Greetings to each one of you! My 50th high school reunion had not taken place before I wrote this letter, but I imagine that many of you spent the summer attending similar events. (If you didn’t attend yours, check out the Trivia Questions at the end of this letter and try to sharpen your memory!) Many classmates noticed at their reunions that it no longer mattered what you look like or how much money you made — what does matter is that old friendships are cherished. And memories return in a rush.
It’s the start of a new school year at Luther, one that promises to be as wonderfully action-packed as ever. In August, the college welcomed 575 new students to campus. Over the summer, they read a book that many Luther grads will remember from Paideia: The Odyssey. This year’s edition comes with a twist: it’s the first English translation by a woman, Emily Wilson, and by all accounts it’s a vivid, engaging, and sprightly retelling of the classic homecoming story. If you’re up for a return to your Paideia roots, you can join the fun through Luther’s reading guide to the book: luther.edu/paideia/program/summer-reading/the-odyssey.
Speaking of homecomings, this year we’ll celebrate an important milestone during Luther’s Homecoming Weekend, October 26–28. The Black Student Union (BSU) was formed during our freshman year and thus commemorates its 50th anniversary. There are several events planned during Homecoming and throughout the year to celebrate the founding of this organization—including forums, lectures, a brunch, and a BSU reunion—so mark your calendars! Getting historical perspective on the changes at Luther during our time should be both fascinating and essential for setting a course for its future.
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: theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356.
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.
1972 Class Agents:
Marilyn (Fritz) Shardlow
Saint Paul MN 55113
Bev (Ulstad) Borgstrom
4870 Saratoga Lane N
Plymouth MN 55442-3013
Here are our "If You Graduated from High School in 1968" trivia questions.
1) How much did a dozen eggs cost in 1968? (53 cents and there was only one kind -- white!)
2) What movie won the Oscar for the Best Picture in 1968? (In The Heat of the Night)
3) Who performed the first heart transplant in 1968? (Dr. Christian Barnard)
4) What was the cost of a movie ticket in 1968? ($1.50)
5) What song got a Grammy award for Best Single? (Up, Up, and Away -- Fifth Dimension)
6) What was the average cost of a new car in 1968? ($2,832)
7) The Grammy Award for Best Album went to which album? (Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band -- of course!)
8) Which three astronauts became the first human beings to orbit the moon on Christmas Eve 1968? (Jim Lovell, Bill Anders, Frank Borman)
9) What item was added to the McDonald's menu, and how much did it cost? (Big Mac, 49 cents)
10) What year is often mentioned as the most historically significant in all of American history? (1968!)
Pam (Howland) Carstens retired as assistant director of music at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa.
Rick Fromm received second place plaques for Excellence in Editorial Writing and for Best Sports Columnist at the Iowa Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in Des Moines.
Chris Haugen retired from teaching health and physical education at Horace Elementary School in West Fargo, N.D.
Karl Jacobsen of Decorah, Iowa, was inducted into the Northeast Iowa Community College Hall of Fame for outstanding achievement throughout his career and community service.
Karen Smith of Leeds, Mass., retired in June 2018.
Lorraine Houck of Decorah, Iowa, died March 1, 2018, age 85.
The full obituary of the classmate listed in this letter 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.