Dear Classmates of 1951,
Do you read the new edition of the Luther Alumni Magazine as soon as you get it? I usually do and was recently struck by the article “Did You Know?” I thought I was familiar with the beginnings of Luther College, but I learned some history I had never heard before. I only include one quote from the Norwegian Synod annual convention counter resolution, “We look upon it as our absolute duty as Christians and good citizens to do everything in our power, by legal means, to alleviate, lessen, and if possible abolish slavery when our country’s welfare and Christian love demand this of us.” Thus, Luther College was founded in 1861 in protest to a theological justification of slavery. Did you know our early founders affirmed that all lives mattered? It took current student response in reply to Black Lives Matter to make that history known to many of us.
Two special 2017 news items from our alma mater come to my attention: the first, the passing of our beloved Weston Noble ’43, who joined the Luther music facility in 1948, when we were sophomores. I was in that first Nordic Cathedral Choir under his direction and have heard countless Nordic concerts through his 57 years. My first date with my husband, Luther, began during our junior year choir tour and continued through a marriage of 63 years. We traveled with the choir to Norway for two weeks in June 2000; listened each day to informative lectures from retired Scandinavian professor, John Christianson; connected Luther College and Decorah to Norway sites; and heard Nordic concerts every night. I especially remember the concert at the beautiful Nidaros Cathedral, in Trondheim. I plan to attend the memorial service for Weston at the Center for Faith and Life on Saturday, May 13. Are any of you planning to be there? “His legacy is beyond compare” as the most respected and loved choral director by his colleagues and those of us who are his Nordic alumni.
The second 2017 notice is about the college’s yearlong commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. They have planned many events. I like the theme of the conference: “Liberating Grace—the Power of the Reformation in the World Today.” Have you been connected with a Lutheran church having special speakers and music during the year? Here in Minneapolis we had Mark Tranvik of Luther Seminary give an excellent lecture on Martin Luther and the Reformation, plus I was able to see the exhibit from Germany—viewed at the Minneapolis Institute of Art by thousands—this winter. One of my friends from Bethlehem Church listened and watched the live streaming from a cathedral in Lund, Sweden, of the Pope and Lutheran World Federation leaders in reconciliation. April 1, Luther College Orchestra and Nordic Choir will perform Bach’s B-Minor Mass on campus at the CFL; April 2 the performance will be here in Orchestra Hall. I hope you are able to experience some of the richness of this anniversary and consider the continuing impact on our lives.
I have had two letters from class members. Actually the first one, from Cornelia (Lien) Waterfall, arrived at the Development Office during the transition of the class agent position. “You’ve done a great job as class agent, Bob, thank you. Say hello to our classmates for me? Life is good. I still do volunteer work for a Dartmouth professor of film; audit Dartmouth courses; (have a) rich cultural life.” The other letter was from “Lew” Lewison, who attended our 65-year anniversary. “How big was our graduating class? (FYI: 164 listed with photos in 1951 Pioneer, also 24 two-year graduates.) Tell Bob thanks for having us over to his house! Enjoyed the class agent letter. So glad IvaNell accepted the job; having the picture on it was super. I received the Loyalty Society card and cup—was surprised—didn’t know about it before, could mention in a letter, may inspire someone. Went to Christmas at Luther—was excellent—again! Enjoyed being with Jack K.; we were roommates.”
Thank you Cornelia and Lew for sharing. I look forward to receiving more. If you have gone on one of the Alumni Office travel tours, we’d love to hear about your experience. There is a New England coastal cruise hosted by Kent Finanger ‘54 and his wife planned for September 16-23. Many of us, and particularly those in athletics at Luther, know him personally.
Lew suggests I spread the word about the Loyalty Society. It recognizes donors who have made gifts at any level for three or more consecutive years. The best way to make sure a gift is made each year is to sign up for monthly giving. Make giving to Luther a habit!
This year Luther’s second Giving Day was March 9, 2017. I hope many of you responded by giving to the Annual Fund. Also, our Class of 1951 Scholarship Endowment Fund has a balance of $37,635.55. It produced $1,795.70 in scholarships for Kellen Glynn and Cody Torkelson, two 2017 seniors. Their thank-you notes are printed at the end of this letter. Please consider contributing to this scholarship too.
The ages of all of us in our class are either in the late 80s or into the 90s. Since my fall letter, we have added two to the 115 who have died. The obituaries for Dean Fardal and Robert (Bob) Olson are printed here for you. We all have memories of many good friends.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Kellen Glynn from Owatonna, MN, recipient of $1,070
“I am writing to express my great appreciation to you and to everyone involved in the Class of 1951 Scholarship. As a senior at Luther College, I am able to look back at all the incredible opportunities Luther College has offered me. I participate on the Men’s Swim Team, work as an RA, and study both biology and chemistry. The chemistry and biology departments have greatly prepared me for my future. I took the MCAT this summer and scored significantly better than the national average. I have no doubt in my mind that this was in large part due to the incredible education I receive here at Luther. In addition, I have the privilege to participate in the human anatomy dissection course. This unique experience further prepares me for my future as a doctor someday. None of these incredible opportunities would be available to me without your generosity. I am truly grateful for Luther and your part in making it as possibility for me.”
Cody Torkelson from Elgin, IA, recipient of $730
“Thank you for your support of both myself and Luther College. My name is Cody Torkelson, and I am a senior business major from Elgin, Iowa. My grandpa was a member of the class of 1951 for one year before he fought in Korea. The family connections of Luther are very special. Thanks again for all of your support.”
Your gift. Put to work, right away, where it is needed most.
Last year more than 10,000 alumni, family, and friends supported Luther’s Annual Fund with gifts from $5 to $100,000. Your gift makes a difference for each and every student at Luther, and we are grateful for your support.
WITH SINCERE GRATITUDE:
This list includes all gifts received January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016. Making a gift each and every year is an investment in the lives of Luther students and a show of support for the Luther College community. Thank you for your support of Luther College through your giving.
Marilyn (Myrah) Bunge
Ruth (Jensen) Bunge
Naomi (Hutton) Evensen
Barbara (Anderson) Gillespie
Eleanor (Erickson) Hagstrom
Marilyn (Stoa) Harms
Mary (Anderson) Johnson
Elsie (Nesset) Kittleson
Helen (Bothel) Lien
Ethel (Turbenson) Marchant
IvaNell (Mundt) Monson
Cleetta (Fardal) Schrimper
Beatrice (Johnsrud) Stoddard
Shirley (Peterson) Swenson
Priscilla (Giere) Teisberg
Cornelia (Lien) Waterfall
Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. If an error has been made, please accept our apology and contact the Luther Development Office at 800-225-8664, or email [email protected].