Class of 2000 Spring Letter

Spring 2013

Dear Friends,

As in years past, I write you this spring with stirrings of renewal, as winter falls away and spring blossoms anew.  With the warming sun, my mind often wanders back to my days at Luther and those first precious, warm days!

Our years at Luther may seem but a memory, but rest assured that students near and far continue to enjoy many of the same experiences.  Of course, with the ever-changing face of the campus, you may be hard-pressed to recreate them these days! 

In my current role, I often interact with students in job-shadow experiences.  In addition to wanting to know what occurs in my typical day, they inevitably want to know my educational background.  It is delightful to share experiences with them, including study-abroad and foreign language experiences.  I find that as our world continues to grow and we are able to interact with colleagues and friends literally all over the world, it becomes more and more important to stress communication, understanding, and a love of learning―all skills that we developed while at Luther. 

How many of you spent a semester, a year, or a J-term on a study-abroad experience?  How many of you worked with friends on your foreign language studies?  How many of you created friendships with people from across the globe while at Luther?  Isn’t it nice to see that in such a small place of the world, Decorah, Iowa, we can develop relationships to span the globe?  Better yet, isn’t it fun to indulge in those old memories and laugh about “life back then?”

As part of Luther’s commitment to creating more students like us, the college proudly announced the Richard L. and Judith A. Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies.  The Center will be affiliated with the International Studies Program, and will continue Luther’s long history of interdisciplinary studies, helping future students achieve their dreams and help make our world a better place. 

I encourage all of you to visit the website,, for current updates on our alma mater.  Perhaps a trip to Decorah is not in the works for you, but I find it can be quite refreshing to see what is happening at the college.  In my workplace, I sit next to a 2012 alumna and very much enjoy her insights and reflections from her own years at Luther.  I hope that for many of you, you have also made connections to other alumni, strengthening the common bond that ties us all to Luther.

In closing, I note that Luther continues its presidential search.  Please join me in praying for strength and guidance for the college and all affected during this time.

Mange takk, my friends.  Mange takk.

Megan (Helling) Wildemuth
2000 Class Agent
[email protected]

Jenn (Potter) Walker
2000 Class Agent
[email protected]

Class Notes
TIMOTHY BAARDSETH earned a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He accepted a post-doctoral primary care and health psychology fellowship at the Hines Veteran’s Affairs Hospital in Chicago.

LAURA (LINDMAN) BARNARD is a mental health therapist and addictions counselor for Family Counseling Center in Rockledge, Fla.

KELLY HOLST is a professor of voice at the Oklahoma City University Wanda L. Bass School of Music.

ELISSA (MAGEE) and JAKE RICHMOND live in Las Vegas, Nev. Elissa teaches at Sunrise Mountain High School. Jake works in public affairs for the United States Air Force Thunderbirds.

GRETCHEN SCHEIDEL is a psychology intern at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis.

ABBY SHUPPY earned a master’s degree in educational theatre from the City College of New York. She teaches theatre at Leman Manhattan Preparatory School in New York.

MELISSA (MANNING) and DOUG SUMMERFIELD live in Mason City, Iowa. Melissa is an ophthalmologist at the North Iowa Eye Clinic. Doug is a critical care fellow at Mayo Clinic. 

HEIDI TORGERSON-MARTINEZ is the program director of Young Adults in Global Mission for ELCA Global Mission in Chicago. 

CHELLI (TIGERMAN) and Mark Esser welcomed a son, Vincent, in May 2012.  Vincent joins sister Sophia.

MARTHA (OLSON) and Tony Jensen welcomed a daughter, Aurora, in April 2011.      

JACI (JOHNSON) and ADAM KIRACOFE welcomed a son, Jameson, in October 2011.  Jameson joins brother Riley. 

SHELLEY (KUBITZ) and RYAN MAHANNAH welcomed a son, Ian, in August 2012. 

JENNIFER (BOVEE) and BEN STANERSON welcomed a son, Bjorn, in June 2012.  Bjorn joins brother Erik. 

MELISSA (MANNING) and DOUG SUMMERFIELD welcomed a son, Elliott, in July 2011.  Elliott joins brother Garrett.

JENN (POTTER) and MATTHEW WALKER ʾ99 welcomed a son, Nathaniel, in December 2012.  Nathaniel joins sister Lilly.

JANE (MCDERMOTT) '02 and KENNY WHEELER welcomed a daughter, Brooklyn, in September 2012.  Brooklyn joins sister Maya. 

MEGAN (HELLING) and Dirk Wildemuth welcomed a daughter, Brynn, in August 2012.  Brynn joins sisters Kjerstin and Hannah. 

