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: luther.edu/paideia/program/summer-reading/the-odyssey.
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: theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356.
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.
Don’t forget about the Alumni Ambassador program! If a potential student you refer decides to attend Luther, s/he receives a $1,000 scholarship each year for four years. That’s a significant financial impact, especially when added to many of the other financial aid possibilities that Luther College can offer.
I saw that Susan (Rateike) Gately, Brenda Hoffner, Renea (Feddersen) Schoenfelder, Beckie (Lunow) Silverglate, Lori Fretheim Yunker and Sandra (Pleggenkuhle) Greenley all met up in Galena, IL this summer for a mini-reunion, and that Jim Shutt and his wife Barb surprised them with a visit. They feasted on Ronnie’s Rolls one morning-what a flash of our college days!
In addition to her work at Living Well Disability Services, Martha (Stadstad) Larson also has an Etsy site where she sells her hand-poured candles, which come in upcycled adult-beverage containers (way to recycle!) and adorable nisse. Living Well grew out of a program to provide support children with disabilities and their families, and now offers a variety of services that helps children and adults live their most independent lives.
An email I got after the last Class Agent Letter from Paula (Chell) Scott reminded me that three years ago, she played golf with some women from her sister’s church, one of whom happened to be my mom! And hopefully by the time this letter gets to everyone, I will have had that promised lunch with you, Paula!
I know it’s pretty common to meet your future spouse in college, but it looks like the daughter of Lori (Phipps) and Scott (’88) Pierce is marrying her Luther College sweetheart, just like her parents did. Anyone else who met their spouse at LC have a child who met their current or future spouse there, too?
I encourage you to share your stories with me.
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.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Sarah (Wold) Allcock
1987 Class Agent
7427 132nd Circle
Savage, MN 55378
Lisa (Palmquist) Dailey is owner of Chocolaterie Stam in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Kris Ferkin is pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Eyota, Minn.
Robert Grant is a cardiologist at Mosaic Life Care in Kansas City.
Paula (Nixon) Hughes is a preadmission screening specialist at Metro Area Agency on Aging in St. Paul, Minn.
Chris (Schweizer) Johnson is a professor; director of dance; and chair of the theater, dance and media studies department at Beloit College in Beloit, Wis. In May, she presented new choreographic work in the Side Street Studio Arts Going Dutch Festival in Elgin, Ill. The piece was called “Stuck in the Spoke” and danced by classmate and Luther professor of dance, Jane Hawley ’87. Chris was also selected to choreograph a piece for NEW Dances, which will premiere at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago in June and in August, her piece “Social Construction” will be presented in the Choreographers Showcase of the Detroit Dance City Festival.
Marleen (Madson) Lundberg is job service area manager at Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development in St. Paul, Minn.
Jay Mathis is superintendent of Allamakee (Iowa) Community School District.
Tim Mitchell is director of choral activities at Union Community Schools in La Porte City, Iowa. At the 2018 Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards, Tim received the Impact Award for his 30 years of work directing high school musical theatre. Tim was nominated by student Hunter Fleshne.
Kristin (Wolander) Trecker is chief human resources officer at Visteon in Belleville, Mich.