Class of 2002 Fall Letter

Fall 2012

Dear Class of 2002:

Hello!  I hope you are all having a wonderful autumn!  For those of you who were able to attend our 10-year class reunion, I hope you had, as I did, a wonderful time visiting campus, reliving some old memories, and catching up with old friends.  As I drove home from Luther after the reunion and reflected on the effect my time at Luther has had on my life, one thought kept running through my mind: I am proud of our alma mater, and I am proud of our class!  Seeing the improvements to campus, hearing stories from current students and recent graduates about what their Luther experience has been like, and hearing so many great stories about what our classmates are doing with their lives―we all have a lot to be proud of!  I was also very proud to hand President Torgerson the "check" on behalf of our class, representing our cumulative giving.  The money we have graciously given to Luther has gone a long way in maintaining and enhancing the Luther experience for generations of students.  Let's keep the donations coming in and our support and connection to Luther College strong.

Sarah (Strandjord) McLaren
2002 Class Agent
[email protected] 

Devon Wendler Alvord
2002 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 76 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
BRADLEY ALBERS is a pediatric anesthesiologist at Northwest Suburban Anesthesiologists in Arlington Heights, Ill.

CHRISTOPHER AMUNDSON earned a master’s degree from Emporia State University. He is a teacher in the West Des Moines (Iowa) Community School District.

ERIN APPEL is a writing tutor and graduate assistant at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

BETH (KARLGAARD) and BYRON BAILEY ’01 live in Savage, Minn., where Beth is a stay-at-home mom.

CHRISTI (COLLINS) and PETER BANGSUND live in North Liberty, Iowa. Christi is an instructional coach for the Iowa City Community School District. Peter is a gastroenterology fellow at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

SARAH (ROOT) and JON BENGTSON ’03 live in North Liberty, Iowa. Sarah is a senior pediatric physical therapist at Witwer Children’s Therapy Center, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

MANDY (HERRICK) and KYLE BARTELT live in Minneapolis. Mandy is a dance artist, bodyworker, and yoga instructor. Kyle works at Allina Hospitals and Clinics.

GREGORY BLOCK is vice president of commercial banking for Park Bank in Milwaukee.

ALLISON (RESCH) and SEAN BREININGER ’01 live in St. Paul, Minn. Allison earned a master’s degree in education from Hamline University and is a self-employed education consultant.

BETSY (STREY) and DAN CHRISTENSON live in Silver Spring, Md. Betsy is a physician assistant for Kenilworth Internists. Dan is chief of staff for USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.

SARAH (MALANAPHY) CHRISTOPHER of Decorah, teaches special education for the North Winneshiek Schools.

MELISSA (WALKER) and JOEL CONAWAY live in Prior Lake, Minn. Melissa is a client representative for IBM. Joel is a storage sales specialist for Evolving Solutions.

ERIN (GULLICKSON) and RYAN CONWAY ’03 live in Iowa City, Iowa. Erin is a project manager for Mercy Care Community Physicians.

REBECCA (KARNER) CORSON is a self-employed musician in Ft. Worth, Texas.

MATT CZECHOWICZ is a physician in the Mayo Clinic Health System in Menomonie, Wis.

LYNN DALHED of Lakeville, Minn., is a corporate trainer for Optum Health with United Health Group.

VICKI (CALDWELL) and DANIEL DRASHER ’01 live Eagan, Minn. Vicki is a manager in controllership for Best Buy.

ANGIE (FENEIS) ELLINGSON is a pediatric occupational therapist at the Therapy Place in Bloomington, Minn.

KELLY (STENSON) and SIMON ESCORCIA ’00 live in Centennial, Colo. Kelly is controller for Steigers Corporation.

TIM FELTY is world language department chair and a Spanish instructor in the Minnetonka (Minn.) Public Schools. 

TANA FIELD is assistant professor of music at Murray State University in Murray, Ky.

AMANDA (BOCK) FLESCH is a stay-at-home mom in Winona, Minn.

TY FLOM earned a master’s degree from Grand Canyon University. He teaches science at Durango (Colo.) High School.

JOE GAVLE is an insurance agent at A&J Petersburg Agency in Decorah.

ANN (ROCAREK) and NICK GEFALLER live in North Liberty, Iowa. Ann teaches English in the Iowa City Community School District. Nick is a copyrights and permissions coordinator for Pearson.

