Class of 1978 Spring 2018 Letter

Spring 2018

Dear Classmate,

I hope this letter finds you well and in happy anticipation of the warmer and longer days of spring. By this time of the year, a glance at my datebook reveals a significant amount of  notations for health care appointments, trips, dates for caring for grandchildren in Sioux Falls or in Cedar Rapids, music rehearsals, meetings, volunteering, classes….you get the picture.  And most importantly, there’s a weekend in October that is blocked off for my 40-year Luther College Reunion! Have you “saved the date” as well? 

Planning a memorable experience, October 26 – 28, for the Class of 1978 is well underway! You will receive a lot of information, so I won’t go into all the details in this letter. But I would like to list the names of our classmates who are on the planning committee:

Kristine Cleary        
Julie Dahlen
Denny and Ginny (Arneson) Hanson
Barbara (Noe) Koch
Amy (Kiesler) and Mike Kust
John and Julie (Johnson) Nelson
Bob Paulson
Jimmer Pech
Marcia (Hoff) Pitzenberger
Jim Potter
Kristen Schlauderaff
Lee Valenta

The process of writing this letter always plunges me into the deep end of my pool of memory.   And honestly, it isn’t all “oh my gosh, those were the best years of my life.” But some of the finest friendships of my life came out of those years in Decorah, and the value of those enduring bonds is, as MasterCard® reminds us, priceless. And it has been interesting to me how attendance at an alumni gathering, or a Luther choir tour concert, or even just encountering a news piece highlighting a Luther student’s research, or an interesting exhibit/lecture on campus can summon those warm feelings of high regard for our alma mater. It’s like the part of my brain devoted to identity and connectedness lights up. I guess that’s why I choose to maintain my affiliation with Luther, and to support its mission.

If you, too, are interested in strengthening your connection to Luther and classmates, I urge you to consider a couple of things:  

· Check out what’s happening on campus and be inspired by visiting 

· Catch up with someone you’ve lost track of by finding them on the Alumni Directory

· Join the Luther College Class of 1978 Facebook page  

· Recruit a future Norse and earn them a $1000/year scholarship via the Alumni  Ambassador Program!

· When you receive your Homecoming 2018 information, reach out to a friend and make plans to attend! If attending isn’t possible, submit photos or memories. Consider, too, making a gift to the Class of 1978 and activating matching gifts through the $78,000 Class Challenge. All you have to do is give or pledge to Luther and instantly, a dollar-for-dollar match will be applied.

Use the attached form and the reusable envelope or visit to donate today!

Warm regards, classmates, and see you soon,

Barbara Noe Koch

Hey Classmate -- the Countdown to October starts now.

As a shout out to the recently reinvented David Letterman, here is Julie's Top Ten Reasons to Block off the Weekend of Oct. 26-28, 2018 on Your Calendar:

10.   Fall is the best season to visit Decorah and the beautiful campus of Luther College. If it's been a few years, make sure to set aside time to visit the renovated Dahl Centennial Union, the bigger and better Valders Science Hall and the wonderful Legends Fitness for Life Center at the good old Field House.

9.   There are still (as of this chilly February afternoon) hotel rooms available in Decorah (check out the Fairfield Inn or Quality Inn & Suites) for Homecoming Weekend -- get  'em while they're hot or you may end up over-nighting at the Super 8 in Cresco or the Stoney Creek in Waukon.

8.   Speaking of hot, Mabe's is still serving up some of your tastiest pizza memories. Same great crust, same great downtown Decorah location.   

7.   And the new tap room at Toppling Goliath is finally up and running!  (OK, I admit --  this one  might  be a little closer to the top of my own Top Ten list but some of you might not share my enthusiasm).

6.   The Trout Run Bike Trail (if you haven't already found out for yourself) is pretty amazing!  Keep an eye out for details on the Class of 1978 Bike Ride.

5.   Even though Homecoming is a little late this year, the Whippy Dip might just extend their season a bit and keep the lights on just for us.

4.   The new Luther College Football Field. Trust me on this one -- it is blue --  really,  really BLUE.

3.   There will be fantastic food and a fantastic venue in store for our Class of 1978 Reunion Dinner. Now, you can trust me on this one too -- our big event is set for Saturday night at the wonderful Amish-built post and beam De Novo Barn, just a few minutes drive from campus.  I have it on good authority (Barbara and our Class of '77 pals) that it'll be the ideal spot to celebrate our 40th.

2.   Who knows? You just might bump into that person who lived down the hall from you freshman year who you've been meaning to track down for the past 20 years -- not to mention all those folks that you've been in touch with for every one of the past 40 years.  Every five years we are given this chance to reunite and to reconnect with folks who shared some pretty important slices of our lives.

And finally,

1.   Can you believe it? It's been FORTY YEARS!!!  What more of a reason could you need??? 

Let's have a party! Hope to see a whole bunch of you soon.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Julie Dahlen 

1978 Class Agents:

Julie Dahlen
[email protected]

Barbara (Noe) Koch
[email protected]


Ron Evans is chief executive officer of White’s Residential and Family Services in Wabash, Ind.

Karen (Thulin) and Brian Rude ’77 live in Coon Valley, Wis. They were selected as festmaster and frau for the 2017 La Crosse (Wis.) Oktoberfest.


Ian Divertie of Rochester, Minn., died Nov. 14, 2017, age 61.

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.