Class of 1965 Spring 2018 Letter

Spring 2018

Dear Luther Class of ’65 Friend,                                      

This morning, in the Bold North, we awoke to beautiful white sparkly snow everywhere.  Some of you are enjoying yet another beautiful, warm, sunny-filled day in more temperate climates. No matter where we wake up we are all navigating through our retirement, hopefully with peace and joy.

A few years ago, Harvey McKay shared a Star Tribune article (author unknown), adding a few personal comments. I found it stirred my thinking, reminding me of the impact of our chosen daily decisions in bitter below zero beautiful snow views, or in balmy, warm, sunny vistas. What will I choose to do and how will I present myself daily to family, friends, strangers, and those who look and live like me and those who don’t?

“Don’t Lose Sight of What’s Really Important in Life” 

The most prized possession: Integrity. If you have it, nothing else matters, if you don’t have it, nothing else matters. Doing the right thing is never the wrong thing to do.

The most contagious spirit: Enthusiasm.

The ugliest personality trait: Selfishness. The old quote says it all, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.” And in turn you can motivate others to be their best.

Our greatest natural resource: Our Youth. 

The greatest joy: Giving, and the most satisfying work: Helping Others.  Never pass up an opportunity to share what you have. Being a leader, you understand you have tremendous power to help our society by setting a solid example.

The greatest asset: Faith.  (Lori says, “Aren’t we lucky we have our many Luther experiences that still support our personal asset of faith?”)

The most beautiful attire: A Smile.

We all participate in these traits in different ways, in different venues, and in different temperatures. Our diversity is what makes it all work because of our passions, choices, and daily activities. You are/can be part of a collective effort for the Class of ’65 Scholarship Fund at Luther.

I received this thank you for all of you, from the current student recipient of our Class of ‘65 Scholarship:

As a recipient of the Class of 1965 Scholarship Fund, I would like to let you know how grateful I am for your support. I am incredibly thankful for the help that I receive from this scholarship and the opportunity it gives to me, to further my education. I am a Political Science major, with aspirations of entering law school after graduation. My parents both attended Luther, along with my grandfather, so I knew this was the college I wanted to attend. I just wanted to thank you once again for allowing this to happen. 

Thank you – Anna ‘18

If you are interested in financially supporting this legacy fund please contact Luther at 800.225.8664. Regular giving to Luther is a great habit to cultivate!  Giving and helping others is “really important in life.” Helping Luther students can be one of many ways for us to find joy in sharing what we have. You can make a gift today by using the attached form and the reusable envelope or by visiting

The following was a Blessing shared at our church service.  For me it was a reminder of “what’s really important in life!”

Called to follow,     
Called to care,
Called to service,
May we go from here
Ready to answer.
Called to act,
Called to listen,
Called to challenge,
May we go from here
Ready to be sent,
With God’s blessing,
With Christ’s calling,
With the Spirit’s leading,
May we go in peace.


Soli Deo Gloria!

Lori (Wogen) Haaland
1965 Class Agent
[email protected]


                                                                              SIMPLER TIMES
                                                                 By Norkie ‘65– Your Man in Decorah...

It was just a short while ago when I found myself coming out of Mabe’s and looking up and down the street. A memory came back to me reminding me of the simpler times, when life went on without a lot of complications and people just sort of figured things out.

What triggered it was looking toward the old Tap Room and then to Zahaski’s saloon. Suddenly, in my mind are the two guys (yes, from OUR Class of ’65) who, being a little over-served, at one of the establishments and it being late at night, (think 1:00 a.m.) needed transportation back to campus.  Well, there were no cell phones back in 1962, no Uber – actually no living thing on Water Street at that time of night.

So improvisation toward a solution was the order of the day. The boys looked across the street and what to their wandering eyes should appear but a choice of transportation in the form of a farm tractor on the lot of the Farm Implement dealer. They figured out how to start it and off they went toward campus.

Once on campus they parked it near Main, shut it down and went back to Olson to bed. Next morning the college office called the tractor dealer and told him where he could find his tractor. The dealer came by, drove it back downtown and that was that!

Today, they would have crime tape all around the tractor, a search for prints and blood, the calling for witnesses ...not to mention calling the press for a live coverage report. And to what end? The tractor still would go back to where it belonged; chances of finding the guilty duo would be about zero. Yep, simpler was better, don’t you agree – Class of ’65? Well, time to boogie, and I’ll see you on down the trail next to the service road of life.


Paul Olsen is retiring from coaching men’s cross country and track and field at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., at the end of the 2017-18 school year. The spring 2018 track and field season will be his 50th and final season with the Augustana Vikings. Upon retirement, he will have been the head coach at Augustana for over 100 seasons: 52 in cross country and 50 in track and field. In the 101 seasons he has coached so far, his teams have competed in 118 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) championship meets; 52 in cross country, 49 in outdoor track and field, and 17 in indoor track and field. Of the 118 CCIW meets the Vikings have competed in, they have finished first or second in 94 of them, and have never placed lower than fourth place under Olsen’s leadership. In cross country, Augustana has qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championships 25 times and have been in the top 10 a total of 11 times, including a second place finish in 1980, a fourth in 1979, and two fifths in 1974 and 1992. He is one of the most senior faculty members on campus in the Augustana English department. He will continue to teach part-time in retirement.


Bonnie (Sanderson) Albertson of Spirit Lake, Iowa, died Sept. 1, 2017, age 74.

Full obituaries can be found on the Luther College website at:
If you would like a printout of the full obituaries from your class mailed to you, please contact us at:
[email protected], or 563-387-1509.