Class of 1980 Spring 2019 Letter

Spring, 2019

A note from Kris:

Dear Classmates,

Sharing my love of Luther College and the impact it has on my life is always one of my first responses when I meet new people. The knowing reaction of heads nodding in acknowledgment of Luther being a great school, and sharing the agreement that Luther shapes people, and transforms lives is often the result. My travel wanderlust was inspired at Luther College with trips like the Symphony Orchestra J-term spent in Vienna, and the WFLCCB trip of the East Coast among others. Currently, I am touring Israel with a group of leaders from the Lutheran Church and students from Luther Seminary are meeting up with us in places like worship, dinners, and visits with leaders like Mitri Raheb. Luther College instilled the responsibility of social awareness, pursuit of justice and honesty in actions. Do you remember reading books that provoked thought and conversation? We have a lot to be thankful for as we look back on our years at Luther.  

How do you share your knowledge and commitment to values that Luther College helped instill? We may not share similar jobs, locations, or family experiences, but our commonality is the testimony of values Luther College celebrates today. The things we treasure of the journey are deeper than simply an occupation, but a commitment to life and living with conviction. This information comes from the Luther website:

Graduates of Luther College are individuals with disciplined and inquisitive minds, equipped to understand and confront a changing society, and

college of the church, Luther seeks to ensure that all students will grow in knowledge, abilities, and mature in values during their undergraduate years and be motivated to continue this growth throughout their lives. The college expects students to pursue these goals in both independent and collaborative settings. It provides an environment in which students are active participants in shaping their intellectual and personal development.

As a liberal arts college, we expect our students to demonstrate a breadth of knowledge, including understanding major intellectual, artistic, and social landmarks in human history and also how to use the methodologies from different disciplines. We also expect our students to demonstrate a depth of knowledge in a particular area (i.e., a major).

We can support our alma matter and pave the way for future students. Do you have a special area you want to support? Now is the time to connect with the Development Office and perhaps create a legacy through scholarship contributions. At this stage of life, creating meaning and value is what is most important. I encourage you to be a part of the Luther tradition through your gifts either now or with planned giving for the future.  

Enjoy spring and cherish the friendships and knowledge you gained at Luther College.


Kris Tjornehoj

A note from Barb: 

Greetings From Viroqua! 

2019...A New Year of Beginnings. 

2018 was filled with many changes when our company implemented Epic and a new transcription program. After nearly 20 years at Mayo, I was one of the 300 of 400 people affected by the downsizing of our department. I am now beginning a new adventure in my life as the Driftless Dressmaker. 

While I will be creating a “new normal,” I am thankful for all I have in life. My heart goes out to any/all of you who may have been affected by the rains, fires, earthquakes, and senseless shootings that hit our country in 2018. The worst that I had to endure was the -30 degrees temps that caused my car to not start for two days, but I was thankful to spend the day inside with my puppies where it was warm and the smell of warm chocolate chip cookies filled the air. 

Throughout 2018, I was thankful to have the weekly Luther emails sent to me that were filled with links to keep me up to date on all the happenings at Luther. 

It was not until I started receiving Christmas cards that I was reminded of the support we all give Luther. I received two cards, along with pictures, of students who have benefitted from our gifts. That personal touch of their thankfulness for what we do for them warmed my heart in the Season of Giving. It is good to know that our gifts continue to give throughout the year. 

Last, but not least, I am so thankful for Luther's deep musical education. It is said that 40% of Luther students participate in music. I am so grateful to be able to visit Luther at least once a year for Christmas at Luther. If you have not attended, I highly recommend you experience this magnificent performance at least once in your lifetime. The day we attended, it was snowing slightly. I felt the peace of being on campus while I was looking out the window from the Center for Faith and Life. The stately oak trees reminded me of the endurance of Luther. There they were, growing right along with Luther through the years.

I am thankful that we can continue to grow with Luther through our generous gifts of love.

Still growing...

Yours truly,

Barbara (Forde) Linnell (aka the Driftless Dressmaker)

1980 Class Agents:

Kris (Skoglund) Tjornehoj
104 13th Street
Hudson, WI 54016-2074
[email protected]

Barbara (Forde) Linnell
740 E. Decker Street
Viroqua, WI 54665-1802
[email protected]



Peter Hovda retired as postmaster from the U.S. Post Office in Grand Meadow, Minn.

Jeff Peterson of Eden Prairie, Minn., retired from the Christensen Group.

Chris (Althuis) Schafer is director at the Thomas Tredway Library at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill.

Mark Tiedemann held a book signing for his novel, The Belle of Nagasaki, at Dragonfly Books in Decorah last Sept.

Kris (Skoglund) Tjornehoj is director of music and worship at Bethel Lutheran Church in Hudson, Wis., and conductor of the St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra in River Falls, Wis.

We are pleased to announce Dr. Jenifer K. Ward as the 11th president of Luther College! For more information about President-elect Ward, visit

As you may remember from your Fall 2018 Class Agent letter, Luther has recently completed an extensive brand strategy research process.


As a result of our research and in collaboration with members of the Luther community, we have developed several statements that will guide future communications.

We know that you, our alumni, are often asked about your alma mater. What you say to prospective students and their families about Luther College can have a huge impact on their decisions to visit campus, apply and, hopefully, enroll.

You know Luther well. You matter to us and we’re interested in hearing from you.

We invite you to take a few minutes to preview some of our new statements and share your thoughts. The example statements, as well as a response survey, are available online:

Many thanks!

If you have any questions please email Catherine Dyer, Brand and Marketing Director at [email protected]