Eight alumni to receive Distinguished Service Awards Oct. 8

Oct. 6, 2010

Luther College President Richard L. Torgerson will present the Luther Distinguished Service Award to eight alumni at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8, at an evening awards ceremony that is part of the Luther Homecoming celebration.

The Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the college, is given in recognition of success and achievements in professional fields, service to society, contributions to community, as well as loyalty and service to Luther.

Recipients of the 2010 Luther Distinguished Service Awards are:

Scott M. Hanson, Talladega, Ala., Brig. Gen. USAF, Commander of the 321st Air Expeditionary Wing, a 1980 graduate of Luther

•  Thomas L. Hellie, McMinnville, Ore., president of Linfield College, a 1975 graduate of Luther

•  William E. Kobler, Rockford, Ill., family physician at the Order of St. Francis Saint Anthony Medical Center, a 1970 graduate of Luther

•  James R. Looft, Prague, Czech Republic, business-administration manager of IBM Corp., a 1985 graduate of Luther

•  Brian M. Newhouse, St. Paul, Minn., director of classical music with Minnesota Public Radio, a 1980 graduate of Luther

•  Norm T. Rosholt, Decorah, Iowa, retired vice president of Lutheran Brotherhood, a 1950 graduate of Luther

•  Lin (Mathieu) Schmidt, Anoka, Minn., founder, president and executive director of Lyric Arts Company, Inc.

•  Karen M. (Mathews) Stuart, Larchmont, New York, retired trader on the New York Stock Exchange, a 1965 graduate of Luther

Scott M. Hanson
Scott Hanson graduated from Luther College in 1980 with a bachelor of arts degree in business management. He holds the master of science degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, is a distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala., and holds the master of strategic studies degree from the Air War College at Maxwell AFB.

A U.S. Air Force officer with a distinguished 26-year career, Brig. Gen. Hanson has logged more than 3,500 hours of flight time in more than 12 different types of aircraft. Since January, he has served as director, Iraqi Training and Advisory Mission, and commander of the USAF 321st Expeditionary Wing, headquartered in Baghdad, Iraq.

Hanson was deputy director, legislative liaison, in the office of the Secretary of the Air Force in Washington, D.C. from 2008-10. Holding the rank of colonel, he served from 2007-08 as deputy director of operations and plans, U.S. Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill., and in 2006 as deputy director, U.S. Central Command's Deployment and Distribution Operations Center, Southwest Asia.

He served as commander, 92nd Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild AFB, Spokane, Wash., 2005-07, and as vice commander, 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB, Fairfield, Calif., 2004-05. As a lieutenant colonel and colonel, he served as U.S. Transportation Command liaison to U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Fla., 2002-04.

Hanson's awards and decoration include the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with bronze star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal awarded by the government of Kuwait.

He is a member of the Luther College President's Council. He and his wife of 23 years, Rhonda, have two children, Nicole and Kelsey.

Thomas L. Hellie
Thomas Hellie is president of Linfield College, McMinnville, Ore. He graduated magna cum laude from Luther College in 1975 with a bachelor of arts degree in speech and theatre and holds the master's and doctoral degrees in speech and theatre from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Hellie has served as president of Linfield since 2006. From 1999-2006 he was executive director and president of the James S. Kemper Foundation, which supports and funds programs that promote liberals arts education. He served as a program director (1989-90) and as vice president (1990-99) of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest.

He taught 1980-89 at Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio, beginning his teaching career as an instructor and advancing to assistant professor, associate professor, and chair of the college's theatre arts department.

Since 2008, Hellie has been a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, serving as the chair of the committee on student aid since 2009 and on the executive committee since 2010. He was named to the board of directors of the Foundation for Independent Higher Education in 2007 and has served as its secretary since 2009.

His work in education also includes serving on the board of directors of the Oregon Independent Colleges Association, which appointed him chair for 2010-12. He was a trustee of Lenoir-Rhyne College, 1997-2006; the U.S. Business School of Prague, Czech Republic, 2000-05; and the Northwest House of Theological Studies, 2008-10.

Hellie is the author of numerous publications and papers on higher education and a frequent presenter at professional conferences.

His service to Luther includes work as a member of the President's Council; chair of the Academic Affairs Task Force of the college's Strategic Planning Committee 2000-01; and member of Presidentsråd advisory council 2003-06.

His professional honors include the East Central Consortium Great Lecturer Award, The Czech Republic's Pamětní Medal for service to the Palacký University of Olomouc.

Hellie and his wife, Julie Olds, residents of McMinnville, Ore., are the parents of two daughters, Erika and Kaelah.

William E. Kobler
William Kobler, M.D., is a family practice physician, with the Order of St. Francis Medical Group-Springcreek, Rockford, Ill. He graduated cum laude from Luther College in 1970 with a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry and biology and from Northwestern University Medical School in 1974.

He entered private practice as a family physician. In 1990, he joined the OSF Medical Group and currently works at the Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford.

