Class of 1999 Fall Letter

Fall 2012

Dear Friends,

It’s been a terrific fall semester at Luther! New enrolled students total 681 and come from throughout the U.S. and 25 other countries. 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. Construction on the new Aquatic Center is well underway and will be completed in the summer (you can search on the Internet for “Luther Aquatic Center” and check out the YouTube video). 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. Another great honor for Luther was announced recently, when senior Georgianna "Annie" Whiteley of Wayzata, Minn., was 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. This affirms the type of education Luther offers—one that moves students beyond immediate interests and present knowledge into a larger world.

We can continue to support current and future students by donating to the Luther College Annual Fund. Ninety-seven of us, approximately 20 percent, gave in 2011 ... can we make that 100 for 2012? Or more?  The easiest way to donate is online at As you make your gift, please remember to utilize matching gifts from your employer, if appropriate. Any amount you are able to give―$5, $25, $200, etc.―all counts towards our alumni participation number. The participation number is an important indicator for institutions that offer grants. Thank you to all who made a gift to the Luther College Annual Fund already this year.

Please 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. Your classmates would like to know – we all know the class notes are a favorite part of this letter! Thank you for your ongoing support to Luther College.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Jen (Larsen) Newburg
1999 Class Agent
[email protected]

Sarah Tofte
1999 Class Agent
[email protected]

PS. Christmas at Luther was wonderful again this year! Please join me in congratulating our classmate ERIC (HOPKINS) ELLINGSEN, coordinator for music organizations and marketing, who again excelled in assisting with the production of these outstanding performances.  This is one of my favorite holiday events, and I encourage you to watch the public television broadcasts Dec. 23-24 – check your local PBS listings for times.

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
CARRYN (ENSRUDE) ANDERSON is a radiation oncologist at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

ALYCIA ASHBURN is creation care campaign director for Sojourners. She gave testimony in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon pollution standards for power plants in Washington, D.C., in May 2012.  In June 2012, Alycia was at the dinner in which President Torgerson, on behalf of Luther College, received the Climate Leadership Award from Second Nature.  Alycia wrote about it, “Leading the Way, Like Luther,” in her blog,

ANGELA (HOUSE) and STEVEN GRITTON ‘04 live in Maple Grove, Minn. Angela is director of worship and music at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth.

JEN HANSON is an ELA facilitator in the Denver Public Schools.

SARA (SCHEEVEL) HARWOOD is a stay-at-home mom in Chanhassen, Minn.

JAMES KNAPP is the senior partner with Heritage Wealth Architects in St. Paul, Minn.

MARY NYAEMA is a research assistant at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

JESSICA RUNDE earned an M.B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. She is a business technology manager at Target Corp. in Minneapolis.

LORI (HAGEN) SCHOENHARD is a business systems analyst at AEGON in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

ROXANNE (SHEDD) SHAPPELL is disabled with arthritis and other health conditions. She lives in Ackley, Iowa, with her husband, Don, and daughter, Rebecca.

MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS ’97 and REBECCA (OLSON) SJÖWALL were reunited in March 2012 while doing a production of Verdi's Aida at Arizona Opera.

KATHY UTHOFF is a kindergarten teacher at St. Benedict’s School in Decorah.

CARRYN (ENSRUDE) and MIKE ANDERSON welcomed a son, Braden, in August 2010.  Braden joins brother Austin.

ANN (BERGLUND) and Niklaus Ballard welcomed a son, Zak, in August 2011.           

DAWN (SCHEWE) and Chad Carlson welcomed a daughter, Ruth, in February 2011.  Ruth joins brothers Brandon and Jacob and sister Amber.

MINDY (MOORE) '01 and BRENT EBLING welcomed a daughter, Addison, in August 2011.   

CARRIE (NIEBUR) and Eric Eisnaugle welcomed a son, Ethan, in October 2011.  Ethan joins brother Eric.

JENNA (MOCKLER) '06 and RYAN GJERDE welcomed a son, Thomas, in March 2012.    

ANGELA (HOUSE) and STEVE GRITTON '04 welcomed a son, Andrew, in April 2011.   

Sarah and BRAD HERRICK welcomed a daughter, Cora, in March 2011.  Cora joins sister Iris.

KRISTIN (DUEBER) and Noel Johnson welcomed a daughter, Maren, in December 2011.  Maren joins brother Grant and sister Sonja.

Yesika and ROSS KNUTSON welcomed a son, Octavio, in May 2012. 

ANN (WITTE) and Aaron LaPoint welcomed a son, Reid, in May 2012.  Reid joins sister Paige.

KRISTIN (STROMBERG) '98 and ADAM NAFSTAD welcomed a son, Jakob, in December 2011.  Jakob joins sisters Allyson and Kathryn.

AMY (HINSHAW) and ANDREW NYREN welcomed a son, James, born in January 2011, adopted in September 2011.  James joins sister Ella.

LORI (HAGEN) and Ryan Schoenhard welcomed a daughter, Elizabeth, in July 2010.   

DANIELLE (SKILBRED) and Dale Senn welcomed a daughter, Jocelyn, in September 2011.  Jocelyn joins sister Lillian and brother Isaac.

JEN HANSON and Nkin Suwannakorn welcomed a son, Chahyakon, in March 2010.  Chahyakon joins sister Sutasanie.

JODY BENNETT and Dale Busch, July 9, 2011.
BETH TISINGER and Zachary Beese, Sept. 5, 2010
ALYCIA ASHBURN and Andrew Genszler, March 10, 2012
ANGELA GOEPFERD and Julie Pollock, Oct. 1, 2011
JULIE VANO and Brian Gruber, Aug. 13, 2011
JON ZORA and Sara Robertson, March 27, 2011



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