Class of 1978 Spring 2017 Letter

Spring 2017

Warm spring greetings to our ’78 classmates—aiming for a note of optimism as I (Barbara) ignore the sound of freezing rain and slushy sleet hitting my roof here in Madison and peruse an impressive schedule of upcoming spring events on campus and in Decorah.

March 9, 2017—the date of #luthergives17—billed as the second annual fun day of sharing Luther love all over social media to raise money for the Annual Fund. Another great way to reconnect with names and faces from our shared past in support of our alma mater. If 3.9.17 passed you by, plenty of time to get excited for next year’s Giving Day.

As always, Luther’s campus is a busy place with a remarkable weekly schedule of athletic events, student recitals, concerts, and guest lectures. A recent sampling includes the 2016 Norse Awards ceremony, Dorian Band Festival Concert, and the annual Ethnic Arts Festival. All this with still a month to go before spring break! Phew!

Luther College will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with a series of events throughout 2017. I wonder if our man Marty could have ever imagined that his brave act of social/religious disobedience would inspire the wider world’s exploration of individualism, freedom of religion, and freedom of thought for centuries to come. I look forward to sharing one of these events, a performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor at the Center for Faith and Life, with Barbara et al during our second annual Women of ’78 Weekend in Decorah. I’m confident that Barbara will post a memorable moment or two for any Facebook followers in the crowd.

A few items of note from our hardworking Luther Alumni Office: While Homecoming 2018 is still a month or two down the road (40 years? Say it ain’t so!), regional events are scheduled throughout the year for alumni, parents, and friends of the college. Information about upcoming events and Alumni Tours can be found at You may want to check out for links to more alumni news and info and for links to social media, news, blogs, and college publications.

Thanks, Julie Dahlen, for your update from Madison. I’ll add a few notes of my own from my desk in Cedar Rapids.

I (Barbara) think we were a bit more fortunate in Iowa, weather-wise. I was actually running around town doing errands in my flip-flops last week. Very strange, indeed.

It was an appropriately chilly evening last January 31, in Iowa City, when my mom and I heard the Nordic Choir at a stop on their winter tour. Guest conductor Jeffrey Douma (his usual gig is director of the Yale Glee Club) remarked on the incredible achievements of Weston Noble ’43, and led the group through a breath-taking program of old masters, “new music,” American classics, and closed with a stunning (as always) performance of Chesnokov’s, O Lord God. As is the tradition, Nordic alumni were invited to join choir members for the in-the-round singing of this signature piece. I was not the only one brushing away tears as the voices soared upwards in the church sanctuary.  

As wonderful as the music was, I also had a delightful encounter with my Luther College recruiter Mike Hovland ’72! I was shocked that he remembered my name, my hometown (Grinnell, Iowa), and recalled that I played oboe in the high school band! Then, with a chuckle, he said, “and if you give me a minute or two, I might even remember your ACT score!” Amazing. In addition to me, Grinnell High School classmates Anne Pinder and Kent Baumann joined Luther’s Class of 1978.

Going back to Weston Noble—what are your memories of Mr. Noble? I’m sure many of you took classes from
him; a few had the distinction of being in Nordic Choir; lots of you received phone calls from him, encouraging you to consider attending Luther; many more of you (me included) knew him best from rehearsals and performances of Handel’s Messiah. I treasure my beat-up old copy of Handel’s oratorio, complete with notes and scribbles in the margins. One performance note has really “stuck” with me through the years. Part II of Messiah begins with, “Behold the Lamb of God.” Sopranos, altos, and basses make their entrances with an interval of one octave, from a G up to another G, on the word be-hold. Mr. Noble asked us to imagine ourselves at the foot of the cross, eyes cast downward, then lifting our gaze upward to Christ: Behold! I have to wonder if Mr. Noble or someone else ever compiled a collection of all his performance notes related to Messiah? It would be both fascinating and inspirational.

As Julie noted, we are planning our second annual Women of 1978 Weekend in Decorah, March 31-April 2. Look for us strolling up and down Water Street, or hanging out at Pulpit Rock Brewery on Saturday night after the concert on campus! We would love to hear about other groups of classmates who get together to celebrate their life-long friendships. Please consider letting us know about your activities on the Class of 1978 Facebook page.

To close, Julie and I pass on a note of thanks from the Development Office to all who have made gifts to Luther College in the past year:

     “All of us here at the college are grateful for your incredible support…please remember, gifts of all size count in our participation numbers…we appreciate your leadership in 2017.”

With warm regards,

Barbara Noe Koch       and           Julie Dahlen
[email protected]                        [email protected]

The Annual Fund – make your gift today:
Your gift. Put to work, right away, where it is needed most.

Last year more than 10,000 alumni, family, and friends supported Luther’s Annual Fund with gifts from $5 to $100,000. Your gift makes a difference for each and every student at Luther, and we are grateful for your support.


Loring Stead is a podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester, Minn. He was featured in a Rochester Post Bulletin article about his unusual collection of decorated casts that he has collected from patients over the years.