KATHRYN (ANDERSEN) ’01 and ROB GERDTS live in Minneapolis. Rob is a project manager for Rust Consulting.

KARI (KOCH) GILBERTSON earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; she is an account financial manager for Johnson Controls in Milwaukee.

JOAN and MITCH GUNDERSON-PALMER live in West St. Paul, Minn. Joan is the public programs manager for Minnesota Children’s Museum. Mitch is a process analyst for Lifeworks Services, Inc.

JON HEEREN earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from St. Mary’s University. He teaches mathematics for the St. Paul (Minn.) Public Schools.

ANNA HEINEMAN earned a doctorate in art history from the University of Iowa. She works with art in state buildings and public art at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Luther alumni JOSH HILDEBRAND, KIRK JOHNSON '82 (Luther associate director of alumni relations), JESSE REYERSON '03, PETER YLVISAKER '84, and JERRY WRIGHT '78 were among the competitors in the Almanzo 100, a 100-mile bike race on gravel roads between Spring Valley and Preston, Minn., last May.  Temperatures were  in the upper 80s, with wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour.

KELLY (SCHERGER) HOLTZ earned a doctor of nursing practice degree from the University of Minnesota. She is a family nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

RACHEL HORSTMANN earned a master’s degree in education and reading from Concordia University St. Paul. She teaches fourth and fifth grade in the Eastern Carver County School District in Victoria, Minn.

KATE (COOPER) and WILL HOYER live in Dubuque, Iowa. Kate is assistant professor of biology at Loras College. Will is a research assistant for the Iowa Policy Project.

JARED ILLG is owner of Rogue Dog International in New Hope, Minn.

JASON JENKINS is a customer contact professional with Ameriprise Financial in Minneapolis.

TOM KODET is a technical application specialist and technical lead at Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, Calif.

MEGHAN (CHOZEN) KONOLD is the senior applications analyst and project manager for the Jennie-O Turkey Store in Willmar, Minn.

ANNA (TENNESON) LEE is sales coordinator at the North Central Group in Madison, Wis.

ANDI (HULS) and CHRISTIAN LOGER live in Lakeville, Minn. Andi is an instructional coach for the Edina Public Schools. Christian is practice manager for Minnesota Hematology-Oncology, P.A.

REBECCA (DOIDGE) LONG is a senior social worker for Hennepin County in Minneapolis.

JULIE LUTZ is a global product manager for American Express in Phoenix.

JENNIFER MAGEE teaches third grade at Arboretum Elementary in Waunakee, Wis.

JON McGEE is a reporting engineer for EPIC Systems in Madison Wis.

CORI (JAEGER) MICHALOWSKI earned a master’s degree from Cardinal Stritch University. She is a reading specialist in the Mayville (Wis.) School District.

JUSTIN MOSBO is a manager of insurance and actuarial advisory services for Ernst & Young in New York.

NICK NELSON is an attorney for Keay & Costello, P.C., in Wheaton, Ill.

SCOTT NELSON is self-employed as a software developer in Rochester, Minn.

JOE NESS is the manager of new market development for Deere & Company in Moline, Ill.

RYAN NEWBERRY is a flight medic for OSF Lifeline Helicopter in Rockford, Ill.

HOA NGUYEN is owner of YumMi, LLC, in Minneapolis.

HOLLY (HANEWALL) OLSON is a special education teacher for the Mason City (Iowa) Community School District.

JEREMY OLSEN is an emergency medicine physician at United Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.

ANGELA RICHARDS is catering sales manager at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott.

EMILY RICK is the brand and editorial planner for Baby and Kids with Target Corporation in Minneapolis.

JENNIFER (McALLISTER) ROSE is associate pastor of congregational care and education at First Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, Minn.

TERYL (PRICE) ’04 and JAMES RUSSEL live in Cross Plains, Wis. They both earned their master’s degrees from Buffalo (N.Y.) State University. James teaches sixth-grade U.S. history in the River Valley School District.

MICHELLE (MEYER) ’01 and ERIK SCHLICHT’02 live in Rochester Minn. Erik is an associate clinical research coordinator for Mayo Clinic.

CAREN (HANSON) and STEVE SHANK live in North Liberty, Iowa. Caren works with key accounts with Integrated DNA Technologies. Steve is the manager of store operation at Hy-Vee.

JESSICA SHEVOCK-JOHNSON is an administrative and financial assistant at the First Congregational Church of Milton in Milton, Mass.