Kobler served from 1982-2009 as a clinical assistant professor of family practice at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford and on the resident teaching staff of the Saint Anthony Medical Center from 1977-96.

A 30-plus year member of the American Medical Association, Kobler has served as delegate to AMA national conventions since 2000 and was an alternate delegate 1992-99. He has been a member of the AMA Council on Medical Service since 2004 and is serving as the council's chair in 2010. He has been a member of AMA Foundation Board since 2009.

He is a member of the Illinois State Medical Society, Winnebago County Medical Society, American Academy of Family Physicians, and Illinois Academy of Family Physicians. He served as ISMS president 2003-04, trustee 1989-97 and 2006-10, and chair of the board of trustees 2006-08.

Kobler has served on the board of ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company 2002-06 and 2008-present. He has been a member of the Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association board of directors since 2004, as a member of the WCMS board since 1978, MCMS president in 1985, and member of the OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center Foundation Council since 2004.

Kobler was a clinical assistant professor of family practice at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford from 1982-2009 and taught as a member of the resident teaching staff at Saint Anthony Medical Center for Family Practice Residents 1977-96.

He is an active member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Rockford, serving as a church council member and congregation president. Kobler and his wife, Carolyn (Peterson), a 1970 Luther graduate, are class agents for the Class of 1970 and have hosted Luther music ensemble students on tour. They are the parents of two sons, Michael and Daniel, both Luther alumni.

James R. Looft
James Looft is the business development executive for IBM's Central and Eastern Europe Region, based in Prague, Czech Republic.  Looft graduated from Luther College in 1985 with a bachelor of arts degree in business management. He is a graduate of the Public Administration Institute at the University of Kansas and the Financial Services Institute of the Wharton School of Business.

Looft accepted a client manager position with IBM in 1985. In his 25-year career with the corporation, he has received numerous honors and accolades including an IBM Divisional Leadership Award and the IBM General Managers Eagle Award. He is a five-time recipient of the IBM Golden Circle Award and a 16-time recipient of the IBM 100 Percent Club Recognition Award.

Prior to accepting his current position in Eastern Europe, he served as IBM's Southwest Region sales executive and southwest sales manager from 1995-2009 with the corporation's Dallas offices.

Looft and his wife, Margaret (Anderson) Looft, a 1983 graduate of Luther, are residents of Southlake, Texas. His community and civic service include volunteer work with GRACE (Grapevine Relief Agency) in Grapevine, Texas, leadership positions at Living Word Lutheran Church in Dallas, and current service as a lay leader at St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Prague.

The Loofts have served on Luther's Parents Council since 2007 and have been hosts for Luther alumni, music and campaign events in Dallas for many years. They are members of the college's President's Council and Legacy Trust.

Second-generation Luther graduates, the Loofts are the parents of two daughters: Emily, a 2010 Luther graduate, and Anna, who will graduate in 2012.

Brian M. Newhouse
Brian Newhouse is managing director of classical programming at Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul, Minn. A 1980 graduate of Luther College with a bachelor of arts degree in English and music, Newhouse is a graduate student in the master of fine arts program in creative writing at Hamline University in St. Paul.

At MPR, Newhouse is host for "SymphonyCast" and the managing director for "Performance Today," "Pipedreams" and other programs. He is the founding producer of the MPR program "Speaking of Faith."

He has served as a writer, announcer and producer at MPR from 1983-93 and 1999-present. He was producer and host journalist for the English service of German State Radio (Deutsche Welle) in Cologne, Germany, 1993-94, and served as a writer for European Journal.

He was the writer for the seven-part radio documentary "The Mississippi: River of Song," broadcast in 1999.

Newhouse is the author of the memoir "A Crossing: A Cyclist's Journey Home," about his life-changing bicycle ride from the Pacific to the Atlantic, published by Simon and Schuster in 1998. As a freelance writer, his work has been published in Minnesota Monthly magazine, the Chicago Tribune, Gramophone Magazine, CD booklets and other publications.

His work in broadcasting has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the Peabody Award for his work on "The Mississippi: River of Song," the National Federation of Community Broadcasters Golden Reel Award, and the Luther College Oliver Ettreim Award.

He is an active member of the Unity-Unitarian Church in St. Paul and a member of Unity Singers and the Pastoral Care Team.

Newhouse has been a frequently invited speaker for on-campus Luther College English career seminars and the Luther College Lunch Connection in Minneapolis.

Newhouse and his wife, Angela, are the parents of two daughters, Claire and Elena.

Norm T. Rosholt
Norm Rosholt is retired assistant vice president of systems development with Lutheran Brotherhood Insurance Company. A 1950 graduate of Luther College with a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics, he served with Lutheran Brotherhood, 1951-87.

Rosholt began his Luther career in 1942 during World War II and left the college when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He earned his pilot's wings and within a year was commanding officer of a squadron of B-17 Flying Fortress four-engine bombers stationed in Europe.

