Class of 1987 Fall Letter

Fall 2012

Dear Classmates,

What a delight it was to see many of you at our 25th college reunion in October. My fellow class agent – Barbara Clauson – sent her good wishes since she, unfortunately, was unable to join us. If you were like me, I’m sure you had a hard time believing it had been that long since we walked across the stage to receive our diplomas. (Check out the photos!)

As I began to think about returning to Luther, I found myself wondering how I could best prepare for the reunion. I listened to music from the 1980s: General Public, Oingo Boingo, Thompson Twins, Night Ranger; I looked through a yearbook or two trying to match faces with names; I reminisced about the good friends I’d made and favorite memories; and, yes, if I’m being honest, I tried to lose a few pounds.

The more I tried to place myself back in those times or try to prepare for the reunion, I realized that was not the point. Instead, I realized that our alma mater’s faith tradition has already given us guidance on how to prepare – we are always instructed to come as we are; and that’s what we all did – we came as we were, greeting one another and celebrating who we’d become.

More than anything, I valued the reunion as a time to reconnect, reminisce, and revisit – to tell stories of our chosen paths and journeys. For me, I spent my twenties still thinking I was in college, my thirties repenting for the sins of my twenties and determining what I really wanted to become, and my forties pursuing that. And more recently, I have come to fully appreciate the transformative impact that Luther had on me…and I love to tell that story to anyone who will listen.

So, in addition to reconnecting, reminiscing, and revisiting – powerful outcomes of a reunion – I’d also like to suggest that we return thanks in whatever way we can to this great college that provided the context for the great friendships, experiences, and education that helped to make possible who we've become.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Dean Pribbenow
1987 Class Agent
[email protected]

Barbara Clauson
1987 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 73 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
MELISSA (GIBSON) ADKINS is a strategic purchaser at Danfoss in Loves Park, Ill.

ANDY ANDERSON is a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels in Des Moines, Iowa.

ARNE ANDERSON is an academic advisor and instructor at the College of Du Page in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

KARL AREND is a project manager and sales representative for Art’s Way Scientific in Monona, Iowa.

ANDREA BENSON is a learning specialist at Concord Elementary School in Edina, Minn.

MICHELLE (WALL) and ERIC BIERSTEDT live in Sioux Falls, S.D. Michelle is a substitute teacher in the Sioux Falls School District. Eric is a software engineer at Citibank.

KRISTAN (HARDY) BOURESTOM is executive coordinator for the Dallas Fort Worth American Marketing Association.

JENNIFER BRIGGS earned a master’s degree in organizational leadership from St. Catherine University and a master’s certificate in alternative dispute resolution from Hamline University School of Law. She is a client services specialist and program liaison at WomenVenture in St. Paul, Minn. 

JANE (JORGENSEN) BURNETT is an attorney and business manager at Bean, Smith & Burnett in Crossville, Tenn.

JEFF CARDEN is director of commercial industrial sales for Leviton Manufacturing Co. in Chesterfield, Mo.

DENNIS CLARK is a physical therapist at Northwoods Therapy Associates in Eau Claire, Wis.

RENEE (SOJKA) CUNNINGHAM is the director of liturgy and music at St. Stephen, Martyr, Catholic Church in Chesapeake, Va.

ROBYN (FREY) DAVID is a psychologist with the Mayo Clinic Health System at Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah.

BRUCE DIR is president, owner, and master brewer at Tighthead Brewing Company in Mundelein, Ill.

KELLY (HAUPERT) ENYART is the employee relations and development specialist for Catholic Health Initiatives in Coralville, Iowa.

DEBORAH (HANSON) and DARREL GERBER live in Dunkirk, Md. Deborah plays clarinet in “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. Darrel is a technical manager for Blackstone Technology Group.

MARK HAMMAN is a singer for Theater Osnabrück in Osnabrück, Germany.

PETER HANSON is the interim associate pastor at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, Minn.

MARIA (STILLMAN) HERTEL is manager at Barn’rd’s Restaurant in Wichita, Kan.

MARTHA (KORSNESS) and MARK JEPSEN live in in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Martha is a preschool teacher at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Mark is a principal software engineer for Intermec Technology.

CHRIS (SCHWEIZER) JOHNSON is a professor of dance at Beloit (Wis.) College. She has also been recently selected to show her work for the National Dance Educator’s Organization, World Dance Alliance, and the Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival.

SANDRA (NEITZEL) and JON JOPPA live in Plymouth, Minn. Sandra is vice president of human resources and commissions with Donaldson Company, Inc. Jon is senior manager IT for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.  They also serve on Luther’s Parents Council.

SCOTT KAULS was recently recognized on the Barron’s “America’s Top 1,000 Advisors: State-by-State” list, published in the February edition of Barron’s magazine. Scott’s recognition on this inaugural list is an industry honor and recognition of his accomplishments. It also follows his previous recognition by the Barron’s list on the annual rankings for 2009, 2010, and 2011. Scott has provided wealth management at Merrill Lynch in Minneapolis since 1987.

AMY (LARSEN) ’89 and MICHAEL KRULL live in Reston, Va. Michael is the managing partner at Resilient Corporation.

MICHAEL KUNSCHKE is director of auto product and management at Hallmark Insurance in Plano, Texas.

JON LAAKSO is an athletic trainer at Sandford Health in Bemidji, Minn.

LYNDA LEHRMAN is a project manager at General Mills, Inc., in Golden Valley, Minn.

JEFFREY MAHNKE is the system analyst consultant for Cambia Health Solutions in Portland, Ore.

ELIZABETH MAURLAND and GUNNAR SCHWARZ live in Decorah. Anne owns Elisabeth Maurland Studio. Gunnar is a potter with Schwarz Pottery.

DAVID MILLER is an expert advisor of management consulting for Accenture in El Segundo, Calif.

LINNEA (NELSON) NICOL is a juvenile public defender in Waterloo, Iowa.

LISA (ANDERSON) NORGARD is a special education paraprofessional for the Washington County Board of Education in Hagerstown, Md.

KRIS (KLEPPE) OLSON is owner and president of Carpe Solution in Maple Grove Minn.

JEFFREY OWENS is principal and athletic director at Marseilles (Ill.) Elementary School.

BRENDA RAMLO is a self-employed psychotherapist in Colorado Springs, Colo.

JIM SHUTT earned a master of education degree and administrative endorsement from Viterbo University. He is the middle school vocal music director for the Dallas Center-Grimes (Iowa) Community Schools.

KRIS (WOLANDER) TRECKER is chief human resources officer at MTS Systems Corp. in St. Paul, Minn.

LAURIE UTHOFF teaches second grade and serves as an assistant administrator in the North Fayette Community Schools in West Union, Iowa.

THERESA (NEILL) WOODS of Lafayette, Ind., is a pediatrician at Indiana University Health.

RONN THOMAS is vice president of retail and hospitality at Cushman and Wakefield in Minneapolis, and first vice president of the Minnesota Shopping Center Association.

WAYNE KNOCKEL and James Lynch, Jan. 2, 2012



Lower campus with wind turbine