Class of 1978 Fall 2018 Letter

Fall 2018

Dear Classmate,

It’s the start of a new school year at Luther, one that promises to be as wonderfully action-packed as ever. In August, the college welcomed 575 new students to campus. Over the summer, they read a book that many Luther grads will remember from Paideia: The Odyssey. This year’s edition comes with a twist: it’s the first English translation by a woman, Emily Wilson, and by all accounts it’s a vivid, engaging, and sprightly retelling of the classic homecoming story. If you’re up for a return to your Paideia roots, you can join the fun through Luther’s reading guide to the book:

Speaking of homecomings, this year we’ll celebrate two important milestones during Luther’s Homecoming Weekend, October 26–28. First, the Black Student Union (BSU) commemorates its 50th anniversary this fall. There are several events planned during Homecoming and throughout the year to celebrate the founding of the organization—including forums, lectures, a brunch, and a BSU reunion—so mark your calendars. Luther’s Nursing Department also observes a birthday—its 40th—this fall. Homecoming Weekend, Kris Dreifuerst ’85 will lead a workshop for nursing educators and deliver the Ironside Distinguished (Alumni) Lecture in Nursing, which will be followed by an open house at Luther’s simulation lab.

In addition to Homecoming lecturers, Luther will welcome other notable speakers to campus this season. On October 23, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt will deliver the Farwell Distinguished Lecture, “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.” His book of the same name, published earlier this month, explores how the cultural climate of “safetyism” on college campuses across the U.S. interferes with the healthy development of students. He argues that recent social and cultural trends are setting children up to fail as healthy, autonomous, adaptable adults. If you don’t have time to read the book, you can get a snapshot through Haidt’s Atlantic article:

Finally, most have heard that President Paula Carlson will retire at the end of the 2018–19 academic year. During her time at Luther, President Carlson added several academic programs to the college, renewed outdoor facilities, expanded Luther’s Career Center services, developed and launched the “Next Steps for Sophomores” program, added a dean of institutional equity and inclusion to Luther’s staff, and achieved Luther’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent by the end of 2015, among other things. Luther’s Board of Regents is taking the necessary steps in the presidential search process with the hope of transitioning leadership over the course of next summer and having a new president in place for the 2019–20 academic year.

While changes are afoot at our alma mater, Luther also holds tight to its traditions, like keeping in touch with valued alumni.  It’s easy to get connected with the Class of 1978:

·  - - A great place to post your fabulous photos from the olden days at LC 

·  - - Our class reunion webpage

· - - Find your classmates

And if technology’s not your thing….stop by Leytze’s Corner Bed and Bath (just down from the Whippy Dip) or attend any of our planned class reunion activities!   We are really looking forward to welcoming you back to reconnect and celebrate our shared Luther College experience.

Warm regards….and  “CU 2000”,

Julie Dahlen
1978 Class Agent
205 Dempsey Road
Madison, WI 53714-3005
[email protected]

Barbara (Noe) Koch
1978 Class Agent
4303 Woodsmill Court NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52411
[email protected]


Marti (Tieskotter) Andera is owner of Marti and Co. in Cresco, Iowa.

Barb Anderson-Bacon of De Pere, Wis., is retired.

Karen Caddoo is coordinator of adult ESL and literacy at Jeffco Public Schools in Golden, Colo.

Doreen (Volz) Dalman is library director at South Beloit (Ill.) Public Library. 

Cameron Elmer of Ellston, Iowa, is a retired dentist.

Carol (Schroeder) Endres is lead toddler teacher at Open Arms Child Development Center in Glenview, Ill.

Bob Hachmeister is a data analyst and database administrator for the Rockford (Ill.) Public School District.

John Hanewall Jr. of Janesville, Wis., retired as deputy director with Rock County Development Disabilities Board. He is now an adjunct instructor for Upper Iowa University.

Michael Jorn of Milwaukee is a private practice licensed clinical psychologist.

Mark Larson is a consultant in gastroenterology and director of the Mayo Clinic Care Network in Rochester, Minn.

Becky Lynch teaches first grade at Frassati Catholic Academy in St. Paul, Minn.

Candance (Angerer) Morales is a transfer specialist at Athene in West Des Moines.

John Mueller is a pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Dwight, Ill.

Rich Nicklay of Okoboji, Iowa, retired after 39 years as an instrumental music teacher.

Ron Njus is partner at NYCO Property Tax Consultants LLC in San Antonio.

Mary (Bakke) and Steven Nurre of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are both retired after working in Asia (Seoul, South Korea, and Shanghai, China) for 30 years. They have enjoyed returning to Iowa and reconnecting with friends and family. Steven continues to coordinate teacher recruiting for Concordia International School Shanghai.

Kim Outten Stubbs of Nassau, Bahamas, is deputy director of the National Museum of the Bahamas.

Marcia (Hoff) Pitzenberger of Lansdale, Pa. retired as a research biologist with The Merck Company Foundation.

Beth (Hoven) Rotto is cheese and chill buyer at Oneota Community Food Coop in Decorah.

Kathy (Jacobson) Ruhser of Elkader, Iowa is a retired teacher.

Everett Schmidt Jr. is youth coordinator at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Wausau, Wis.

Rebecca (Adams) Searcy of Decorah, is a retired teacher.

David Werner is IT consultant at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel, Switzerland.

Karen (Toft) Younger retired as director of assessment and institutional research at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D.


Walter Edwin Wagner of Ossian, Iowa, died Dec. 23, 2017, age 63.

The full obituary of the classmate listed in this letter can be found on the Luther College website at:

If you would like a printout of the obituary listed above in its entirety mailed to you, please contact us at: [email protected], or 563-387-1509.