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Development Office
Loyalty Hall
Luther College
700 College Drive
Decorah, Iowa 52101

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Phone: 563-387-1862
Fax: 563-387-1322

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Mary Duvall Headshot

Mary Duvall

Vice President for Development

Mary provides leadership and mentoring to staff in the offices of development, alumni relations, and the Career Center. She provides strategic direction for all aspects of the college’s fundraising and external engagement efforts and serves as a key member of the president’s cabinet.

Mary earned her bachelor of arts degree in religion from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. She earned her master’s of nonprofit management degree from Hamline University in Saint Paul and a certificate of advanced leadership studies from St. Catherine’s University. She also was a recent Lutheran Educational Conference of North America (LECNA) Fellow, a program that provides a year-long leadership development experience organized around vocation and calling, sustainable leader development and visionary organizational leadership.

Sherry Alcock

Sherry Alcock

Executive Director of Alumni Relations

Sherry is responsible for developing and directing Luther’s programs for all alumni, parents, and friends of the college. These programs include Homecoming, on- and off-campus events, alumni tours, along with all marketing and communications for the office. She also is the point person for the Alumni Council, Alumni Association, and the Black Alumni Association. She oversees the alumni relations staff. Sherry graduated from Luther in 1982 and joined the alumni team in 1990.

Jessica Campos Arzate

Jessica Campos Arzate

Assistant Director of Alumni Relations

Daina Bond

Daina Bond

Donor Records Coordinator

Daina is responsible for the computer entry of pledges/gifts and receipting of gifts, and she coordinates corporate and matching gifts. She interacts with the Financial Services and Financial Aid offices as well as the Information Technology Services software development team.

Sarah Brandt

Sarah Brandt

Stewardship and Events Coordinator

Sarah provides administrative and project management support for programming and events related to donor stewardship, fundraising campaigns, and other aspects of development.

Along with her work at Luther, Sarah is an active member of New Minowa Players in Decorah, serves on the ICTA and Nordic Fest boards, and plays piano for area churches. Sarah graduated from Luther in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre.

Megan Buckingham

Megan Buckingham

Director of Annual Giving

Megan manages Luther’s annual giving program that raises annual unrestricted and restricted gifts to the College. She leads a team responsible for increasing annual giving revenue and participation, broadening the base of support, managing volunteer and peer-to-peer engagement, and strengthening leadership gifts.

Megan is active in the Decorah community, serving on church and community boards and singing in the Decorah Chorale.

Nate Ersig

Nathan Ersig

Senior Director of Development

Nathan provides strategic oversight and management of the fundraising activities and teams within the development office, including annual giving, major and principal gifts, and legacy/gift planning. He travels nationwide to build relationships and invite gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the college. Together with Jeanie Lovell, he serves as co-director of campaigns.

Active in the community, Nathan serves as a committee member for the Winneshiek County Community Foundation, and is a board member of the Rotary Club of Decorah. Nathan graduated from Luther in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in music.

Chris Frana

Chris Frana

Director of Systems, User Services and Research

Chris directs development resources research and works to maintain accuracy in Luther’s donor records system. A trained attorney, she focuses especially on donor privacy and rights.

Shelley Hurst

Shelley Hurst

Development Office Coordinator and Assistant to the Vice President

Shelley provides support for the daily administrative operations and programs in the development office and provides direct administrative support to the development directors and the Vice President for Development.

Shelley earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in 2005 and a Master of Public Administration in 2014 from Drake University. She appreciates spending quality time with her husband, Brad, and daughter, Holly. Shelley also enjoys attending and supporting the athletic and musical events at both Decorah High School and Luther College.

Jeanie Lovell

Jeanie Lovell

Senior Director, Foundation Relations and Strategic Initiatives

Jeanie oversees all aspects of corporate and foundation grant-seeking for Luther and works with faculty and staff to write proposals and secure funding for projects and initiatives of all kinds. Together with Nathan Ersig, she serves as co-director of Luther’s comprehensive campaigns. Jeanie is also the founder and director of Women, Faith, and Finance, Luther’s collaborative women’s philanthropy initiative. She earned a master’s degree in Philanthropy and Development at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and a bachelor’s degree in communication and English from Central College. Jeanie is an active member of AFP and ALDE and maintains certification as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

Paul Mullen

Paul Mullen

Development Officer

Paul travels in Rochester and Southern Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Arizona, New Mexico, and the Pacific Northwest to build relationships and invite gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the College.

Along with his work at Luther, Paul is a member of the Rotary Club of Decorah and a participant with the Decorah Chapter of 100 Men Who Care. He graduated from Luther in 1979 and received a Master of Science degree from Montana State University in 1980. Paul and his wife, Elise (Barton) Mullen ’80, reside in Decorah.

