Class of 1979 Spring Letter

Class Notes
Giving List

Spring 2013

Dear Luther Friends,

President Rick Torgerson and his wife, Judy, are leaving Luther at the end of the academic year, and we are going to miss their leadership. Many good things have happened over the course of their 14-year tenure: the academic program has been strengthened; the endowment has nearly tripled; and the physical campus looks more beautiful than ever. Diversity on campus has also increased, and Luther continues to attract amazing faculty and outstanding students.

Sustainability has been a main focus during the Torgerson presidency, and the college has made significant strides in this department, garnering national recognition.  Luther’s 1.6-megawatt wind turbine offsets about 2.5 million pounds of coal per year and reduces the college’s greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent. Baker Village is now carbon neutral thanks to a solar energy field, the largest solar energy production facility in Iowa. It is Luther’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2030, and the college is also committed to responsible food-sourcing practices, which means every effort is made to serve locally grown produce on campus. In 2010 Luther was one of only eight U.S. schools to earn an A on the College Sustainability Report Card, and in 2012 Luther received a Second Nature Climate Leadership Award.

Here at Luther, we enjoy celebrating good things, and a number of Sesquicentennial Fund celebrations and Torgerson tribute events have been happening across the country, from January to April. Perhaps you’ve attended an event in your area. The campus and Decorah-area farewell tribute to President Rick and Judy Torgerson is planned for Thursday, May 16, at 8:00 p.m., in the CFL, and all are welcome to attend.

The Sesquicentennial Fund campaign closed on December 31, 2012, having exceeded the $50 million goal with a grand total of over $57 million in gifts and pledges. Thank you to all who participated! One campaign project is still under-funded, the new aquatic center, but construction is almost complete. A delightful video about the new facility is on the athletics website, at, and the dedication ceremony is scheduled for Homecoming 2013 weekend, on Friday, Oct. 4, at 5:00 p.m. We hope to see you there!

Have a wonderful spring season,

Keith Ellingson
[email protected]

Class Notes
RACHEL (ANDERSEN)’78 and DAVID FALDET live in Decorah, where David is a professor of English at Luther.

DAGFINN HØYBRÅTEN was named the new secretary general of the Nordic Council of Ministers and began his work in March 2013. He also serves as board chair of GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation).

CHRIS CUDWORTH’S wife, Linda, passed away from ovarian cancer on March 26, 2013, at age 55. A magna cum laude graduate of Northern Illinois University, she and Chris were married 28 years.  Chis is now senior copywriter for Straight North, an Internet marketing firm in Downers Grove, Ill.

Don't forget your Annual Fund giving!  

Each year nearly 9,000 alumni, parents, and friends support the Annual Fund with gifts from $5 to $50,000. Strong support from alumni helps Luther secure additional funds from foundations and corporations, and your gift each year helps us reach our goal of 27% alumni giving.  Here’s how your class—and surrounding classes—did in 2012:

Class of 1978 total giving in 2012:  $52,994 from 22% of the class

Class of 1979 total giving in 2012:  $51,307 from 28% of the class

Class of 1980 total giving in 2012:  $208,309 from 22% of the class

Your gift can boost the impact your class has on current students!  Please use the enclosed envelope or visit to show your support. Thank you!

This list includes all gifts received January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012. 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.

Kathleen (Jones) Abrahamson
Neal Albee
Barbara (Berglund) Anderson*
Cynthia (Smith) Anson
Randy Balk
Glenn Benidt*
Kirsten (Davig) Benidt*
Karen Bergan*
Gerald Berkeland*
Rebecca (Hanson) Berman
James Bjorklund
Richard Bloxham*
Ruth (Pfeil) Bloxham*
Judith (Deyoung) Bloyd
Kari (Schroeder) Broghamer
Scott Broghamer
Ruth Broman
Julie (Luse) Brooks*
Steven Buck
Mary Bunge Docken*
Leif Carlson*
Mary Caspers-Graper
Rodney Christensen*
Phyllis (Zylstra) Comstock*
Steve Corson*
Karen (Peterson) Craft*
Julie (Raney) Duff
Keith Ellingson
Scott Emich*
Nancy Engen-Wedin
Robin Ersland*
David Faldet*
Katherine (Ferris) Feldman
Phillip Finanger*
Dani Fjelstad
Kim (Haugen) Gapinski*
Natalie (Wolstad) Geyer
Paula (Krull) Grace
Vian (Peterson) Gredvig*
Dennis Green*
Kristin Groth
Claudia (Park) Guenther
Linda (Houge) Gustafson
Mark Hageness*
Jeffrey Hansen*
Julie Hawbaker
Dayton Henderson
Jacquelyn (Johnson) Hinrichs*
Steven Hinrichs*
Jeffrey Indrelie
Cheryl (Carstens) Irland
Eric Johnson
Verlyn Johnson*
Bonnie (Olson) Johnston
Kevin Josephson*
Kristi (Wahlberg) Josephson*
Thomas Juracek
Clara (Phan) Knudson
Madonna (Sabelka) Knudson
Kirsten Koos
Donna Lager
Rebecca (Knutson) Lawrence*
Kathryn (Garbrecht) Leland*
James L'Heureux
Martha Lionberger*
James Loux
James Lovell*
Ann (Wise) Mansfield*
Patricia (Gardner) Maus
†Martha Meade*
Kenneth Meyer
Kathleen (Feany) Moseley
Paul Mullen*
Vickie Nash*
Daniel Nelson*
Denise (Grau) Nelson*
JoAnn (Myers) Nicholas
Debra (Wild) Olsen*
Timothy Olsen*
David Olson*
Sarah (Austrheim) Orngard
Nancy (Indrebo) Peterson
Solveig (Storvick) Pollei*
Donna (Peterson) Rasmussen*
David Reitz
Mary (Swenson) Rettig*
Rebecca Rettmer
Nancy (Wellen) Rivers
Mary Robsahm*
Jay Rockwell
Ira Ropson*
Janet (Bicket) Savre
Mary (Hamilton) Schultz*
Dale Shatzer
Sarah (Law) Shatzer
Kent Smith
Shawn (Baisden) Steffen
Carol (Kuntz) Swenson
Barbara (Langhus) Tashjian*
Alan Thorne
Bruce Tinkoff
Carol Tomer*
Mark Tranvik
Susan (Heers) Turnipseed*
Lance Vander Linden
Ned Vasquez
Lael Weselmann
Melanie (Boston) Westerberg
Cheryl Westrum Bressler
Mary (Devoe) Wetlaufer*
Roger Wetlaufer*
Jeffrey Wettach*
Perran Wetzel
Robert Wiemerslage*
Rebecca (Westerfield) Wilke*
Joel Zellmer*

* made a gift in each of the last five consecutive years.

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].



2013 Baseball
2013 Softball