Where has time gone? As I write to the Class of 1989 most, if not all of us, have reached the big “Five – O”. Half a century, five decades, fifty trips around the sun, fifty birthday celebrations. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel that old. After all, fifty is the new thirty.
Sandwiched in the middle of those fifty years were the four years we shared together at Luther College. I will admit that those four years feel more distant each year. But it isn’t just the passing years that fade Luther memories, it is the addition of new Luther memories which linger more often for me. In the past year traveling with Luther grads, sharing in Luther classmates’ joys as their children graduate from college or get married, attending Christmas at Luther with my wife, son, and daughter. Staying connected with Luther since our graduation 29 years ago has been a true blessing.
I hope you still have the chance to connect with Luther. In some ways Luther and the community of Decorah have changed so much. Decorah is a true weekend vacation destination. In addition to the canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and hiking we were all familiar with in the mid-1980s, Decorah now offers miles of paved biking trails and dirt bike trails. Decorah is becoming the craft beer capital of Iowa offering tremendous brews from Toppling Goliath and Pulpit Rock Brewing Companies. As much as Luther and Decorah have changed, I still feel like I have come home when I arrive on campus. The ancient limestone bluffs which have watched over Luther College and Decorah still give a grand “willkommen” as you enter the valley. I hope to see you in the coming year back at Luther.
Luther hosts events all over the country where you can connect with Luther alumni, parents, and friends as well as current Luther administration. Information can be found at luther.edu/alumni/events. Contact the Alumni Office at 563-387-1861 with questions about alumni events or tours.
Giving back to Luther is also a great way to stay connected. The Class of ’89 has been very generous and consistent in our giving back to Luther, with close to 30% of us donating in some form each year. The easiest way to give back to Luther is to set up a monthly gift. Luther now recognizes continued giving to the college through the Loyalty Society, which recognizes donors who have made gifts at any level for three or more consecutive years. Visit luther.edu/giving/recognition/loyalty for more details about the Loyalty Society. Thank you for continuing to support the college.
Perhaps the best way to give back to Luther is to introduce a prospective student to our alma mater. Now you can not only recommend a student to Luther College, but can qualify the student for scholarships through the Alumni Ambassador Program. The Alumni Ambassador Program (luther.edu/ambassadors) is designed to connect Luther alumni with prospective students. Alumni Ambassadors play a direct role in recruiting the next generation of Luther students by referring students to the Admissions Office. Every student you refer will receive a $1,000 scholarship (in your name!) each year, for four years, should they enroll at Luther. Your participation in this program will have a direct financial impact on a student’s experience at Luther. For more information, contact Alyssa Ritter, assistant director of admissions at 563-387-1438.
In closing, I thank you classmate for the gift of memories. In four years we created a lifetime of stories. I hope in the coming six months you can make some new memories on campus at Luther College.
1989 Class Agents:
Maria (Spieker) Mickelson
Brent Benrud is senior associate general counsel at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Tim Jacobsen is co-founder and executive producer of FuseFX in Burbank, Calif. He received the 2017 David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television at the Producers Guild Awards for his work in “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”
Jennifer (Munn) Saner teaches music at Onalaska (Wis.) High School.
Lynda (Hedrick) and Dave Satre ‘90 live in Mount Airy, Md. Lynda, mother of 10 children, published a book. Parenting Sensibly: Turning Messes into Successes provides an honest look at the parenting journey and lays a firm foundation to help navigate the daily struggles of parenting. More information can be found on her website: parentingsensibly.com.