Class of 1975 Spring 2019 Letter

Spring 2019

Dear Classmates of 1975,

As I write this in early February, the Midwest – including many of you, I imagine – is just emerging from a harsh polar vortex. Safely ensconced in the Pacific Northwest, we recently had our first snowstorm of the year. It was only three inches, but it was enough to bring everything in Skagit County to a halt for nearly three days. Snowplows are rare beasts here and no one seems to know how to use a snow shovel.

Luther, too, has restarted following January Term. Despite the weather, several of Luther’s musical groups were able to conduct tours (perhaps you were able to enjoy one of their fine concerts) and are now back on campus. There are more concerts to come this spring. The beat goes on!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Black Student Union. Luther has brought a string of speakers to commemorate the event, including our own Lorenzo Creighton.  Things will culminate the last weekend in April with a reunion gathering.

Spring graduation is again scheduled for the third weekend in May – the last graduation at which Dr. Paula Carlson will preside.  She has announced her retirement effective the end of the academic year. 

And then – believe it or not – summer!  Luther continues to host a variety of camps for students of all ages, including those interested in music, nature, science, and even dance!  If you still like to sing with fun people in a beautiful setting, consider the second annual Dorian Choral Retreat for Adults is set for June 28-30.

I hope you are well no matter what the weather is like outside your door.  I hope, as well, that you are thriving whatever your work or retirement or avocation at this season of life.  Finally, I hope that you know how grateful I am for all of you and for all the good you do for the people and causes around you – including Luther!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Chris Lee-Thompson
1975 Class Agent
18100 Fir Island Road
Mount Vernon, WA 98273-7107
[email protected]


Melissa (Pratt) Arthur of Bedford, Texas, retired as an elementary music specialist. She continues to maintain a small flute studio, serve as director of the flute choir called Flutasia, and play in the Brookhaven flute choir, all while finding time to quilt and enjoy her butterfly garden.

Sandy Berg-Holte of Aitkin, Minn., retired as pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Cedarbrook and Bethesda Lutheran of Rossburg. Last fall, she completed a 567-mile walk (according to her Fitbit) across the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain to mark the ending of her 32 years of ordained ministry. She left Minnesota on Sept. 4 and began the ancient pilgrimage at Camino at Roncesvalles, Spain, on Sept. 6, arriving in Santiago on Oct. 16.

“It was an amazing journey! Every day was an adventure! I didn’t know what I would see, what sort of path I would walk on (sometimes it was very rocky or steep, other times besides fields, or streams or thru forests) or who I would encounter. I loved meeting people from around the world! Many thought I was crazy to go alone, but I shared the trail with hundreds! About half a million pilgrims walked to Santiago this year. There are many paths to Santiago. I chose the most popular one called Camino Frances. Santiago is where St. James is buried. It is one of the three major pilgrimages. The others are Rome and Jerusalem. Pilgrims have been walking this for over a thousand years. In the Middle Ages, about a million pilgrims walked it. It fell off in popularity, but has become increasingly popular since 1990s.”

Lorenzo Creighton of Oxon Hill, Md., was given the Hester King Award by the Prince George’s County, Md., chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for his efforts to employ minority-owned businesses in the construction of a $1.4 billion Washington, D.C. area casino resort.

Harriet (Patchin) Parks of Burton, Texas, retired from teaching elementary physical education after a 43-year teaching career.

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]