Class of 2008 Fall Letter

Fall 2012

Hello Classmates!

Another homecoming has come and gone and the campus continues to evolve. Next homecoming we will have our five-year reunion, so mark your calendars for Saturday, October 5, 2013. We have started a Facebook group for our class, Luther College Class of 2008, where we plan to post updates as they become available. Please join the group, invite our classmates, and start planning now to make your way back to Decorah!

Now the campus updates: President Torgerson will step down in May of 2013 and the presidential search has begun.  Interviews will be held in January, and the search committee will make their recommendation to the Board of Regents in February.

The renovations of Dieseth and Miller are complete and ground was broken for the aquatic center, with construction underway.  The facility is being built onto the Regents Center and will utilize the existing locker rooms. The estimated completion date is Summer 2013. Our swimming and diving classmates already know, but this facility will enhance our already stellar program. Luther will be the first college in the Midwest to have a Myrtha pool, the brand of pools used in all the recent Olympics. For the first time, Luther will have a regulation pool for 3-meter diving and hosting meets. Right now, the 3-meter divers have to travel to Rochester to practice, and Luther has only been able to host duals meets.

During the summer, Luther completed a solar energy field along Pole Line Road. The solar field provides electricity to Baker Village. Another set of panels will be installed south of Baker Commons at the end of 2012. Once the second set of panels is complete, Baker Village will be a carbon-neutral facility, meaning it will achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

It's important every time we send out a class agent letter to thank our fellow classmates for giving back to the institution we all love so much.  If you have been back to campus anytime during the school year, you can see that students are able to take advantage of everything Luther has to offer because of the contributions we make to Luther. 

To keep our class participation up, remember to consider renewing the pledge you made our senior year.  We plan to renew our pledges.  Thanks again for supporting Luther in any way you do! 

Finally, three easy clicks and you can update Luther with all of your accomplishments! Go to and click on Alumni & Friends. Check out the side panel for some great resources to keep current on all the Luther happenings and while you’re there, click on Update Your Information. With our reunion just around the bend, make sure everything is up to date!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Sarah Carnes
2008 Class Agent
[email protected]

Ashley Solsrud-Beckman
2008 Class Agent
[email protected]

Cale Nelson
2008 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 15 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
RACHAEL (MOORE) AHART is a police officer for the University of Illinois in Champaign.

KARL AMLIE is a union enrollment officer and supervising agent at American Income Life in Minneapolis.

JORDAN ANDERSON is associate investigator at USIS/Labat in Washington D.C.

KATE BLAIR is a family and community engagement coordinator at the AmeriCorps Borton Primary School in Tucson, Ariz.

JAMIE (NEWMAN) and TONY BRANTNER live in Algona, Iowa. Jamie graduated from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine physician assistant program and is a physician assistant at Hancock County Memorial Hospital. Tony graduated from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and is an associate dentist at Louscher Family Dentistry.

WINONA BRUEGGEMANN teaches biology at Saint Paul (Minn.) Conservatory for Performing Arts.

DANIELLE (STORK) and JOSH BRUFLODT live in Madison, Wis. Dani is information manager at Kluis Publishing; Josh is a software test engineer at Epic Systems.

LINDSEY BULGER is a graduate student in divinity at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., and works as faith community engagement fellow there.

ELISE (KLINE) CHRISTOPHERSON is a stay-at-home mom and owner of Elisabeth Ann Photography in Brooklyn Center, Minn.

LAURA (ANDERSON) and GREGORY COCHRANE live in Minneapolis. Laura earned a master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Augsburg College. She is a physician assistant with the United Hospital Emergency Department. Greg is a dental student at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.

HALEY DOUGLASS is the in-house associate for Laborers' Pension and Welfare Funds in Westchester, Ill.

SHALLYN DUFFY is a senior recruiting specialist at Weichert Realtors in Morris Plains, N.J.

KIM ENGELS is a graduate student and research assistant in the philosophy department at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

NICOLE EGAN earned a master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Iowa and is an administrative fellow with Mayo Clinic Health Care Systems in Eau Claire, Wis.

BETH ELLINGSON of Denver earned a master’s degree in health and human services administration from St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn.

MATT ENG is an academic advisor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

ADRIE FOREMAN is an assistant manager in BP shoes at Nordstrom in Bloomington, Minn.

SETH FULTON is an investment advisor representative at Transamerica Financial Advisor in West Des Moines, Iowa.

ANNE (KARLIN) ’09 and RYAN GIBBS live in St. Louis. Ryan is director of youth ministries and contemporary worship at Webster Hills United Methodist Church.

A.J. GREGG earned a doctor of chiropractic degree from the University of Western States. He is a doctor of chiropractic at Munderloh Chiropractic in Flagstaff, Ariz.

EMILY HEETLAND is an ELL teacher in the Des Moines Public Schools.

MARY ITES is a development associate at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

DANE JENSEN is an account manager at Proto Labs in Maple Plain, Minn. He is also a menswear model for ShopNBC.

SOPHIA JOHNSON is an event coordinator at Sprint by ASW in Minneapolis.

