Class of 1989 Fall 2018 Letter

Fall 2018

Dear 1989 Luther Classmate,

I would like to open by asking you to “save the date!”  October 4-6, 2019 will include our 30th class reunion and many other Homecoming at Luther events! Our daughter, Mollie, recently got engaged and I told her to be sure to avoid that weekend when selecting a wedding date. I know I won’t want to miss our reunion and I hope you feel the same way! Now is the time to start thinking about and making plans to attend, including making lodging reservations. More information on the reunion will come later, but this is the year to make your reservations before hotels fill up. Following is a list of Decorah hotels and when they start taking reservations. For additional information on bed & breakfasts and guest houses, please visit

Country Inn & Suites (563)382-9646 one year and one day ahead

Fairfield Inn & Suites (563)382-8800 50 weeks before Homecoming

Hotel Winneshiek (563)382-4164 365 days in advance

Quality Inn & Suites (563)382-2269 October 1, 2018

Super 8 Decorah (563)382-8771 10 months in advance

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.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Maria (Spieker) Mickelson
1989 Class Agent
2417 8th Avenue SW
Austin, MN 55912-1256
[email protected]

Chris Hubbs
1989 Class Agent
1362 Camelback Drive
Eagan, MN 55123
[email protected]


Melanie (Fisher) Doyle is chief financial officer at Van Meter Industrial, Inc. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Scott Houg is an insurance agent for State Farm in Waukon, Iowa.

Chris Hubbs is director of demand planning and S&OP at Patterson Companies in Eagan, Minn.

Tom Kraabel is principal at LeBaark Consulting in Singapore.