Class of 1977 Spring 2018 Letter

Spring 2018

Dear Classmate,

It has been nearly a half year since our 40-year class reunion and yet thoughts of classmates and reconnections still come to mind easily. Last week I read some blogs by current Luther students regarding their 2018 J-term experiences ( Many of their accounts reminded me of my junior year in Luther’s Nottingham program. Harley and Norma Refsal led our group of 13 juniors and seniors to a college-provided home in the industrial heart of England. It was my first trip out of the US. Harley accurately predicted that “lessons in cooperative living should prove to be more valuable to each person than he or she initially appreciates.” So true. I learned much that year and only later came to appreciate the impact it had on my life. It is heartening to see that Luther has taken the concept of the Nottingham and Malta programs and greatly expanded their number and variety ( Forty years ago, there were only a handful of study abroad opportunities. During J-term alone this year, 286 students and 29 faculty participated in 17 courses around the globe!  Overall, more than two-thirds of Luther students participate in study-away programs. I can only imagine the impact such experiences will make in their lives. And yes, the Nottingham and Malta programs from our era continue.  As for the 1975-76 Nottingham alumni, we gathered during the 40-year reunion weekend and had a great time reminiscing about our year abroad experiences and the paths our lives have taken since then. The Malta alumni held a similar gathering. Mark and Lois Finanger created a terrific picture summary of these gatherings and all the main events from our 40th. You can view the picture summary at

The Alumni Office has supplied the following information that may interest you:

Alumni tours 
Luther’s Alumni Office coordinates and/or promotes a number of travel tours each year ( Upcoming tours in 2018 include Nordic Choir Companion Tour to Germany and Czechia (May-June 2018) and Sicily and Malta (October 2018). 

Alumni events 
Many events are held throughout the region for alumni, parents, and friends of Luther College. Information can be found at Contact the Alumni Office at 563-387-1861 with questions about alumni events or tours. 

Alumni Ambassador Program 
The Alumni Ambassador program ( is designed to connect Luther alumni with prospective students. Alumni Ambassadors play a direct role in recruiting the next generation of Luther students by referring students to the Admissions Office. Every student you refer will receive a $1,000 scholarship (in your name!) each year, for four years, should they decide to enroll at Luther. Your participation in this program will have a direct financial impact on a student’s experience at Luther. For more information, contact Alyssa Ritter, asst. dir. of admissions at 563-387-1438. 

Do you have a story or experience from your time at Luther that you would like to share with your classmates?  If so, please forward it to me and I will be happy to include it in a future class letter.

In closing, I hope you'll consider supporting current Luther students with a donation to the Luther Fund. Use the enclosed form and reusable envelope to mail in your gift or visit today! Thank you!

Steve Pitzenberger
1977 Class Agent
[email protected]


Cora Leland is an accountant in the tax department of Avitus Group in Billings, Mont.

Gregory Nicoll is financial advisor at Financial Decisions Group in Waterloo, Iowa.

Janice Rambow Beatty is a sickle cell/thalassemia nurse specialist at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.


Vincent Edward Hamilton of Centerville, Bahamas, died Dec. 23, 2016, age 61. 

Kyle A. Marquard of Greene, Iowa, died Aug 24, 2017, age 62. 

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.