Class of 1983 Fall 2018 Letter

Fall 2018

Dear Class of 1983,

Our 35-year Class reunion is almost here!  Hope you have made plans to attend. The reunion committee has been hard at work to ensure a wonderful weekend. Mabe’s  Pizza, Whippy Dip ice cream, and walking across campus with friends: all waiting for you!

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. We hope you’ll let us know what’s new in your life too! Until then, best wishes for a fall that’s as beautiful as it is in the Oneota Valley.

Looking forward to seeing you in October!


Martha Looft

PS  How cool is it that the Class of 2022 is reading our freshman Paideia assignment?  Brings back memories…….

1983 Class Agents:

Martha (Anderson) Looft
1030 Diamond Boulevard
Southlake, TX 76092-6208
[email protected]

Michele (Mertens) Stevens
108 Maple Lane
Denver, IA 50622
[email protected]


Jim Angstman is a commercial realtor at Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty and a real estate developer with Vintage Living LLC in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

Karla (Nelson) Balk teaches elementary physical education at Bear Creek Elementary School in Monument, Colo.

Kris (Wurtzel) Church is senior category manager at Readerlink, LLC in Minneapolis. 

Paul Cleven works in the rechargeables lab at Spectrum Brands, Inc. in Middleton, Wis.

Paul Dahl is a nurse at HealthEast Woodwinds Hospital in Grand Marais, Minn.

Lisa (Lyle) Deyo teaches fourth grade for the Austin (Minn.) Public Schools. She is also owner of an indie book and candy store called Sweet Reads in Austin.

Kim Hand is senior regulatory compliance specialist at Barr Engineering Company in Duluth, Minn.

Steve Haydon is senior vice president of regulatory affairs and chief legal officer at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Melanie (Wentland) Hoppenworth is vice president of finance and administration at the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce in Rochester, Minn.

Lisa (Wangberg) Kelsey is director of choirs for the Ankeny (Iowa) Community Schools.

Dan Landsverk is district sales manager for Sysco Food Services in Baraboo, Wis.

Hans Lee is pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

Sonja (Green) Link is senior staff accountant at Courier Express Holdings, Inc. in Marietta, Ga.

Greg Lonning of Maplewood, N.J., was inducted into the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Hall of Fame.

Brenda (Severson) Meyer is a consulting actuary at Jacobson Group in Chicago.

Kathie (Johnson) Nycklemoe is associate pastor at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Minn.

Kym Oltrogge is associate director of policy, office of chief counsel at Texas Health and Human Services Commission in Austin, Texas. 

Wayne Ostlie is director of land protection for the Minnesota Land Trust in St. Paul, Minn.

June (Carolan) Rosett-Laures is a substitute teacher for the New Hampton (Iowa) Community Schools.

Jon Ray is an attorney at Conroy Simberg in Orlando, Fla.

Christine Rosheim is a nurse practitioner at Indian Health Service in Clive, Iowa.

Sherry Sanden-Will is fashion designer and owner at Sherry Lynn Fashions in Rochester, Minn. Her style was featured in a Rochester Post Bulletin article in Dec. She is also director of missions and service at Mount Olive Lutheran Church.

Andrew Torgerson is CEO at American Roof Inspection Services in Fort Meyers, Fla.

Arlette (Lindflott) Trana is administrative assistant at TJT Capital Group in Stamford, Conn.

Karen (Schlender) Trepton of Oconomowoc, Wis., is a real estate agent with Shorewest Realtors.

David Venne of Manassas, Va., is a self-employed consultant.

John Waddle is the Coon Rapids-Bayard (Iowa) head baseball coach. He is ranked 6th among active coaches on the wins list, ranks 21st in Iowa all-time, and reached his 700th career win early last summer.

Ronald Walsh is an entrepreneur and attorney at Entitle, Inc. in Bloomington, Minn.

Jane Wiemerslage is vice president of quality improvement at The Mentor Network in Edina, Minn.