SPENCER KNAPP is a sales assist team lead at HP Enterprise Services in Little Rock, Ark.

PHILIP KNUTH is a grain originator for the River Valley Cooperative in Anamosa, Iowa.

ELIZABETH KOENIG is a professional development manager of operations and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) at the National Youth Leadership Council in St. Paul, Minn.

JOSH LEINEN is the owner of Orpheus Art and Sound in Ames, Iowa.

ANDY LOWER is a quality control manager at Hormel Foods in Shawnee Mission, Kan.

EMILY (WORKMAN) McGINNIS is a grade 5-12 band director at Bishop Miege Catholic Schools in Shawnee Mission, Kan. She is also a graduate student in music education at University of Missouri-Kansas City.

CALE NELSON is a senior actuarial assistant for Travelers in St. Paul, Minn.

JULIA (VELTRI) NOONAN earned a doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Iowa. She is a self-employed physical therapist.

AARON NYQUIST is an attorney at Alan Anderson Law Firm, LLC, in Minneapolis.

MIKE OWENS is a web developer for in Beloit, Wis.

MELISSA (OESTMANN) PORT teaches fifth and sixth grade at Bonneville Elementary School in Ogden, Utah.

DAVID QUAM is a loan administration manager at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Des Moines. 

JENESSA (BONIKOWSKE) REID earned a master’s degree in school counseling from Concordia University in Mequon, Wis. She is school counselor at Marshfield (Wis.) High School.

ALEX REILLY is a securities licensing specialist at RBC Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

KAYCEE (GREEN) ROGERS is an ELL teacher in the Eau Claire (Wis.) School District.

ERIN (HOKANSON) and MATT ROLING ’06 live in Madison, Wis.

ASHLEY TEKIPPE earned a medical doctorate from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. She is a resident physician at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.

ELISE (HOEHN) and CLAYTON WARD live in Moline, Ill. Elise is a landscape designer and K-8 visual arts instructor at All Saints Catholic School and webmaster for the Quad City Therapy Dog Team. She recently published her first children’s book, Zoe’s Tail, Journey of a Therapy Dog. Clayton earned a masters degree in business administration from Ashford and is director of spiritual growth and discipleship at New Hope Presbyterian Church, and business coordinator at the Fountains Senior Living Community.

SAM WEYERS is an associate attorney in the law offices of Nathan J. Mirocha, LLC, in Chicago.

DANIELLE (WILLI) BERGTHOLD is a Head Start teacher at Community Action of Eastern Iowa in Davenport.

JANE YEBOAH is a trauma and surgical ICU registered nurse at Methodist Health Dallas (Texas).

MEGAN (SCHROEDER) ZILLGITT teaches elementary music at Cannon Falls (Minn.) Elementary School; she was selected by her peers as the school’s Teacher of the Year for 2011-12.

Amanda and ANDREW BAILEY welcomed a daughter, Anna, in June, 2012.   

LAURA (TITUSDAHL) and KARL BOLEEN welcomed a daughter, Amelia, in January 2012.  

ELISE (KLINE) and JAKE CHRISTOPHERSON welcomed a daughter, Addison, in January 2011.           

LINDSEY (VOTH) and Nick Dutchak welcomed a son, Ethan, in October 2010.           

BECKY BARTH '04 and DYLAN FLUNKER welcomed a daughter, Norah, in November 2011.

Lacey and SETH FULTON welcomed a son, Liam, in December 2011.  

STACY (MALECHA) and JIM KOWITZ '03 welcomed a daughter, Ella, in May 2012.  

LANE (PALMER) and Eric Rich welcomed a daughter, Knightley, in May 2012.          

KATIE (BACHELDER) and JORDAN STRACKE welcomed a son, Keillor, in March 2012.  Keillor joins brother Benjamin.

JESS (JEWELL) and MIKE TANGEN welcomed a son, Jaden, in March 2012.  

Rebekka and ANDREW ZAFFKE welcomed a son, Hagen, in January 2012.

RACHAEL MOORE and Aaron Ahart, Dec. 10, 2011
ANNIE HERRIG '07 and CARSON BRUNS, July 9, 2011
BETSY GILBERTSON and Jesse Meehan, Sept. 17, 2011
JULIA VELTRI and Maury Noonan, Aug. 20, 2011
MELISSA OESTMANN and Jeremie Port, Oct. 8, 2011
KAYCEE GREEN and Robert Rogers, Sept. 3, 2011
JENNESSA BONIKOWSKE and Justin Reid, Oct. 15, 2011
KRIS KLEIN and AMY SCHMEIDEL '07, Sept. 17, 2011
KRISTEN LEARMAN and Tom Stengl, March 3, 2012
NICKI SVESTKA and Aaron TerBeest, July 1, 2011
KALLY HOTVEDT and Andrew Thraenert, Sept. 3, 2011
JOSH TOUFAR and KAYLA BOCK '09, June 25, 2011
ANDREW ZAFFKE and Rebekka Hagen, Aug. 21, 2010

Sarah Carnes