Class of 2002 Fall 2017 Letter

Fall 2017

Dear 2002 Classmate,

What an amazing weekend for Homecoming filled with laughter, cheer, and reflection.  The rain could not dampen the good times and beautiful views of Luther’s campus.  For those of you who were able to make it, it was wonderful to reconnect and share.  For those of you who celebrated from afar, we hope this letter finds you doing well and keeps you updated with your fellow alumni and happenings in and around Luther.

Some exciting changes that have occurred within the Luther community include

Strategic planning for Luther continues to move forward based on information gathered from faculty, staff, students, community, and alumni regarding the top priorities for the school and community, areas for investment, current distinctions, future distinctions, and putting together goals and objectives.

Luther's Carlson Stadium underwent a major remodel this summer and now has new blue synthetic turf by AstroTurf on its Legacy Field, which was dedicated in a special ceremony September 9. The Norse were victorious over St. Olaf that day, and we also celebrated with a football victory during Homecoming Weekend. The Football Turf Project has raised $1.63 million of the $1.7 million goal. Thank you to all who donated. 

A week later, on September 16, Luther's newly renovated 12 outdoor tennis courts were dedicated. The $1 million project—generously funded by an alumni couple who wishes to remain anonymous—has resulted in a more durable, stable, and consistent playing surface, making Luther’s outdoor tennis venues one of the best in the region.    

To check out live updates of the valley, please visit:

Luther’s Alumni Ambassador Program has been launched, and alumni can now play a direct role with the Admissions Office in recruiting the next generation of Luther students. Every student referred will receive a $1,000 scholarship (in the alum’s name!) each year, for four years, should they decide to enroll at Luther. Your participation in this program will have a direct financial impact on a student’s experience at Luther.  Children of Luther alumni will receive the Legacy Scholarship ($4,000 total over four years), but may also receive the Alumni Referral Scholarship if referred by someone other than a parent. Spread the Luther love!

Luther’s Annual Fund has a new name and look, but nothing else has changed.  Donations to the Luther Fund have a hand in just about everything students need: scholarships and financial

aid,field study trips, music tours, student organizations, volunteer opportunities in the community, college ministries, well-kept residence halls, a beautiful campus, well-equipped classrooms, building maintenance, intramural sports, student/faculty research (you get it, the list goes on and on). So, when you donate to the Luther Fund, you're supporting all this (and more).

Stay in the know with Luther events and services:

Alumni Website

The Alumni Website includes information about Alumni events in the region, an alumni directory, alumni tours, and outcomes to share about fellow alumni.

Social Media

Using social media is another way to stay connected with Luther’s campus. Go to for links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.

Luther’s Career Network

Feel free to utilize Luther’s Career Network on LinkedIn, a great way to help current students succeed. Go to for more information.

Campus News

Check out for information on what’s happening on campus and in the Decorah community.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you all as a connecting point between Luther College and all of our alumni.  Please don’t hesitate to connect with us with additional information and ideas to share with you all through our bi-annual newsletters.  We have a lot to be proud of and share, and we have lots of opportunities for growth and change as well.  Go Norse!

Scott and Julia (Haugen) Peterson, ‘02

2002 Class Agents:

Devon Wendler Alvord                                          
3955 Macbride Place NE
Solon, IA 52333
[email protected]
Scott and Julia (Haugen) Peterson
9681 211th Street
Lakeville, MN 55044
[email protected]


Sarah (KcKlveen) Beerends is a medical technologist in microbiology at the Iowa City (Iowa) VA Medical Center.

Jessica (Nievinksi) Berent is the senior business training specialist at CBRE in Minneapolis.

Dawn Borcherding is internal control auditor at Modern Woodmen of America in Rock Island, Ill.

Libby Caulum is director of communications and media relations for the Minnesota Department of Revenue in St. Paul.

Dan Christenson is senior director of government affairs for PepsiCo in Washington, D.C.

Molly Goodwin of Davenport, Iowa, is the production stage manager for SISTER ACT International Tour (Asia).

Allan Huls is regional purchase clearing specialist for Wells Fargo Mortgage in Minneapolis.

Kyle Hustedt recently opened and owns the Monocle, a cabaret and craft cocktail lounge in St. Louis. He lives in Chicago and continues to operate the Chicago Cabaret Project and produce shows and tours. He produced his first international tour to Mexico last March.

Breanne (Johnson) Kinnunen is pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Sault Sainte Marie, Mich.

Erica Lamm is assistant professor of communications at Concordia University in Seward, Neb.

Tristan Lubinski of Wellesley, Mass., is a bioinformatics scientist with AstraZeneca.

Jennifer Putzier is director of Batavia (Ill.) Depot Museum.

Jen (Strum) Schuller is a broker associate for Iowa Realty in Ankeny.

Andy Wagner is vice president, compliance consultant, corporate human resources risk and compliance, for Wells Fargo Bank NA in Minneapolis.

Devon Whitehead is a psychologist and DBT therapist at Associated Clinic of Psychology in Minneapolis.

Eli Williamson of Chicago was named to “The Mighty 25: Veterans to Watch in 2017” by We Are The Mighty. Eli, co-founder and president of Leave No Veteran Behind, was previously the director of the Veterans Program for the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. He was also recently named a member of the Obama Foundation’s Inclusion Council.

Sarah (Belz) Zumbahlen is an associate legal counsel for Illinois Casualty Company in Rock Island and was a presenter at the 2016 Property and Liability Resource Bureau (PLRB) regional and national conferences, as well as the 2017 PLRB National Claims Conference.


RACHEL HORSTMANN and Eric Henning, Aug. 5, 2016

BREANNE JOHNSON and Thomas Kinnunen, July 9, 2016

Nikki Walker and ALLAN HULS, June 5, 20


SARAH (MCKLVEEN) and Mark Beerends welcomed a daughter, Natalie, in October 2014, and a son, Austin, in January 2017.

KELLY (GYEKIS) and JEFFREY BRIGHAM welcomed son, Elliot Joseph, in June 2014.

NATALIE (HELGESON) and Jeffrey Bruchhauser welcomed a daughter, Sophia Grace, in March 2016.

EMMA (OTIS) and MATTHEW CZECHOWICZ welcomed a son, Samuel, in July 2012 and daughter, Cora, in October 2014.

MANDY (BOCK) and Dietrich Flesch welcomed a daughter, Samantha Ruth, in January 2017.

ANNA (HEINEMAN) and Gary Heil welcomed a son, Leo Joseph born April 4, 2016, adopted April 6, 2016.

KELLY (SCHERGER) and Adam Holtz welcomed a son, Luke, in June 2014.

CAT (KOMORNICK) '05 and TRISTAN LUBINSKI welcomed a son, Calvin Joseph, in June 2016.

JAIMIE (RASMUSSEN) and Ben Rudolph welcomed a son, Ethan James, in May 2016.

TERYL (PRICE) '04 and JAMES RUSSELL welcomed a son, Kai Anders, in March 2016.

SARA LEISSO and Rob Turner welcomed a daughter, Nina Marian, in February 2013, and a daughter, Julia Monica, in October 2015.

AUDRA (BURK) and JEREMY VANN welcomed twin daughters, Hannah Allison and Ruby Lynn, in October 2016.

DEVON WHITEHEAD and Chad Vincent welcomed a daughter, Elizabeth Rose, in September 2014.