Andrew Peter

Andrew Peter

Director of Major Gifts

Andrew manages Luther’s major gift program and leads a team responsible for building relationships and inviting gifts to the College in support of institutional priorities and strategic initiatives. He travels and manages relationships with our alumni, parents, and friends in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, northern Minnesota, North Dakota, northern California, the Mid-Atlantic and New England.

Andrew graduated from Luther in 2014 and is currently a student in the Philanthropy and Nonprofit Development MA program at the University of Northern Iowa.

Mary Lynn Rettig

Mary Lynn Rettig

Senior Development Officer

Mary Lynn travels in central and southern Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, and southern California to build relationships and invite gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the College.

Mary Lynn is a 1979 graduate of Luther College. While a student, she worked at Preus Library, an experience that led her to the University of Iowa where she earned an MLS in Library Science and PhD in Higher Education. She and her husband, David, reside in the Amana Colonies where they own a winery and are active in various community organizations. She is also a member of the Iowa City Noon Rotary, serving on the Scholarship Committee.

Headshot of Sharon Sander-Palmer

Sharon Sander-Palmer

Alumni Administrative Coordinator

Sharon provides administrative and project management support for programming and events in the alumni office and provides direct administrative support to the Executive Director of Alumni Relations.

Allie Scott

Allie Scott

Associate Director of Annual Giving

Allie is a member of the annual giving team responsible for raising annual unrestricted and restricted gifts to the College. She manages the leadership annual giving program and supports reunion giving by managing the 10-year and 25-year reunion committees.

Allie is involved in the Decorah community as Vice President of the Northeast Iowa Montessori Board of Directors and as a violinist in the Oneota Valley Community Orchestra. Allie graduated from Boston College in 2009 and holds a Masters in Divinity from Boston University School of Theology. An ordained United Methodist minister, she regularly preaches at area churches.

Mariah Smith

Mariah Smith

Director of Parent and Family Relations and Special Projects

Mariah (she/her/hers) coordinates all components of parent and family engagement programming. Active in her community, Mariah has previously served as Luther’s representative to the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, as a member of the Decorah Chorale Board of Directors, and is a past president of ArtHaus in Decorah. Mariah graduated from Luther in 1995 with a degree in music (with a music management certificate) and is the parent of a current Luther student and of a graduate of St. Olaf College. In her spare time, Mariah enjoys walking the local trails with her dog, Oliver, crossword puzzles, and listening to NPR.

Elijah Solheim

Elijah Solheim

Annual Giving Program Coordinator

Elijah supports the daily operations of the annual giving team in raising annual unrestricted and restricted gifts for the College. He manages a wide range of administrative operations including implementing, coordinating and monitoring annual giving mailings and projects, interacting with internal and external constituents, and managing budgets and data.

Kelly Sorenson

Kelly Sorenson

Assistant Director of Legacy and Gift Planning

Kelly leads and manages the planned giving program and Luther’s planned giving society, the Heritage Club. She works alongside the development team in building relationships and securing philanthropic support through bequest intentions, charitable gift annuities, trusts, and other gift planning vehicles from alumni, parents, and friends of the College.

Kelly holds the Certified Gift Planning Associate (CGPA) and Certified Gift Planning Professional (CGPP) designations, and is an active member of the Minnesota Gift Planning Association, serving on the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access committee.

Samantha Spilde

Samantha Spilde

Development Officer

Samantha travels in northern Iowa, Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Illinois, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida to build relationships and invite gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the College.

Along with her work at Luther, Samantha is involved in the Decorah community serving on the Nordic Fest Board of Directors and is active in Decorah Rotary After Hours and 100 Women Who Care. Samantha graduated from Davidson College in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Samantha resides in Decorah with her husband Daniel where they enjoy hiking and biking Decorah’s many outdoor trails.

Rachel Vsetecka

Rachel Vsetecka

Director of Stewardship and Special Events

Rachel administers the college’s President’s Council donor recognition program, along with other special event and donor stewardship activities. Partnering with campus departments, she works to steward donors and encourage continued gift support.

Rachel volunteers in her community and serves as the President of the Howard County Childcare Association Board and is the Treasurer of the Regional Health Services of Howard County Foundation Board. Rachel graduated from Luther in 2009 with a degree in management and she and her husband, Rod, have two children.

Cydney Weitzel

Cydney Weitzel

Alumni Office and Records Coordinator

Cydney is responsible for entering and processing all of the biographical information for our alumni and friends. She manages the online alumni directory and the veterans directory for the office. Cydney also creates web content for our alumni events, tours, and programs. Cydney graduated from Luther in 2014 and joined the alumni team in 2021.

Give Now

Contact Information

Development Office
Loyalty Hall
Luther College
700 College Drive
Decorah, Iowa 52101

Send Email

Phone: 563-387-1862
Fax: 563-387-1322