Class of 1982 Fall 2018 Letter

Fall 2018

Hello fellow 1982 classmate:

I am sure you have heard people use the word “adult” as a verb in the past few years. You know, people on Facebook sharing about how they had to spend the day doing something hard and no fun and then referring to that work as “adulting.” For example, “I took the car in for an oil change and then got my flu shot and did three loads of laundry. So much adulting!”

Now most of us spend much of every day “adulting” because well, we are adults, and also we don’t have a lot of choice most of the time. Someone has to do the laundry, get the oil changed, do the dishes, or dust. (OK. To be honest, I personally don’t dust very often because it cuts into my reading time, but when I do dust, it requires some serious adulting.)

We didn’t have the word “adulting” in the early 80s when we went to Luther and yet somehow we all managed to graduate and find work, go to graduate school, travel, make friends, and more. Somehow we learned how to be organized, hard-working grown-ups. We also learned about our passions and our gifts and skills. We learned about our future careers and the world.

Certainly our families and our coaches helped make us who we are. And I would posit that our four years at Luther, learning in classrooms and in ensembles and on teams and by travels away, also made us who we are now—a bunch of adults out in the world adulting.

So, I am writing to ask you to recall your time at Luther and how important it was in your life and consider sending a donation to Luther to pay forward this whole adulting thing. We grew up a lot at Luther, so it will be very helpful to support the next generation trying to grow up at Luther now.

Gifts of all sizes are welcome and helpful. The most important number of a donation is one and that one is you—because you increase the total percentage of Luther alumni who donate and that percentage shows support for Luther that influences big donors to also support Luther. I hope you will consider making that percentage a bit higher by doing the adult thing of donating.

The class of 1982 is an amazing class of gifted, talented, successful folks who are great at adulting. Let’s show these current Luther students how it’s done.

Speaking of our amazing class, here is news about some of our classmates:

Brian Berry is superintendent of the Yoncalla (Ore.) School District.

Pamella Ford is senior research scientist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston.

Marlene Grimme married Charles Traganza on September 10, 2016.

Nancy (Hermeier) Hershfield is associate vice chancellor for advancement at the University of Illinois in Chicago. In January, she completed an 18-month training process and became a certified professional co-active coach.

Nancy (Nickerson) Lee is artistic director for performing arts at Washburn Senior High School in Minneapolis. For the third year in a row, she received an honorable mention Tony Award, and Carnegie Mellon University’s Excellence in Theatre Education Award. She is one of 24 teachers across the country to receive the honor from of more than 1,000 who were nominated.

Chip Norris of Champlin, Minn., was elected to serve on Luther’s Board of Regents.

Cindy (Vanderford) Penney is vice president of nursing for SSM Health at St. Mary’s Hospital in St. Louis.

Olaf Trytten is an embedded software developer at CSA Group in Redmond, Wash.

Tom Vix retired from teaching science and coaching basketball at Rushford-Peterson (Minn.) High School. He was named Section 1A Coach of the Year and State Class A Coach of the Year by the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association.


MARLENE GRIMME and Charles Traganza, Sept. 10, 2016

Now, here is some Luther news:

Remember how we all read The Odyssey the summer before we came to Luther, in preparation for Paideia?  Well, déjà vu…this year’s incoming class is reading The Odyssey also, except it is the first English translation by a woman, Emily Wilson.  If you want to re-experience that entry into Paideia, you can join the fun through Luther’s reading guide to the book at:

Last year was our big 35th reunion,[ you can check out these great photos from our 35th reunion  here: but you might want to come back to

Luther again this homecoming to celebrate two important milestones during Homecoming Weekend, October 26–28. First, the Black Student Union (BSU) commemorates its 50th anniversary this fall—with 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. 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.

Finally, most have heard that President Paula Carlson will retire at the end of the 2018–19 academic year. While 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. Luther’s Board of Regents is doing a presidential search with the hope of having a new president in place for the 2019–20 academic year.

As I mentioned at the reunion, I am resigning as your class agent so this is my last class agent letter. We are still looking for someone to step up and take over the position. If you are interested, let me know and I’ll send along some helpful hints and tell the alumni office you are volunteering. It’s a sweet gig. I hope you will think about it. You write two letters a year by deadline (adulting!) and get lots of support from the Alumni/Development Offices. You get lots of emails from classmates and that is the best part—staying in touch! It makes me feel sad to give that up, but I have been doing this for 26 years, and I really do think it is time to give someone else the opportunity.

I have loved being your class agent. I have enjoyed staying in contact with you and seeing you at reunions. You are the best and I am proud to be in the class of 1982.

Katie Hanson, former class agent of class of ‘82
2915 Emerald Drive
Davenport IA 52804
[email protected]

309-794-7677 work/563-210-3954 cell