Colin Yurek Farbotko of Minneapolis succumbed to ALS on October 15, 2012, at age 34, after 6 years of valiantly fighting the disease. After graduating from Hononegah High School (Roscoe, Ill.), Colin enrolled at Luther. During his time at Luther, he was a member of Team USA-Illinois Snow Sculptors, and he and his father sculpted giant works of snow art, successfully competing with top international teams, and placing in competitions as far away as Switzerland. Colin made many great friends at Luther, including Kevin Frantz ‘00, Pete Schonebaum ‘00, and Marney Olson ‘99, who would become his wife. He majored in art and communications, and after graduation, Colin moved to Minneapolis. An unapologetic Mac snob, he provided creative graphic, web, and video design work for Target and Inscape Publishing, as well as doing freelance work. Colin enjoyed biking and running around Minneapolis’s lakes and parks, and entering races, including the Wisconsin Ironman Triathlon. He was a past president of Target Corporate Running Club and board member of Minnesota Distance Running Association (MDRA). During the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in 2004, Marney recognized and cheered for Colin during the race, and they began dating and were married on April 1, 2006 (no joke). Colin enjoyed local craft beer, every kind of seafood, delicacies such as caviar, grilling on his back deck with friends, running, biking, skiing, double entendres, the Simpsons, music-especially the Jayhawks, the Internet, and being creative. He disliked bad drivers, people who talk in movie theaters, and ALS. He will be remembered for his quiet courage, endless creativity, and great, good humor. Colin is survived by his wife, Marney; parents, George and Janet Farbotko; sister and best friend, Anna Farbotko; mother- and father-in-law, Jane Bagstad and Terry Olson; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. His sister-in-law, JOHANNA OLSON ’01, died in January 2013.

Don't forget your Annual Fund giving!  

Each year nearly 9,000 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 reach our goal of 27% alumni giving.  Here’s how your class—and surrounding classes—did in 2012:

Class of 1999 total giving in 2012:  $26,254 from 20% of the class

Class of 2000 total giving in 2012:  $20,838 from 20% of the class

Class of 2001 total giving in 2012:  $23,821 from 20% of the class

Your gift can boost the impact your class has on current students!  Please use the enclosed envelope or visit to show your support. Thank you!

WITH SINCERE GRATITUDE: This list includes all gifts received January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012. Making a gift each and every year is an investment in the lives of Luther students and a show of support for the Luther College community.  Thank you for your support of Luther College through your giving.  Eugene Adams
Christopher Anderson*
David Anderson
Stacy (Schoneboom) Anderson*
Kelli (Punt) Bacon*
Laura (Lindeman) Barnard
Tiana (Philibert) Bastian
Keith Berg
Ryan Bies
Jason Boerger*
Julie (Shewmake) Boerger*
Sarah Borge
Jennifer Braden Dunne*
Norah Bringer*
Mindy (Lensing) Bunn
Alyson (Ebenhoh) Carroll
Ben Carroll
Matthew Chadwick
Reyn (Schroeder) Cinnamo
Emily (Kauth) De Villers
Jeffrey Diener*
Angela Doss*
Catherine (Brunner) Ellingson
†Colin Farbotko*
Katrin (Aarestad) Fergus*
Patrick Fergus*
Catherine (Carlson) Ford
Kevin Frantz
Kimberly (Turner) Frantz
Jeffrey Freidhof*
Adrienne (Moyer) Gerst
Sara (Donhowe) Goldberg*
Katherine Goodwin
Kathryn Green
Todd Gullickson
Jennifer (Cords) Hatlevig
John Hatlevig
Christopher Hoden*
Lukas Hoffland
Briana (Elfstrom) Holland*
Mindra (Freeman) Hudak
Steven Hudak
Jodi (Hanson) Inman
Sarah (Norquist) Irwin
Timothy Jacobsen*
Kaarin (Babcock) Jacobson
Ann (Knutson) James
David Jensen
Jesica (Sexton) Johnston
Heidi (Hingeveld) Jung*
Kevin Kampfe*
Benjamin Keseley
Adam Kiracofe*
Jaclyn (Johnson) Kiracofe*
Lucas Kleckner
Lesley (Dressen) Kochel*
David Kruse*
Eric Lahaie*
Heather Lande
Amanda (Newman) Larsen
Peter Larsen
Brian Larson*
Charles Leonard
Michelle (Feldmann) Lutz*
Thomas Lutz*
Sheilah Lynch*
Jaimee McPadden*
Maria Miller-Rinaldi
Angela (Spartz) O'Keefe
Amanda (Hoffmann) Peterson*
Lisa (Finkle) Peterson
Rebecca (Hayward) Peterson
Jennifer (Tesmer) Pickett
Leah (Embretson) Pierce
Jon Rask*
Elizabeth (Kephart) Reisinger
Joseph Rinaldi
Jan (Schnell) Rippentrop*
John Roberts
Brent Ryan*
Daniel Schumacher*
Abigail Shuppy
Jason Sinnwell
Amanda (Risk) Smalling
David Smith
Jason Soland
Dirk Stadtlander
Sarah (Long) Stadtlander
Timothy Staton
Andrew Steffensmeier*
Cassidy (Johnson) Steiner*
Rebecca (Mensing) Steinlage
Rachel (Grippen) Storlie
Megan Stull*
Daniel Taylor*
Kara (Schwarze) Taylor*
Aaron Thiese*
Jaime (Rowe) Titus*
Carrie Tresemer*
Karen (Knutson) Wain
David Wake*
Jennifer (Potter) Walker*
Cristin (Grant) Waterbury
Kenneth Wheeler*
Megan (Helling) Wildemuth*
Kimberly Wolyn
Kelly (Styba) Worth
Sara (Nicolaison) Yotter
Miranda Zahn

made a gift in each of the last five consecutive years. 

Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list.  If an error has been made, please accept our apology and contact the Luther Development Office at 800-225-8664, or email [email protected].


Students participate in a climate rally in Washington D.C.