He completed 30 combat sorties during the war. His aircraft was shot down in March 1945 by German anti-aircraft fire, killing two members of his crew. Rosholt helped his remaining crew parachute from the damaged airplane before jumping himself. He was a prisoner of war in Germany until freed by Russian Infantry in May 1945.

Rosholt left the Air Corps in 1946 with the rank of captain. His military medals and honors include two Bronze Stars, the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, and the Order of the Purple Heart.

After the war, he returned to Luther to complete his bachelor's degree.

As an executive with Lutheran Brotherhood, his achievements include helping the company make the transition to the digital information age. He also helped form the Canadian company Lutheran Life Insurance Society of Canada (now FaithLife Financial), Waterloo, Ontario, in 1972.

Rosholt served as Minnesota State Commander of American Ex-Prisoners of War 1999-2001 and as Commander of the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Military Order of the Purple Heart 2002-04. He has been a voice for veterans, helping them readjust to civilian life and lobbying on their behalf before the Minnesota state legislature.

He is a charter member of Cross of Glory Lutheran Church in Brooklyn Center, Minn. He and his wife of 61 years, Darlene, now live in Decorah, Iowa, and are members of First Lutheran Church.

Rosholt is a third-generation Luther alumnus: his grandfather Tollef Rosholt graduated in 1868, his father Carl Rosholt graduated in 1906. The Rosholt's four children are Luther alumni: Susan (Rosholt) Schumann '71, Gregory Rosholt '73, Bruce Rosholt '73 and Jan (Rosholt) Tschantz ' 76.  Two of their grandchildren are Luther alumni: Leah Schumann '03 and Benjamin Rosholt '03.

Lin (Mathieu) Schmidt
Lin Schmidt is co-founder, executive director and president of Lyric Arts Company, Inc., Anoka, Minn. Since 1995 she has shaped and directed the not-for-profit community theater company that provides entertainment and educational opportunities for people of all ages.

Schmidt attended Luther College 1966-68 and received a bachelor of arts in elementary education from Augsburg College in 1971.

Schmidt and her husband,  Stephen Schmidt, a 1968 graduate of Luther, are residents of Anoka, where she has served her community and state for nearly 40 years as an advocate for the arts. Among her best-known arts ventures is the creation with Phil Bologna of Lyric Arts Company of Anoka in 1995. The company outgrew its original production space and in 2001 opened the 223-seat Main Street Stage after a yearlong, $2.7-million renovation of the former Anoka Cinema building.

Main Street Stage produces a unique mix of comedies, dramas, classics, musicals and children’s theater, and sells about 30,000 tickets annually. Each year the company stages 150 performances of eight full-length productions and two hour-long children's productions and hosts 10 concerts.

Lyric Arts presents family friendly programming, as well as theatre workshops, school-day matinees, touring performances, drama classes for groups, acting lessons for individuals and educational outreach programs. The company provides opportunities for artists and audiences of all ages to experience and celebrate these art forms.

Schmidt served as vice president of Anoka Opera, Inc., 1976-95, and president of Ovation Studio of Music, 1988-95. She is past president of the Anoka Community Concert Association, Twin Cities Opera Guild and Anoka Rotary Club

Schmidt is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for her service to the arts and community, including the Anoka Chamber of Commerce Service Business of the Year award, and the Minnesota Governor's Certificate of Commendation for Service to the Arts to the Anoka Community.

The Schmidts are life members of the Luther College President's Council. They are the parents of two daughters, Stephanie, a 2005 Luther graduate, and Julia.

Karen M. (Mathews) Stuart
Karen Stuart is a retired member and seat holder on the New York Stock Exchange and is one of the first women to work as a trader on Wall Street. A native of Albert Lea, Minn., she graduated in 1965 from Luther College with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology.

Stuart began her career in finance in 1966, working in the trading department of Smith, Barney and Co. office in San Francisco. She transferred to the company's New York City office in 1968.  She became a licensed registered representative in 1969.

In 1973, Bear Stearns and Co. offered Stuart an institutional trading position on the block desk, a position that would place her in a room of 75 men. Bear Stearns announced her appointment in the Wall Street Journal, a landmark moment for women in financial business. In 1974, she was named an Outstanding Young Woman in America.

Stuart was a New York Stock Exchange member and seat holder from 1997-2006 when the NYSE went public.

Stuart met her future husband, Mark Stuart, during her career as a block trader when he was working as a floor broker in New York City. They have been married 32 years and now live in Larchmont, N.Y.

Stuart is a life member of the Luther College President's Council. Instrumental in establishing the Class of 1965 Scholarship, she was the Class of '65 class agent from 1985-90.

Stuart was a featured speaker for the Women in America program at Luther in 1974. She is a member of the college's Heritage Club.

She has served as a volunteer for disadvantaged children and for the homeless in New York City through St. Peter's Lutheran Church,Meals on Wheels in Larchmont and the Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, Knowledge) Benefit Golf Tournament for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.