REBECCA SKAAR teaches voice at the International School of Music in Bethesda, Md.

BENJAMIN SWANSON teaches high school with the Peace Corps in Liberia, West Africa.

KATIE (CARSON) and BRIAN THOMAS live in Northglenn, Colo. Katie is a stay-at-home mom. Brian is a pre-engineering teacher/coordinator in the Boulder Valley School District.

B.J. THOMPSON is manager at Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Co.

HEATHER (GUTEL) TORRES is study abroad coordinator at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

CHERI (DHUSE) TROUMBLY is the lead teacher for Invest Early in Taconite, Minn.

ALLISON (PRUNTY) WALLACE is general counsel at SumTotal Systems in West Des Moines, Iowa.

JEFF WELLNER, of Victoria, Minn., is a pilot for Delta Airlines.

DEVON WHITEHEAD is a mental health practitioner at Central Minnesota Mental Health Center in St. Cloud.  She earned a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Akron (Ohio). 

JESSICA (THORIUS) WILLIAMS is a mortgage loan underwriter/processor for Community Resource Bank in Northfield, Minn.

ELI WILLIAMSON is director of the veterans program for the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and co-founder of Leave No Veteran Behind in Chicago.

KATHRYN (DICKSON) and ADAM WOLKENHAUER ’01 live in Plymouth, Minn. Kathryn is a stay-at-home mom.

CHRISTI (COLLINS) and PETER BANGSUND welcomed a daughter, Leona, in April 2012.  Leona joins brother Collin.

MANDY (HERRICK) and KYLE BARTELT '00 welcomed a son, October, in October 2010.     

SARAH (ROOT) and JON BENGTSON '03 welcomed a son, Aaron, in January 2012.   

MONICA (MANSHOLT) and Scott Benolkin welcomed a daughter, Claire, in September 2011. 

Jessica and GREG BLOCK welcomed a son, James, in May 2011.  James joins brother Carter.

HEIDI (MURKEN) and Brian Borkenhagen welcomed a son, Bennett, in October 2011.

KELLY (GYEKIS) and JEFF BRIGHAM welcomed a son, Marshall, in August 2011.    

LAUREN BUSEY and Amy Lillibridge welcomed a son, Noah, in November 2011.       

BETSY (STREY) and DAN CHRISTENSON welcomed a daughter, Hannah, in March 2011.    

ALICIA (DECKER) and Mike Bravo welcomed a son, Jack, in July 2011.          

ERIN (GULLICKSON) and RYAN CONWAY '03 welcomed twins—a daughter, Emeline, and a son, Miles—in May 2011.

Tara and ERIC CORSON welcomed a son, Jonas, in August 2011.  Jonas joins sister Siri and brother Elias.

Jamie and JOE GAVLE welcomed a daughter, Maggie, in February 2010.         

KATIE (HANSON) and Jered Gehling welcomed a daughter, Tessa, in December 2010.  Tessa joins brother Keaton.

JEN (SHINBORI) and Joe Giordano welcomed a daughter, Stella, in July 2011. 

Kate and NATE GUESS welcomed a daughter, Harper, in August 2010.

Kristin and JON HEEREN welcomed a daughter, Anna, in March 2012.  Anna joins brother Josh.

BETH (HUINKER) and CHRIS HODEN '00 welcomed a daughter, Ivy, in November 2011.  Ivy joins brother Maxwell and sister Mya.

KELLY (SCHERGER) and Adam Holtz welcomed a daughter, Lydia, in February 2012.

KATE COOPER and WILL HOYER welcomed a daughter, Sage, in November 2011.  Sage joins sisters Claire and Lise.

KELLY (HAVE) '03 and JOSH JANSEN welcomed a son, Beckett, in January 2012.     

EMILY (ROCK) and Brian John welcomed a son, Walter, in January 2011.       

Scott and SARAH (MOELLERS) KACH welcomed a daughter, Claire, in February 2010.

CARRIE KEENAN welcomed a son, Jaxon, in January 2012.    

KELLY (EKEDAHL) and Chad Kliefoth welcomed a son, Andrew, in April 2012.  Andrew joins sister Alaina.

JEN (ARMSTRONG) and Jeffrey Kolcz welcomed a son, Lincoln, in May 2011.  Lincoln joins sisters Pearl and Evelyn.

MEGHAN (CHOZEN) and Jon Konold welcomed a son, Jackson, in May 2012.  Jackson joins sister Anna.

