Class of 1959 Spring 2019 Letter

Spring 2019

Dear Classmate,

The time has come to be thinking about a Decorah visit at Homecoming 2019, our 60th anniversary! We have confirmed that there will be appropriate recognition of the Class of '59.

Compared to 10 years ago, the pace will be less strenuous.  However, there will still be plenty of time to update friendship and connections. We will meet for lunch at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 5 to celebrate. We will send more details in June. Please let us know if you have ideas for our celebration. So far, we know some student musicians will be on hand to entertain us.

This will be the first Homecoming for Luther's new president. The transition from Paula Carlson to ??? will be July 1. Many on campus are anticipating the next era in a long history. This will include some adjustments to student body size, a renewed look at the liberal arts residential college in the social and business environment of today, and the college role in church and community. Also, don't forget costs.

Except for costs, these questions are not much different than 50 or 80 years ago. A strong mission and an emphasis on values-provided will continue to guide a good result.

Off campus is another story. Dave watches Decorah from his back porch every day. Walt sees it at least quarterly where, along with classmate Neal Nottleson, he journeys to board meetings at Vesterheim, the Norwegian-American Museum. Resident or visitor, we both are amazed at what has happened to Decorah. By itself, it is worth a visit. Visitors fill hotels nearly every weekend to hike, bike, shop and share the Vesterheim and campus events. It is a prime Midwest destination.

A Homecoming visit is worth the effort, if only as a day trip. The college will make it easy for us, the stories will make us feel young(er). The community is welcoming. Let us know how we can help your planning!

Here is some campus news:

Luther student musicians are playing and singing at full tilt. Collegiate Chorale and Cathedral Choir just returned from tours of the Midwest, and Jazz Orchestra soon sets out. On top of that, Nordic Choir sings with the Des Moines Symphony April 27 and 28.

To commemorate 50 years of the Black Student Union events included visits from several alumni who were invited back to campus. The celebration will culminate in an alumni reunion.

President Paula Carlson, will retire at the end of the academic year.

Luther’s campus will be buzzing this summer with visitors young and old. There will be thousands of elementary, middle, and high school students interested in everything from music to nature, to sports, to science, to dance. 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.

We hope you will try to make it for our 60th class reunion. Your friendly class agents will greet you with enthusiasm.

David J. Roslien
1959 Class Agent
602 Iowa Avenue
Decorah, IA 52101
(563) 382-4597
[email protected]

Walter Rugland
1959 Class Agent
1225 W. Cedar Street
Appleton, WI 54914
(920) 830-9999
[email protected]



Eugene R. Hanson of Davenport, Iowa, died Sept. 18, 2018, age 81.

Paul Henry Knutson of Edina, Minn., died July 16, 2018, age 80.

Dean William Maas of Tulsa, Okla., died Aug. 4, 2018, age 81.

Stephanie Thorpe (Ofstedal) Tesch of Richland, Wash., died Oct. 17, 2018, age 81.

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.

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]