Class of 1986 Spring 2019 Letter

Spring 2019

Dear Friends from Luther’s Class of 1986,

Last fall, my daughter took the PSAT, like many other high school sophomores. Now our mailbox is regularly filled with mailings from colleges near and far. As she looks them over, I am quietly pulling for Luther to make the list of schools she will explore.  Her older sister had an excellent experience at Luther just a few years ago (with some ups and downs, like everyone). I hear from friends about their students at Luther and what a great choice they have found it. Though much has changed at Luther since we were looking at college brochures back in the mid-1980s, Luther is still an excellent school, helping students grow academically and in countless other ways, too.

As I write to you, Luther student musicians are playing and singing at full tilt. Collegiate Chorale and Cathedral Choir just returned from tours of the Midwest, and Jazz Orchestra sets out April 12 for a tout that includes South Dakota and Minnesota ( On top of that, Nordic Choir sings with the Des Moines Symphony April 27 and 28 (

This year, Luther hosted a number of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary ( of the college’s Black Student Union ( The events included visits from several alumni who were invited back to campus to speak throughout the year, including Christie Owens ’16, Maggie (Steinberg) Hagen ’15, Gaone Masire ’82, Emerald-Jane (Aggrey-Appiah) Hunter ’03, Kara (Skatrud) Baylor ’92, Lorenzo Creighton '75, Barbara Fuller '72, Spruiell White ’67, and Maxie (Jones) Rockymore ’82, who will deliver the Don Kemp Memorial Lecture on April 25. The yearlong celebration of the BSU kicked off at Homecoming and will culminate in an alumni reunion April 26–28.

The Class of 2019 and their loved ones will celebrate Commencement on Sunday, May 26 ( It’s hard to believe, but that means we’ll soon bid a fond farewell to President Paula Carlson, who plans to retire at the end of the 2018–19 academic year.

After Commencement, Luther’s campus will start to buzz with summer visitors young and old. Each June through August, Luther hosts thousands of elementary, middle, and high school students interested in everything from music ( to nature ( to sports ( to science ( This summer, the college will also offer its third annual Dance Camp (, an inclusive, empowering, fun, and inspiring week of movement and expression.

Luther has summer programming for adults, too. If you enjoy singing in fellowship, mark your calendars for the college’s second annual Dorian Choral Retreat for Adults (, June 28–30.

Keep in mind that you can host your own event ( on Luther’s campus.

Our alma mater would love to have you! My family and I gather with some friends and family each summer at Luther. Spending a few days riding the Trout Run Trail, eating Whippy Dip and Mabe’s, canoeing and tubing the Upper Iowa River, and enjoying Luther and Decorah is just right!  

Best wishes for a warm and happy spring,

Alicia Anderson
1986 Class Agent
372 First Avenue
PO Box 608
Lemont, PA 16851-0608
[email protected]


Remember to mark your calendar for October 1 - 3, 2021 for our next Class of 1986 Reunion!

Take a moment to “like” our “Luther College Class of 1986” page on Facebook.  Then you’ll be all set to connect with classmates as our reunion gets closer.  (


Diane (Davis) Barton is associate director of human resources at Cambridge Investment Research in Fairfield, Iowa.

Mark Birchard is director of network development at EHE International in New York City.

Mary (Sparks) Thompson is market director of Behavioral Health at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

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]