Class of 1954 Spring 2019 Letter

Spring 2019

Dear Classmate,

As I sit to write this spring 2019, Luther College, 1954 class agent newsletter, it is minus 8 degrees outside with 4 to 6 inches of snow on the ground in Minneapolis and a prediction of minus 22 degrees and minus 24 degrees for Wednesday and Thursday of this week!!! Decorah is reporting 15 inches of snow on the ground today!!! UUUFFF DDDAAA!!!

Wow! It is time to fly to Phoenix, Arizona for the next three months, isn’t it? Believe it or not, Lois and I do fly to Phoenix, Arizona at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning (Tuesday), and return to Minneapolis, May 1, 2019. No, we’re not kidding. Arizona, here we come! Minneapolis, see ya!

Our classmate, Roald Nelson, has died. A funeral service was held on Friday, September 21, 2018 at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Iowa City. Lois and I attended this service, as did classmate Hamlet (Suzanne) Peterson, Alvin “Bud” Brekken, and Jack Nordgaard, who was a year behind us at Luther, but he was drafted so finished Luther in 1959. Aaron Romine ’91, Roald’s son-in-law, gave and beautiful and very meaningful eulogy for Roald. Well done, Aaron!

I realize our Class of 1954 has had others die through the years, but I was a roommate, teammate in basketball, and a good friend of Roald, Ruth, and family all these years, so I wrote a little something special for Roald.

On to news from campus! This spring, Luther student musicians will be playing and singing at full tilt. Collegiate Chorale and Cathedral Choir will tour the Midwest, and Jazz Orchestra sets out April 12 for a tour that includes South Dakota and Minnesota ( On top of that, Nordic Choir sings with the Des Moines Symphony April 27 and 28 (

This year, Luther hosted a number of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary ( of the college’s Black Student Union ( The events included visits from several alumni who were invited back to campus to speak throughout the year, including Christie Owens ’16, Maggie (Steinberg) Hagen ’15, Gaone Masire ’82, Emerald-Jane (Aggrey-Appiah) Hunter ’03, Kara (Skatrud) Baylor ’92, Lorenzo Creighton '75, Barbara Fuller '72, Spruiell White ’67, and Maxie (Jones) Rockymore ’82, who will deliver the Don Kemp Memorial Lecture on April 25. The yearlong celebration of the BSU kicked off at Homecoming and will culminate in an alumni reunion April 26–28.

The class of 2019 and their loved ones will celebrate Commencement on Sunday, May 26 ( It’s hard to believe, but that means we’ll soon bid a fond farewell to President Paula Carlson, who plans to retire at the end of the 2018–19 academic year.

After Commencement, Luther’s campus will start to buzz with summer visitors young and old. Each June through August, Luther hosts thousands of elementary, middle, and high school students interested in everything from music ( to nature ( to sports ( to science ( This summer, the college will also offer its third annual Dance Camp (, an inclusive, empowering, fun, and inspiring week of movement and expression.

Luther has summer programming for adults, too. If you enjoy singing in fellowship, mark your calendars for the college’s second annual Dorian Choral Retreat for Adults (, June 28–30. And keep in mind that you can host your own event ( on Luther’s campus. Your alma mater would love to have you!

In closing this spring, Luther College 1954 class newsletter, let me say, stay warm, stay safe, stay connected to Luther College, stay true blue, get back to campus for a Christmas concert, sing the Luther Fight Song once in a while, and above all, stay healthy and be thankful for the life that you lead. AMEN!


Kent Finanger
1954 Class Agent
4025 N. 151st Lane
Goodyear AZ 85395
[email protected]



Roald Allen Nelson of Coralville, Iowa, died Aug. 18, 2018, age 86.

The full obituary of the classmate listed in this letter can be found on the Luther College website at:

If you would like a printout of the obituary listed above in its entirety mailed to you, please contact us at: [email protected], or 563-387-1509.

We are pleased to announce Dr. Jenifer K. Ward as the 11th president of Luther College! For more information about President-elect Ward, visit

As you may remember from your Fall 2018 Class Agent letter, Luther has recently completed an extensive brand strategy research process.


As a result of our research and in collaboration with members of the Luther community, we have developed several statements that will guide future communications.

We know that you, our alumni, are often asked about your alma mater. What you say to prospective students and their families about Luther College can have a huge impact on their decisions to visit campus, apply and, hopefully, enroll.

You know Luther well. You matter to us and we’re interested in hearing from you.

We invite you to take a few minutes to preview some of our new statements and share your thoughts. The example statements, as well as a response survey, are available online:

Many thanks!

If you have any questions please email Catherine Dyer, Brand and Marketing Director at [email protected]