Class of 1994 Fall Letter

Fall 2012

The word “improvements” generally has a positive connotation to those who hear it. As you receive this letter, we will finally know the much anticipated results of the presidential and other state and local elections. Whether the results are an “improvement” will depend on the individual perspective.

The Luther community and campus also continue to make “improvements.” This is evident both in the physical plant, where “improvements” are readily discernible to anyone walking on the campus, as well as more intangible “improvements,” which are not as readily apparent. 

Luther has in the last decade “improved” all the residence halls, and they now have had renovations to keep the facilities attractive to quality new students. The new Aquatic Center is a much anticipated “improvement,” which will be a state-of-the-art facility. The Aquatic Center, upon its completion next year, will set Luther apart from most other schools in that regard.

Other less visible but equally important “improvements” include the successful completion of a capital campaign that has added much needed funds to Luther’s endowment, and a stable financial situation for the college, even in difficult economic times.

One area which Luther strives to continually “improve” on is the percentage of giving for alumni. As noted in the past, the percentage of giving is critical to setting Luther apart from other schools and in obtaining funding from foundations and other philanthropic groups. Let’s make it our goal to improve the percentage of the class of 1994, and give back to the place that has given much to all of us. You can easily give your year-end gift online at

It is also only two years until our 20-year reunion. It’s never too early to begin making plans to attend and to begin identifying pictures, video clips, or other items that will contribute to a fun-filled, memorable reunion weekend in 2014! Please feel free to contact any of your class agents with ideas you may have.

Have a wonderful upcoming holiday season, and it is my hope that 2013 brings a year of “improvements” for my classmates from the class of 1994.

Konrad Urberg
1994 Class Agent
[email protected]

Pastor Scott Searl
1994 Class Agent
[email protected]

Kristin (Olson) Elerding
1994 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 71 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
JOY (MORKEN) AFDAHL founded Forte Art Academy, which provides music lessons and art classes, in Lakeville, Minn.

Two members of the class of 1994—HEATHER CLEFISCH and JOSH JOHANNINGMEIER— received InBusiness magazine’s “40 under 40 Award,” which honors people in the Madison (Wis.) area for their excellent leadership qualities, professional expertise, and community involvement.  Heather and Josh are attorneys with the Godfrey and Kahn law firm.

AMANDA (NICHOLS) FICEK of Independence, Minn., is founder and owner of Mama’s Happy.

NICOLE HOLT is executive for Texans Standing Tall, a non-profit organization that promotes healthier and safer communities for young people, in Austin, Texas.

CARA KENNEDY-ODE ran in the Democratic primary for State Representative in the 36th District, representing the northwest portion of Des Moines, Iowa. She is also a member of the Luther College Annual Fund Council and volunteers for the Food Bank of Iowa.

JEAN (CLEM) LATZKE is principal human resources administrator at Polar Semiconductors, Inc., in Bloomington, Minn.

PAIGE (SEBBERT) LIVINGSTON of Pittstown, N.J., is an Execusearch contractor and manager in training administration at Sanofi-Aventis.

CRAIG MURPHY received the Army Specialty Corp Award of Excellence for 2011 for his physical therapy rehabilitation work with wounded soldiers, and for helping the soldiers understand there is life and fulfillment after an injury. The annual award is presented to an active duty or reserve officer in the field of physical therapy for excellence in leadership, job performance, and self-improvement.

BETH (JOHNSON) PETERSON is a registered nurse at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, Minn.

STACEY PETERSON is the adult services manager at the Batavia (Ill.) Public Library.

SARAH (RUBLE) SLADEK of Maple Grove, Minn., is author of The End of Membership As We Know It.  She is also CEO at XYZ University, a management consulting firm.

MATT STEVENSON is an IT administrator at the Danish Society of Engineers in Copenhagen, Denmark.

TRACY MADDEN and Josh Mathews welcomed a son, Gracin, in October 2011.

AMNEY (AXMEAR) POPE of North English, Iowa, died after a short battle with cancer on Dec. 6, 2011, at age 39. A talented student-athlete at English Valleys High School, she was a state qualifier in cross country, was all-conference in basketball, and earned all-state honors in softball. Amney had worked as a student nurse at Concordia Language Villages Spanish camp in Bemidji, Minn. She played softball at Luther and graduated with a nursing degree. Amney worked as a nurse at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, as donation coordinator at the Iowa Donor Network, and as a hospice nurse at Hospice of Compassion. Most recently she joined her husband, Lynn, in their farm operation. Amney touched many people’s lives both professionally and personally. She will be remembered as a devoted mother, the family photographer, and a caregiver. Amney was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Millersburg, where she was an organist and taught Sunday school and vacation Bible school. Amney is survived by her husband, Lynn; a daughter, Lauren; her parents, Joe'd and Karen Axmear; her siblings, Will, Jesse, and Ellen; and her grandmother, Luella Brockshus. She was predeceased by a brother, Chad, in infancy. 

Luther College Bell