Christina (Perrin) Moorcroft of Fort Collins, Colo., died Sept. 19, 2016, at age 72. Born in Kansas City, she grew up in Omaha, Neb., where she graduated from Central High School in 1962. After high school, Chris attended the University of Nebraska, where she, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, majored in English and graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors. After graduation, she became the first woman management trainee in the Northwestern Bell Telephone system. In 1971 Chris married Bill Moorcroft and accompanied him to Decorah, where he began teaching at Luther. She studied accounting at Luther and passed the CPA exam on her first try. After a short stint working as a public accountant, Chris worked in Luther’s Treasurer's Office as an accountant, while earning an MBA from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. After receiving her MBA, Chris taught accounting at Luther for 19 years. Along the way, she also sat for and passed the managerial accounting certification exam. Her research interest was in international health care systems, and she traveled to many health care facilities outside of the United States for research. Chris was an active member and vestry member of Episcopal churches in Decorah and later in Fort Collins. She and Bill were founding members of the original food co-op in Decorah, and she served as bookkeeper for Sunflower Day Care Center. A long time faculty representative for Luther to the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Chris was also instrumental in getting Luther’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa established. In addition, she was nominated to participate in a state committee to research possible statewide health care plans for the state of Colorado. Chris enjoyed traveling, golfing, playing bridge, collecting miniature pig statues (because of her unique ability to pig snort), cuddling her dog(s), going to movies, reading as many books as she could get her hands on, taking care of her grandchildren, and cooking Swedish pancakes for family and guests. She is survived by her husband, Luther professor emeritus of psychology Bill Moorcoft; daughter, Marcy (Greg) Capell; two sons, Pat (Natalie) Moorcroft and Drew Moorcroft ’94 (Jodi); eight grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives. Chris was preceded in death by her parents; sister, MaryDell; and brother, Jim. Memorials may be made to Luther College.


This list includes all gifts received January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016. Making a gift each and every year is an investment in the lives of Luther students and a show of support for the Luther College community. Thank you for your support of Luther College through your giving.

Susan (Stavig) Alshouse
Marti (Tieskotter) Andera
Yuri (Mizuno) Ando
Albert Baker
Dorothy (Marken) Baker
Laura (Dunnington) Behrens
Terry Bestul
Rhonda (Hageness) Blattner
Karleen (Thoni) Boettner
Gregory Bonney
Terri (Goettsch) Bousselot
Gregory Bruening
Karen Caddoo
Scott Christensen
Kristine Cleary
Candace (Carlson) Dahl
Steven Dahl
Julie Dahlen
Doreen (Volz) Dalman
Sue (Franzen) Drilling
Randa Duvick
Gary Eliason
Rachel (Andersen) Faldet
Ross Fisher
Joyce (Nelson) Flaaen
Richard Frost
Bruce Fure
Lois (Boeding) Fure
Nancy Gehm
Joanna Aamodt (Hecht) Gipson
Roger Hall
Becky (Essmann) Hamilos
Mark Hansing
Dennis Hanson
Virginia (Arneson) Hanson
Nancy (Hawbaker) Harms
Arland Henning
Kristy (Monson) Henriksen
Paul Henriksen
Jenny (Burdick) Holbert
Elaine Isakson
†Daniel Jordet
Christine (Kabele) Kallman
Daniel Kallman
Monica (Ike) Kasel
Suzanne (Bollum) Klevan
Brian Knutson
Jan (Bakker) Knutson
Barbara (Noe) Koch
Amy (Kiesler) Kust
Michael Kust
Karen (Shostrom) Lehmann
John Linnell
Cecelia (Nybro) Manlove
Julie (Bonner) Martin
Ann (Johnson) Monson
Glenn Monson
John Nelson
Julie (Johnson) Nelson
Gregory Nesheim
Paul Ness
Richard Nicklay
Ronald Njus
Donna Novey
Mary (Bakke) Nurre
Steven Nurre
Marilyn (Molde) Odean
Christine Olsen
Gayle (Hager) Olson
Janet Ostlie Leifeld
Diane (Bandel) Padrutt
Larry Papenfuss
Teresa Paulsen
J. Robert Paulson
Ruth (Hanna) Paulson
Cathy (Gustafson) Penney
Anne (Peterson) Pietscher
Marcia (Hoff) Pitzenberger
Steven Pollei
James Potter
Paul Pribbenow
John Pundt
Wendy (Jones) Rice
Sue (Mathison) Richter
Beth (Hoven) Rotto
Jon Rotto
Karen (Thulin) Rude
Kathleen (Jacobson) Ruhser
Britt Sather
Kristen Schlauderaff
Dawn (Hovden) Schweizer
Pamela Solberg
James Spelhaug
Gail Stearns
Paula (Leacox) Stecker
Robert Steinmetz
Jonathan Storvick
Randeen Torvik Ragan
Mary (Carlson) Trandem
Lee Valenta
David Welo
David Wettach
Christine Wheatley
Kevin Wiebel
Cathy (Brinker) Williamson
Kress Williamson
Susan (Layton) Williamson

Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. If an error has been made, please accept our apology and contact the Luther Development Office at 800-225-8664, or email [email protected]. (†deceased)

Barbara Noe Koch '78
Julie Dahlen '78