Hello LC ’67 Classmates!
There is a major change upcoming in the Johnson household! On January 2, my wife, Jackie, will join the ranks of the unemployed, finally taking her well-deserved retirement almost ten years after I retired from teaching. I’ve become accustomed to having my days almost entirely to myself, doing what I want to do, and that will certainly see some adjustment! I might have to go find a job to maintain some “separation!”
Jackie is retiring exactly 50 years to the day after her hiring at the community bank here in Edgewood, where she began as a teller and bookkeeper, recording bank transactions in the massive leather-bound ledger books that were put in the vault each night for safe keeping. Everything was done by hand.
We were never able to celebrate New Year’s Eve together because all bank employees were needed to do their part in closing up the books for the year before going home. Often, they would have to return to the bank on New Year’s Day to finish the task, as everything had to be balanced and accounted for before the bank reopened for business in the new year on January second.
Over time, she grew in her skills and responsibilities, and even though technology replaced pen-and-ink records, she become the person in charge of the bank’s year-end “festivities” and still had to spend New Year’s Eve and some of New Year’s Day at work. Recent years find that a skeleton crew, the push of a button, and a couple of hours after closing on Dec. 31 are all that are needed to close up the electronic records. Jackie, as operations manager has only to keep tabs on the process, and can do it from nearly anywhere via smartphone. Things have changed!
“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be...”― Isaac Asimov
Luther College, though steeped in rich tradition, is confronted with continual change--changes in society’s needs and demands, students, facilities, faculty, and leadership all challenge our alma mater. As of early summer, Luther saw another significant change with the arrival of our new president, Dr. Jenifer K. Ward. She will guide our beloved college as it deals with changes and prepares for changes unknown that will come.
She addressed change in her remarks upon being elected as Luther’s 11th president. “We are at a crucial inflection point in the history of liberal arts education in our country, and in a world that needs the kind of graduates Luther College fosters. Everyone I met during the search process impressed me with … their love for Luther and their commitment to ensuring a bright future for our students and the communities and environments they will help steward. I look forward to … joining in the work of the generations who have shaped the legacy of this great institution.”
The quality liberal arts education offered by Luther prepares students well to live and serve in a world that will see changes we cannot imagine. By asking students to learn in many disciplines, education in the liberal arts teaches them to think flexibly and expansively, and it gives them a rich body of knowledge upon which they can draw to solve problems, think critically, and work creatively as the world changes. Research shows that those who graduate from small, residential liberal arts colleges report more meaningful and lasting benefits from their education than students at public universities and other larger institutes of higher learning.
Please do what you can to help support the increasingly important mission of Luther in developing graduates who can effectively deal with the inevitable change they and the world will experience. Please think about Luther as you do estate planning. Contact the Development Office for information.
1967 Class Agent
PO Box 155
Edgewood, IA 52042
Robert Craig Melcher of West Des Moines, Iowa, Died March 7, 2019, age 74.
The full obituary of the classmate listed above can be found on the Luther College website at: luther.edu/in-memoriam
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.