Class of 1968 Fall 2018 Letter

Fall 2018

Dear Class of ’68;

Well, it’s only a few days away now. The reunion committee has been working hard, the Luther staff have been giving us fantastic leadership and support, and the plans for Homecoming 2018 are in place. Everything is ready---for YOU! I sincerely hope that you have made your plans to attend our 50th Reunion and that you are looking forward to getting away for a few days to renew the friendships and bonds that have held the Class of ’68 together for the past 50 years. It’s going to be an exciting weekend, I guarantee you.

There are seven “LC Class of ’68 50th” YouTube videos online. The intent of the videos is to provide a brief summary of “highlights” of our time together at Luther in a way that hopefully brings back enjoyable memories of special times and special friends, and that perhaps results in a smile or two. The videos can be accessed by scrolling down the “Class of 1968 – 50th Reunion” page at

Do you remember what we were doing 54 years ago at this time? Climbing a greased pole, getting to know our new roommates, finding our way around the campus, realizing that college was going to be a lot more challenging than high school, wondering if we had made the right choice in coming to a small, private, Lutheran college? And now, 54 years later, here we are! There have been so many changes in the world during that time, it’s hard to grasp. We have changed, too. Not just older and grayer, but maybe more comfortable with who we are and what we have evolved to become.

We haven’t built walls; we have torn them down and opened our lives to new friends, new family members, and new responsibilities. We haven’t lost track of the promises we have made; we have followed through on promises made and commitments to be fulfilled. We have learned to get back up when we have fallen down, to honor those who have gone before us, and to embrace the lessons learned together during our four years at Luther.

I am looking forward to seeing you soon, catching up with you over the past years, savoring a Mabe’s Pizza and a Ronnie’s Roll, cheering on the Norse football team with you, and laughing together at the wonder of this place and all the people who make it a special corner of the world.

Safe travels, friends! Don’t worry about not recognizing each other – we’ll all have name tags with our “old” pictures on them. Take advantage of all the events that have been planned for us; and be sure to thank the reunion committee for their work and planning. If, for some reason you are unable to attend, know that you will be missed. See you soon!

his year we’ll celebrate two important milestones during Luther’s Homecoming Weekend, October 26–28. First, the Black Student Union (BSU) commemorates its 50th anniversary this fall. There are several events planned during Homecoming and throughout the year to celebrate the founding of the organization—including forums, lectures, a brunch, and a BSU reunion—so mark your calendars. Luther’s Nursing Department also observes a birthday—its 40th—this fall. Homecoming Weekend, Kris Dreifuerst ’85 will lead a workshop for nursing educators and deliver the Ironside Distinguished (Alumni) Lecture in Nursing, which will be followed by an open house at Luther’s simulation lab.

In addition to Homecoming lecturers, Luther will welcome other notable speakers to campus this season. On October 23, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt will deliver the Farwell Distinguished Lecture, “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.” His book of the same name, published earlier this month, explores how the cultural climate of “safetyism” on college campuses across the U.S. interferes with the healthy development of students. He argues that recent social and cultural trends are setting children up to fail as healthy, autonomous, adaptable adults. If you don’t have time to read the book, you can get a snapshot through Haidt’s Atlantic article:

Finally, most have heard that President Paula Carlson will retire at the end of the 2018–19 academic year. During her time at Luther, President Carlson added several academic programs to the college, renewed outdoor facilities, expanded Luther’s Career Center services, developed and launched the “Next Steps for Sophomores” program, added a dean of institutional equity and inclusion to Luther’s staff, and achieved Luther’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent by the end of 2015, among other things. Luther’s Board of Regents is taking the necessary steps in the presidential search process with the hope of transitioning leadership over the course of next summer and having a new president in place for the 2019–20 academic year.

While changes are afoot at our alma mater, Luther also holds tight to its traditions, like keeping in touch with valued alumni. We hope you’ll let us know what’s new in your life too! Until then, best wishes for a fall that’s as beautiful as it is in the Oneota Valley.

Len Bruce
1968 Class Agent
516 Brown Street
Bettendorf, IA 52722-4623
[email protected]



Jean (Aaker) Berg retired from teaching elementary school in the Madison (Wis.) Metropolitan School District. 

David Bornfleth is a volunteer math tutor at the Rochester (Minn.) Community and Technical College Learning Center. 

Karla (Stelling) Brown of Durango, Colo., works for Telluride Mountainfilm.

Joan (Bauer) and Len Bruce of Bettendorf, Iowa, are both happily retired.

Susan (Usack) Burrows is program coordinator at Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy in Morton Grove, Ill.

Mark Engebretson is professor emeritus of physics at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.

Karen Erickson-Brandt of Saint Paul, Minn., is retired.

John Franke of Raleigh, N.C., is professor emeritus of mathematics at North Carolina State University.

Lenny Graves of Decorah, retired as dean of CTE at Northeast Iowa Community College.

Nancy (Buenzow) and Bernie Hermanson of Cresco, Iowa, are both retired.

Nancy (Johnson) Justus is a part time substitute teacher at Prairie School, a private school in Racine, Wis.

Ed Kramer is director of the Bjornson Male Chorus of Chicago and organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ingleside, Ill.

Warren Luckner of Stillwater, Minn., is professor emeritus at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Steve Mau of La Crescent, Minn., retired from Principal Financial Group.

Duane Monick of Yakima, Wash., is retired from medical practice.

Judy (Wangen) Newton of Eagan, Minn., retired from Faribault Senior High School as K-12/language arts coordination teacher.

Gerald Petersen of Elkhorn, Wis., is retired.

John Rollefson of San Luis Obispo, Calif., retired as pastor at Lutheran Church of the Master.

Ken Rose retired from We Tired Acres (Scottish Highland Cattle) in Wilton, Wis.

Mike Ruzek of Austin, Minn., is retired.

Bob Sathe of Cincinnati is chairman of MCF advisors, LLC and a volunteer for Children, Inc., a non-profit organization in Covington, Ky. Bob is committee chair for the non-profit’s Capital Campaign. Funds raised by the campaign will help complete their mission to fight poverty by providing high quality educational services for children and family support through a multi-generational approach.

Paul Shafland of Boca Raton, Fla., is retired.

Doug Torgerson of Grove City, Minn., was inducted into the Minnesota Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Susan Yeager of Grand Junction, Colo., retired from Colorado Mesa University.

Karolyn (Kraling) Zbornik was ordained into the ministry of The Wesleyan Church in 2010 and is leader of the Congregational Care Team at Cedar Valley Community Church in Waterloo, Iowa.


David Henry Ask of Faribault, Minn., died April 15, 2018, age 71.

Charles Edward Hoyme of Flower Mound, Texas, died Dec. 19, 2017, age 72.

Roger Allen Krahn of Plainwell, Mich., died Dec. 21, 2017, age 71.

Kennard John Loveland of Alexandria, Minn., died Oct. 27, 2017, age 70.

Harlan G. Sanderson of Eastman, Wis., died Nov. 27, 2017, age 74.

Julian “Steve” Stephen Schmidt of Anoka, Minn., died April 28, 2018, age 72.


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.