAUL HEFTY welcomed a daughter, Nella, in December 2011.        

LISA ANN BECKSTRAND of Madison, Wis., died June 15, 2012, at age 48. After graduation from Luther, she completed her graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin and received a doctorate in French literature in 1997. Lisa spent time overseas, in Nantes, France, and Geneva, Switzerland, on a Rotary Scholarship. She taught French at Lawrence University, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Concordia College-Moorhead, Montclair State University in New Jersey, and at the New School in New York City. Since 2006, she was an academic planner in the administration department at the University of Wisconsin. Lisa's accomplishments were remarkable, given her long battle with depression and chronic health issues of immune deficiency. She found delight and joy in her church, home, gardening, and sailing, and in being a devoted and caring daughter, sister, aunt, and friend to many. Grieving her passing are her parents, Robert and Dorothy Beckstrand; her brothers, Peter and William; sister, Mary Beth; nephews, Matthew, Peter, Erik, James, Joseph, and Abram; and nieces, Abby and Nora.

Gina Sauer