Class of 1955 Fall 2018 Letter

Fall 2018

Dear Classmates,

Greetings from Northern Minnesota where the summer weather has been not too hot, humid, or rainy. This class letter is going out a little earlier than usual. The plan from Luther is to get it mailed before Homecoming, October 26-28. Along with the usual activities at Homecoming, two organizational milestones will be celebrated – the 50th anniversary of the Black Student Union and the 40th anniversary of the Nursing Department. Neither of these existed in our day, but serve to remind us that change is inevitable and essential as Luther continues to seek ways to be attractive and relevant.

I’m sure you have heard by now that Paula Carlson is retiring as college President at the end of the next academic year. By Luther standards, her tenure as 10th president is shorter than typical, but is marked by some important gains. I note three. In the most recent fiscal year ending last May 31, the College received gift commitments of over $20 million, the fourth largest total in history. The recently started Next Steps for sophomores initiative is continuing to expand its emphasis on mentoring for success in college and thereafter. And the Strategic Plan approved by the Board in February is now being implemented. All good achievements.

In July Mary and I once again hosted the Luther Comes to the Heartland reunion in Park Rapids, Minn. This was the sixth consecutive annual event with alumni, parents, and friends from the lake region gathered to share picnic fare, stories, and memories, and hear from two members of the College’s Development Office. Sherry Alcock ’82 indicated that the College is currently assessing the ideal student body size in future years. Like many small schools faced with external threats and competition, Luther’s enrollment has drifted downward in recent years. The College has committed to setting an enrollment goal that can be achieved and sustained. Andrew Peter ’14 noted the gains made on campus to reduce reliance on carbon fuels and utilize wind and solar more rigorously.  He stated that the college has been able to shift its energy use to wind and solar by 50% with goals of 70% by 2020 and 100% by 2030. Nationally, at present Luther ranks 3rd among small colleges in solar capacity. Impressive. Andrew, incidentally, is the son of Tim ’86 and Sandra Peter, who were music faculty members and much involved with Christmas at Luther before moving to another school. Also, we were happy to have at the event a 2018 Park Rapids High School graduate who was admitted to Luther this fall.

Three classmates sent notes to pass along. Clarie (Renslo) Streng-Broste reported that she and husband Dennis enjoyed a cruise at Japan and South Korea and were especially struck by how two nations with small land mass utilize it so effectively. She noted in particular the presence of “decked” highways. Clarie indicated that they wanted to attend the Luther picnic in Park Rapids but LaSalle Lutheran Church at Hanska Minn., where they attend when not in Texas, was observing its 100th anniversary that same day and also holding its last service before closing. It was featured in the Minneapolis Tribune as an example of small churches, many in rural areas` that can no longer sustain themselves. Dave Borreson and Jan still live in Colorado and keep busy with church, gardening, puppy training, and trips – two RV rallies, Amtrak to Yellowstone, Maui. They plan to be in Charleston for Christmas with a trip to Galapagos in the spring. Life is good. I was happy to hear from Dave Fadness, too. He has lived in Austin Minn. since 2012; his wife, Joyce, one of the Dahl twins, passed away in 2014. He spends time writing articles for the Houston (MN) Banner, volunteering, reading, walking, and playing golf but no tennis. He remarked at how much the campus has changed since he was a student. And, he remembered that when his father, Professor Fadness, also served as Dean of Men the family lived in an apartment in the east wing of Larsen Hall.

Sad to say, the Luther magazine noted that three classmates passed away – Marlys (Anderson) Awes on April 2, 2017, her husband, Vernon Awes, on March 22, 2018, and Alvin Berg on March 31, 2018. You can check obituaries of these and others by going to

I have not seen any data on our class giving for the past fiscal year but expect that it continued to remain relatively high in participation. For what you have done and will continue to do, I thank you. Ongoing gifts of whatever amount one is able to make are a sign of loyalty, dedication, and thanksgiving for a place that did so much for us.

Lastly, have very good fall and winter, and a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.  And please send via email or snail mail information you’d like to share as you have time.


C. Carlyle Haaland
1955 Class Agent
23228 County 80
Nevis, MN 56467    
[email protected]

(Feb.-Apr.) 1105 South Alpine Circle,
Green Valley AZ 85614


Marlys Joan (Anderson) Awes of Madison, Wis., died April 2, 2017, age 84.      

Vernon E. Awes of Madison, Wis., died Dec. 10, 2017, age 85.

Alvin Berg of Vancouver, Wash., died March 31, 2018, age 87.

Richard Amos Duane Knudson of Albert Lea, Minn., died Feb. 26, 2017, age 81.

Thomas Stan Solberg of St. Peter, Minn., died April 25, 2018, age 83.

Alvin Berg of Vancouver, Wash., died March 31, 2018, age 87.

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.

A Special Thank You

Each year, our class scholarship provides much-needed funds to one (or more) Luther student(s).  And, many send thank you notes! Please take a look at a note from last year’s recipient(s).  We are making a difference!