Class of 1986 Spring 2018 Letter

Spring 2018

Dear Classmate,

I am grateful that the spring thaw has begun. Winter was harsher than usual here in Central Pa., and January in particular was brutal. As I bundled up to walk my dogs in single-digit weather, my mind returned to January in Decorah in the 1980s, making our way around snowy sidewalks during J-Term. Some of the most vivid memories are of settling into my loft in Larsen Hall to read Milton’s Paradise Lost, cross country skiing on the trails above Dunning’s Spring, and long, relaxing conversations over dinner in the caf with snowy bluffs and a frozen river outside the window.

Current images of Luther’s J-Term kept cropping up in my Facebook feed all throughout January. There were photos and posts from Luther students and faculty who were studying abroad. In fact, 286 students participated in Luther’s 17 courses around the globe. There were 29 program leaders helping them discover new realities, ask deeper questions, and grow in both knowledge and understanding of the world and themselves. You can take a look at the course blogs at

Throughout the spring Luther is hosting a variety of musicians and artists, speakers and lectures. Multi-cultural music and dance performances, faculty vocal recitals, speakers and lectures focusing on racial divisions and racial justice, all provide students the opportunity to look beyond their studies and their own experiences to discover and further explore the complexities that surround us all.

As Luther Alumni, we have unique travel options, including the Nordic Choir Companion Tour to Germany and Czechia (May- June 2018), or touring Sicily and Malta (October 2018) with Ruth Caldwell and Uwe Ruldolph. Closer to home, you can find information on events for alumni, parents, and friends in your region at You can also contact Luther’s Alumni Office at 563-387-1861 with questions.

Help the Admissions office in recruiting the next generation of Luther alumni as part of the Alumni Ambassador program. Each student you refer will receive a $1,000 scholarship each year for four years, in your name, when they decide to enroll at Luther. Contact Alyssa Ritter, assistant director of admissions at 563-387-1438.

Make some new memories of Decorah and Luther. Visiting Luther and Decorah yourself offers a surprising variety of options and opportunities. Visit for speakers, performances, and other events you would enjoy, many of which are free and open to the public. Plan to visit during the Oneota Film Festival in April, or Nordic Fest at the end of July.  Enjoy biking the Trout Run Trail and other outdoor activities, then enjoy Decorah’s two microbreweries, Toppling Goliath and Pulpit Rock. At you’ll find more info.  

Remember, Luther relies on your support, so make giving to Luther a habit! You can ensure your gift is made each year when you set up monthly giving. Luther’s Loyalty Society recognizes donors who have made gifts at any level for three or more consecutive years, so visit to make a one-time gift or begin recurring giving.

Peace to you all!  Enjoy the coming of spring!

Alicia Anderson
1986 Class Agent
[email protected]


Our next Reunion is Friday, October 1 – Sunday, October 3, 2021. Mark your calendar and start thinking of ideas and suggestions for the Luther Class of 1986!


Janet Kay (Strong) Helgerson of West Union, Iowa, died Oct. 27, 2017, age 55.

Full obituaries can be found on the Luther College website at:
If you would like a printout of the full obituaries from your class mailed to you, please contact us at:
[email protected], or 563-387-1509.