Class of 1950 Spring 2018 Letter

Spring 2018

Dear Classmate,

I begin in an unorthodox way. You will note again the set of obituaries listed at the end of my letter - familiar names to me and I’m sure to you as well. This time I want to add a name from outside our class, Robert Jenson, class of ‘51, known to some of us simply as Jens. Brilliant as a student, as a debater, he could appear more arrogant than he really was - as I learned being his roommate one year in Melody Manor.  But the brilliance was real. Over the years he became one of the most outstanding, if not the most outstanding, of all American Protestant theologians, with a home base at Princeton University and a strong international reputation. A striking example of the exceptional talents that came from Luther during our era. You may know of others not in our class that we would all like to hear about.  

Going from one end of life to another, if you want to get a good feel for the quality of recent Luther graduates, go to the college’s website ( and scroll down to the “Outcomes” page. There you will find several dozen alumni profiles that are fascinating both in their detail and in their variety.  It’s an inspiring picture of the education Luther is currently providing.

This is the time of year when the college’s major music ensembles have returned from their mid-year tours. I recently heard the tour homecoming concerts of the Symphony Orchestra and Nordic Choir. They were extraordinary, both for the high technical proficiency of the playing and singing and for the glory of the great music they produced. Also on the musical front, a group of eight student trumpet players is headed for the quarterfinals of a national competition in March, where Luther’s team has reached the semifinals in each of the past two years.

In academics, the big news currently is the $200,000 grant just awarded by the Carver Charitable Trust to support the college’s new major in neuroscience. And a group of present and recent students was the second place winner in a national competition related to ecology research.

Finally, in sports, after the surprising third-place finish in the Iowa Conference by the football team (falling only a missed field goal short of second place), the current success stories are in women’s sports. The powerful softball team is once again the unanimous pick to win the Iowa Conference. And the women’s basketball team just finished another strong season, finishing second in the conference despite playing much of the season without two regulars lost to injury, and losing in the conference tournament championship game to an exceptional Wartburg team that remains undefeated as it enters the postseason playoffs with a number two national ranking.

We have lots of reasons to be proud of our alma mater as it continues to provide a first-rate liberal arts education. Let’s keep our support coming. Use the attached form and the reusable envelope or visit to donate today!

Best wishes to all,

Richard Ylvisaker
1950 Class Agent
702 Meadow Court
Decorah, IA 52101
[email protected]



Margaret M. (Schroeder) Amo of Grinnell, Iowa, died Sept. 7, 2017, age 89.

Helen (Lund) Blekeberg of Ridgeway, Iowa, died Aug. 9, 2017, age 88.

Wayne J. Havey of Sheboygan Falls, Wis., died July 29, 2016, age 88.

Margaret Lois Herbrandson of Mounds View, Minn., formerly of Edina, Minn., and Brooten, Minn., died July 19, 2017, age 88.

Carl Oscar Myhre of Rolette, N.D., died Aug. 19, 2017, age 90.

Norbert John Nelson of Austin, Minn., died July 13, 2017, age 92.

Full obituaries can be found on the Luther College website at:
If you would like a printout of the full obituaries from your class mailed to you, please contact us at:
[email protected], or 563-387-1509.