Spring Greetings to you, 1981 Luther classmate!
You’re an active bunch – the more so, it seems, since a number of you have begun transitioning into retirement or partial retirement. Just looking today at Facebook, I see Luther classmates who are competing in triathlons, directing children’s musical programs, having drinks on a boat in Florida, hiking in beautiful places, conducting concerts, rescuing animals, snow-biking, getting involved in political processes at all levels, playing with grandchildren, and so much more. Some of us are even going to work every day!
Whether or not you share your doings on social media, I’m fairly confident that each of you, in your way, has a life that includes close relationships, hopefully some laughter, a community of some kind, and opportunities to give something back to the world. There are many shadings of all those things, and for some of you the shadings may be darker and lonelier just now than for others – but we all know by know that life includes both joys and sorrows. I hope your scales tip toward joy these days.
Close relationships, laughter, a community, opportunities to give back – those are all hallmarks of the Luther College experience, both back in the late 1970s/early 80s and now. Luther encouraged those bonds and still does – welcoming us “home” when we visit, giving us chances to catch up with one another not just at reunions, but via alumni events around the country and even alumni international tours (upcoming tours in 2018: Nordic Choir Companion Tour to Germany and Czechia (May-June 2018) and Sicily and Malta (October 2018) – see luther.edu/alumni/tours).
Have you visited our “hometown” community of Decorah lately? There’s more going on than ever, and it’s well worth a week or a weekend visit. Enough that’s familiar so you won’t lose your way, but so much that’s changing. It’s a more vibrant, cooler place than ever. After you’ve had your obligatory walk through campus, admiring the new-to-us buildings and the big blue football field, here are some other ideas:
· Oneota Film Festival, April 19-22 (oneotafilmfestival.org/)
· Nordic Fest, July 26-28 (nordicfest.com)
· Very cool art shows, poetry slams, and other great local events at ArtHaus (arthausdecorah.org/)
· Plenty more – get info at visitdecorah.com
In a time when, on the national scale at least, much of life seems fraught with tension, animosity, and even downright despair, it’s quite wonderful to recall that these things still exist, and still connect us. Luther didn’t just provide us with four years. It gave us access to relationships, laughter, a community, and opportunities to give back, for the rest of our lives.
In closing, we hope you'll consider supporting current Luther students with a donation to the Luther Fund. Use the enclosed form and reusable envelope to mail in your gift or visit givenow.luther.edu today! Thank you!
Soli deo Gloria!
Pat (Graetz) Jensen
1981 Class Agent
Mary Sundet Jones
1981 Class Agent
Steve Demorest is a professor of music education at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. His article “Stop Obsessing over Talent—Everyone Can Sing” was published online on theconversation.com.
Gregg Hemish is a senior app developer for Blue Cross Blues Shield in Eagan, Minn.
Curt Tryggestad was named executive director of Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, Minn.
David Vohsman is senior site reliability engineer for Agilent Technologies in Colorado Springs, Colo.