Class of 1960 Spring 2019 Letter

Spring 2019

Dear 1960 Classmate,

Each fall, I look forward to the arrival of the Luther Alumni Magazine. I hope you do as well. I especially enjoy the stories of recent graduates and the impact a Luther education had on them.  Last fall, I was especially impressed by what two of those students had to say about their experiences at Luther, our alma mater. I share with you their stories, as they were featured in the Luther Magazine.

Devin Hedlund was a “go-getter” from early childhood.  She learned to play the violin and piano early in life, but as much as she adored music, Hedlund also felt the pull of science.  Knowing Luther’s strong reputation in biology and music, Devin followed in the footsteps of her mother and sister and enrolled at Luther.  She mapped out an academic plan that allowed her to do a double major in biology and English while minoring in Spanish.  Devin was a member of the Collegiate Chorale as well as the Symphony Orchestra.  She graduated last May Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude. She says: “I feel like I made the most of my college experience,” noting that her majors were the “perfect complement”- English, which brought her joy and her love of science which put her on track for medical school at the University of Iowa, where she started in August. She states: “What interests me most about medicine is that I know I will always be learning-each patient presents his or her own unique set of challenges.” Devin is truly a “go-getter” who excelled in every way at Luther College.

Tapiwa Manjengwa indicates that he was always interested in numbers, even as a youngster in Zimbabwe, Africa. He arrived at Luther in 2014 by way of Waterford Kamhlaba United World College, Southern Africa, where he studied mathematics, business, and management, as well as playing soccer. Tapiwa says: “Luther had a pure accounting program, and I knew people here who spoke highly of it.” He recalls: “I thought Decorah was beautiful, and I appreciated the small size of my accounting classes.” He pursued a bachelor's degree in accounting and mathematics and graduated May 2018. He currently is studying for his CPA exam and hopes to pursue a career in public accounting.  Remembering his time at Luther, Tapiwa says: “I have always strived to be inquisitive, stay open-minded, and work well with others. I feel Luther promoted and supported all those things. In short, the college has been good, very good to me.”

These are only two of the 467 students who graduated last May who have now gone on to make their mark in the future. There are many others like them, past and present, who can proudly say that “a Luther education shaped them for a lifetime of service.”

As I write you, the entire campus is buzzing with activity and learning. There are the required papers and exams in many classes, all to be done by the end of the academic year. The 2019 graduating class will be busy applying to graduate schools or hoping to land that ideal job in their chosen profession. Undergraduates will be seeking summer jobs in order to earn enough to continue their education. In April, there will be a multitude of concerts and athletic games taking place. Each of the musical organizations will hold their final concerts of the 2018-19 year, topped off by the major musical “showcase concerts” on graduation weekend.  Athletic teams will be playing for the “prized first place” in the conference.  If you are unable to attend any of the the concerts and games, they can be seen wherever you live. Just check the alumni or student calendar for what you wish to see and google “Luther College live stream.” Then check “Live” or “On Demand” and enjoy seeing and hearing the Norse first hand. 

On Sunday, May 26, the Class of 2019 and their loved ones will celebrate Commencement.  We will be saying a fond farewell to President Paula Carlson, who plans to retire at the end of the academic year. By now, the Presidential Search Committee will soon make or have made their choice of the 11th president who will lead the way in Luther's next chapter of excellence. 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 summer camps ranging 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. Check the website for more information. 

Luther has summer programming for adults, too. If you enjoy singing and fellowship, mark your calendars for the college's second annual Dorian Choral Retreat for Adults, June 28-30. The first retreat in 2018 was a huge success.  Andrew Last ’97, the director of Nordic Choir, led a group of over 200 singers from around the country in a weekend of song and fellowship.  Who can attend? Anyone!  Again, check the website for more information on this exciting weekend.

If you plan to come, it is not too early to make plans now to attend Homecoming at Luther. The dates are October 4-6, 2019. By the way, our 60th Reunion year will be held the following year: October 9-11, 2020. Karen and I hope to see you there!  Again, please support Luther with any amount you can afford. It helps the students and helps the college to apply for grants.

With best wishes,

Ken Melby 


1960 Class Agents:

Ken Melby
705 Serenity Drive
Decorah, IA 52101
[email protected]

Karen Julesberg
2820 Mickelson Parkway, #304
Madison, WI 53711-6482
[email protected]



Robert F. Roble of Sioux Falls, S.D. died Dec. 30, 2018, age 82. 

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]