Class of 1951 Fall 2018 Letter

Fall 2018

Dear Classmate,

I challenged you to respond to my spring letter by sharing any special or meaningful experiences as a freshman at Luther in 1947.  I hope you enjoyed my memories even if you are unable to respond.

What a different world we are living in 70 years later.  I have been reading Thomas Friedman's Thank You for Being Late.  It's a thick book, but I find it a life learning challenge to read.   There is no way we can keep up with the acceleration of technology, globalization, and climate change noted in this book.  Friedman, a New York Times journalist, says “the Cloud (new meaning for us) where technology stuff is stored, is more profound than fire and electricity because it connects us to all the world's people and all the world's knowledge.”  Wow!  How we as humans adapt to all this change is a challenge.  I think our liberal arts colleges, specifically Luther, are being called to inspire moral goals, integrity and mutual respect in an ever expanding interdependent society. We had lots of challenges as we began our careers in 1951, as did the forefathers of our beloved alma mater, but none compared to what our grandchildren and great-grandchildren are facing in this fast changing world.

Now for some news about Luther in the new school year. 575 students were welcomed to campus.  Their Paideia assignment for the summer was to read the first English translation of The Odyssey by Emily Wilson, a retelling of the classic homecoming story. You can join the fun through Luther's reading guide to the book:

Homecoming weekend this year is October 26-28. Unless weather in Iowa is different than usual I don't think they'll be having a picnic outside at noon like we did when I have attended Homecoming the previous two years, but I have no plans for going this year. Our president, Paula Carlson, is retiring at the end of this academic year. I have gotten to know her personally through her godparents, who live at the 7500 York Cooperative where I live. She is very personable and presentations I've heard her make on the strategic plan for Luther have been excellent. The search for her replacement will be a real job, especially in this time when all colleges are seeking to attract a diversity of students who can pay the high costs of education. I tried recruiting a girl for the Alumni Ambassador Program, but wasn't successful because we didn't offer the field she planned to pursue. Have any of you referred someone who would receive a $1,000 scholarship each of their four years?

Thank you for any support you have been able to provide this past year.  I like using Luther's Giving Day for my contribution. I have no word yet on who will receive our Class 1951 Scholarship. Last year’s recipient was Jeffrey Lackmann. His thank you note is included in this letter. Again you will be receiving the listing of our classmates who have died since my last letter. Blessed be the memory of Karl Aschim, Stanley Diesch, John Glesne, Eleanor (Erickson) Hagstrom, Verne Hoggatt, Donna Mandelko, and Norman Simondet.

In our 8th or 9th decades we all have limitations. I still am able to continue some volunteering.  My senior cooperative has a Life Enrichment committee that is sponsoring four-week Yorke U classes. The one for September and October is “Increased Longevity is Creating Change.”  My cane reminds me.

Soli Deo Gloria,

IvaNell Monson
1951 Class Agent
7500 York Ave. S #842
Edina, MN 55435
[email protected]


Karl E. Aschim of Decorah, died Feb. 28, 2018, age 91.

Stanley L. Diesch of Roseville, Minn., died May 10, 2017, age 91.

John O. Glesne of Decorah, died June 16, 2018, age 90.

Eleanor Jeanne (Erickson) Hagstrom of Alexandria, Minn., died Jan. 24, 2018, age 90.

Verne "Pete" Hoggatt of Roseville, Minn., died Nov. 16, 2017, age 90.

Donna M. (Hahn) Mandelko of Harmony, Minn., died April 16, 2018, age 87.

Norman “Norm” Simondet of Mound, Minn., died Dec. 18, 2017, age 89.

The full obituaries of classmates listed in this letter can be found on the Luther College website at:
If you would like a printout of the obituaries listed above in their entirety mailed to you, please contact us at:
[email protected], or 563-387-1509.