Class of 1978 Fall 2017 Letter

Dear Classmates,

Barbara writes:

Just back from a homecoming visit to Luther, including the class agent meeting, and I am excited that our 40-year reunion is only a year away!  And rather than feel daunted by the prospect of it, I am energized by the opportunity to work together with Luther staff and our reunion committee members in planning a special time for you. Homecoming next year will be just a bit later in the season: October 26–28. So get your calendars out and save the date. 

As a way of preparing for our 40th, I attended the Class of 1977’s reunion dinner on the Saturday night of Homecoming 2017. I met my roommate of three years, Karen (Thulin) Rude ’79 and her husband, Brian ’77 at the De Novo Barn and enjoyed a wonderful evening of great food and conversation. I posted a few photos on our Facebook page (Luther College Class of 1978). My trips back to Decorah almost always include overnight stays with my senior-year roommate, Sue (Mathison) Richter, on the farm near Lime Springs. Typically, Sue and I collaborate in providing special music to some local congregations on Sunday morning. Although we aren’t professional musicians, I do hope we represent the musical heritage of Luther College well! (As do so many of you likewise in your communities!)

I would like to highlight an initiative, the Alumni Ambassador Program, developed to further enhance Luther’s enrollment. As I’m sure you’re aware, the smaller residential liberal arts colleges have been facing many challenges in the past several years pertaining to enrollment numbers. I invite you to consider how you might participate as an alumni ambassador. More than any glossy brochure or highly produced video, a former student’s story of their own Luther experience can make a significant impact on a prospective student. For years, Luther has provided scholarships to legacy students, i.e., children of alumni. What’s new is that alumni can now “award” the same amount of money by referring any prospective student who subsequently enrolls. 

What was formerly called the Annual Fund, is now the “Luther Fund.” Although the name has changed, the fund is still all about supporting students. This support includes: scholarships and financial aid, field study trips, music tours, student organizations, volunteer opportunities in the community, college ministries, residence hall improvements, campus landscaping, building maintenance, intramural sports, student/faculty research, etc. The Class of 1978’s 2016 giving to the Luther Fund came in at $44,497.25. Thank-you very much for your generosity! We rank #6 among all other classes in this category of giving. Well done, classmates. Every gift, no matter the amount, counts as a vote of confidence in Luther’s past, present, and future. 

Julie writes:

Greetings from Julie to all of you soon-to-be 40-Year Alumni,

OK.  I admit it. I was a little envious of to hear of Barbara’s recent adventure as the Class of ’77 Reunion Crasher. Her stories and pics were great. They certainly add to my own sense of excitement as the planning process begins for Homecoming 2018. Thanks to all who have signed on to our class Reunion Planning Committee. There is still room for more bodies on the committee and always room for your suggestions/ideas/inspiration in planning a meaningful, memorable celebration.In conversations with folks in my life about our college experience and memories, I am often a bit surprised to learn how few have stayed in touch with classmates or have ever attended their class reunion. Even fewer had any significant connection to one of their professors as an undergrad, much less a lifelong connection many of us have enjoyed. It's a reminder to me of the priority Luther College places on relationship with its students, not only during those fabulous four campus years, but for the long haul as alumni for 39 years and counting.

I would like to share a few words that stood out for me in an update on Luther's Strategic Planning process for the coming year. The group’s framing narrative is this: "Here We Stand" - Inspired.  Empowered. Engaged. Luther College was founded by immigrants who had a vision for a more just society, and named for a man compelled by conscience. For both, education was the key. This is not just a legacy for us. It's who we are. Guiding Vision: Students who are inspired, empowered, and engaged—prepared to serve and to thrive in an ever-changing world.”    

 A compelling statement of what an institution of learning ought to be about, don't you think?  

In closing, “stay tuned” for more updates regarding our 40-year reunion next year. We encourage you to use the online Alumni Directory ( to connect with the people who were important to you during your years at Luther. If you’re a Facebook user, please join our class FB page (Luther College Class of 1978). As always, we welcome hearing from you with news of what’s going on in your part of the world! 

Soli Deo Gloria,

Julie Dahlen
1978 Class Agent
[email protected]

Barbara (Noe) Koch
1978 Class Agent
[email protected]


Kim (Outten) Outten Stubbs of Nassau, Bahamas, is chief curator at the National Museum of the Bahamas. She was inducted into the Commonwealth Association of Museum’s prestigious Cowrie Circle. Memberships in the Cowrie Circle, CAM’s highest honor, signifies a tribute to those members who have played a major role in advancing growth and development of museums in their respective countries.

Kristin (Wallestad) Palmer and Keith Northway ‘79 live in Wheaton, Ill., and Rochester, Minn. Kristin is retired. Keith works for the Rochester (Minn.) School District.




Daniel Jordet of Brooklyn Park, Minn., died Dec. 27, 2016, at age 62. After graduating from Park Center High School, where he was a strong musician and drum major, he enrolled at Luther and majored in religion and accounting. Dan continued his education at L'Ecole Fraternelle, Chambon sur Lignon, France, where he studied French. He worked as an American Lutheran Church administrator and treasurer for a high school in Ngaoundere, Cameroon, prior to his position as vice president for finance at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. Later, Dan served as municipal finance director for various cities: Waverly and Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Mankato, Brooklyn Center, Otsego, and Saint Peter, Minn., where he also held the position of city administrator for three years. For nearly two decades, as a member of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and the League of Minnesota Cities, Dan taught peers and newly elected city council members throughout Minnesota how municipal finance works, and in 2014 he organized the GFOA national conference, held in Minneapolis. Dan is survived by his daughter, Signe Jordet; son, Peter Jordet and fiancé Catherine Dunn; former wife, Nancy North ’78; father and stepmother, Howard and Diane Jordet; sister, Nancy Jordet; and niece, Sasha Jordet. He was preceded in death by his mother, Marjorie Jordet, and brother, Gary Jordet.