EMILIE (FRALEY) '03 and ROSS LARSON welcomed a son, Andrew, in June 2011.    

MEGAN (KASTAMA) and Joshua Loahr welcomed a son, Eli, in January 2011.  Eli joins brother Jeremiah.

ANDI (HULS) and CHRISTIAN LOGER '01 welcomed a daughter, Grace, in January 2011.  Grace joins brother Lucas.

HEIDI (CORCORAN) and Aaron Marx welcomed a son, Arthur, in June 2011.  Arthur joins brother Henry.

Aleta and JON MCGEE welcomed a son, Barrett, in September 2011.  Barrett joins brothers Porter and Keller.

CORI (JAEGER) and Matt Michalowski welcomed a daughter, Ella, in June 2011.  Ella joins brother Carson.

Becca and MATTHEW POOCK welcomed a son, Micah, in May 2012.  Micah joins sister Eleanor.

Sarah and TYLER REIHMANN welcomed a daughter, Abigayle, in January 2012.        

TERYL (PRICE) '04 and JAMES RUSSELL welcomed a son, Samuel, in December 2010.  Samuel joins brother William.

ANIKA (LINDALL) and ROBB SELLMEYER welcomed a son, Charles, in April 2011.  Charles joins brother Theodore.

STEPHANIE (PRATT) and Jason Schmid welcomed a daughter, Abigail, in June 2012. 

Katy and KARL SCHWEITZ welcomed a daughter, Emma, in March 2012.      

HEIDI DRAHEIM and Abraham Shadbeh welcomed a son, Oliver, in November 2011.  

ANGIE (GRANTHAM) and MATT SHERWOOD welcomed a son, Evan, in May 2011.  Evan joins sister Leah.

CHERI (DHUSE) and Shane Troumbly welcomed a son, Hudson, in March 2011.

JEN (CRAWFORD) '04 and BLAKE WAYSON welcomed a son, Bo, in October 2010.  Bo joins sister Caitlin and brother Brady.

KATHRYN (DICKSON) and ADAM WOLKENHAUER '01 welcomed a son, Eli, in November 2011.  Eli joins brother Carter and sister Leah.

AMY BLEM and Vladimir von Barnes, Sept. 30, 2011
MEGAN CONOVER and Andy Krueger, Sept. 10, 2011
HEIDI DRAHEIM and Abraham Shadbeh, Oct. 3, 2010
JANE HOOVER and Viren D'silva, Dec. 21, 2011
DAVID KAPKA and Amy Emmons, May 6, 2010
STEPHANIE PRATT and Jason Schmid, Aug. 26, 2011
ANGELA WHITE and Hans Swolfs, June 23, 2012

ALISON ANNE HILL of Milwaukee died March 13, 2012, at age 32. A child of her loving parents, Nancy (LOFTUS) ‘68 and Jim Hill ‘66, they have placed her in the gentle cradle of God’s eternal love. Alison is also survived by other relatives and friends and the dogs she loved—Patty and Daisy. She was preceded in death by grandparents Arnold and Emily Lofthus, and Norman and Lillian Hill, and by adopted grandparents—Leonard and Stella Burrows and Harvey and Jeannette Jensen. Alison loved them all.  While her journey in this world was only 32 years long, she crammed much into those years.  Allison attended Stephen Bull Fine Arts School, where she acted and sang the part of the lion in Wizard of Oz, and St. Catherine’s High School, where she displayed her talents on the tennis court and in the classroom, and graduated as a valedictorian. She next followed her parents’ educational path to Luther, where she continued to play tennis and studied abroad in France. Alison also participated in interim programs in New Zealand (bungee-jumping from a bridge and sea kayaking) and Hawaii. She graduated from Luther summa cum laude.  Following in her father’s career path, she enrolled at Notre Dame Law School, graduating cum laude, and became an associate editor of the Law Review. After passing the Wisconsin bar exam, Alison accepted an associate attorney position at a Milwaukee law firm. Illness then invaded her life, and the severe post-herpetic pain in a nerve in her head―resulting from a bout of shingles in law school―caused her to stop work as an attorney.  She bravely battled the increasingly severe nerve pain episodes with many trips to doctors and emergency rooms.   A celebration of Ali’s life was held at Holy Communion Lutheran Church, Racine, Wis., in March 2012. Memorials to the Holy Communion Lutheran Church food pantry, Luther College, or St. Catherine’s High School are suggested by Alison’s family.

Martin Luther