Greetings Class of 1991,
So, I am going to admit that at first, I was just going to use the “stock” letter that the Luther Alumni/Development Office kindly sent to us as a starting point for this fall’s Class Agent letter. It sure would have made things a lot easier for me to just copy and paste, but as luck would have it, an amazing story with Luther connections happened just this week, so I’ll still share the newsy stuff at the end, but first this.
Just two weeks ago, my father shared with me that he found out he has esophageal cancer. I know many of us have been affected by finding out those we love have cancer. Of course, it was a shock and hit me in the gut hard. One of the things my dad said to me on the phone was, “Please ask as many people as you know to pray for me. I want all the help I can get.” So, with that, I chose to do what any loving daughter would do (at least one that loves social media and believes in the positives it can do)-I got on Facebook and asked all my friends to pray for my dad. With that post, I received all sorts of messages and texts from both Luther and non-Luther friends saying how they would now be praying for my dad. But there was one very special message that was truly a blessing for me and my dad. I have permission to share this with all of you. I received a personal message from Angie Sharp Morgan. It said this,
Kory, I wanted to reach out re your dad’s diagnosis. I treated patients with esophageal cancer the years I worked in Thoracic Surgery at the Carbon Clinic at UW Madison. I worked on the surgery team, but also collaborated daily with chemo and radiation, and know a lot about the disease. If you ever want to talk, about your dad’s plan of care or anything at all, just let me know!
Now, ironically, I received this message while I was back home in New Jersey visiting my mom and dad. Also, ironically, Angie met my mom and dad way back one summer after we had graduated when she was in New Jersey at the same time I was home to visit my family for a week. When I read Angie’s message to my dad, I could tell that he truly appreciated knowing that there was someone we’d be able to connect with as needed, I think I might have actually heard a huge sigh of relief from him. I have told Angie numerous times how I can’t thank her enough for reaching out like this. Her friendship truly is priceless to me and my family. It’s hard to put it into words, but even now, 31 years after we all started at Luther, my parents and I still know just how special it was that this girl from Jersey ended up at Luther College.
My guess is many of us have a story like this, or if we’re really lucky, many stories like this, a time when someone from our Luther family blessed us in some way. I know I for one keep these stories near and dear to my heart, and why I so enjoy going back to Luther for Homecoming. I love being connected to my Luther classmates. I hope you are connected and stay connected to some of your Luther College classmates too. If you do happen to be on Facebook be sure to look for our “Luther College Class of 1991” page that is there.
I hope to see many of you at Homecoming in October. It’s always so great to connect with and see Luther friends.
So, now on to all the other stuff! It’s actually some great information to know.
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.
Some of you may 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.
Make it a blessed day,
1991 Class Agents:
Kory (Andersen) Graham
607 13th Avenue NW
Dodge Center, MN 55927-7804
Janet (Wagamon) Lewis
1810 140th Lane NE
Andover, MN 55304-7650
2316 Hillcrest Drive
Hudson, WI 54016|
Anne (Skow) Adix is a physical therapist at Above & Beyond Senior Services in Rogers, Minn. She also works as adjunct faculty in the physical therapist assistant program at Rasmussen College in Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Steven Arndt is chief financial officer of The Nerdery in Bloomington, Minn.
Mara (Graven) Brooks teaches third grade at Netherwood Knoll Elementary School in Oregon, Wis.
Gary Crangle is materials manager for Landmark Hospital in Naples, Fla.
Allison (Huth) DeGraaf is director of teaching and innovation in the Janesville (Wis.) School District.
John Hatle is a biology professor at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. He was selected as the recipient of the Terry Presidential Professorship, an award recognizing faculty achievements.
Tim Schmidt is CFO at QualiTech in Chaska, Minn.
Thomas Marquardt is a podiatrist for Mayo Clinic Health System in Decorah.
Steven McArthur of Germantown, Md., works for the United States Secret Service and is currently assigned to the Presidential Protective Division, Special Operations Branch. In December, he was invited to attend a Holiday Reception with Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen.
Sheila and REYNOLDS CRAMER welcomed a son, Benjamin Arthur, in January 2018.
Marcia Kaye (Linderbaum) Bullerman of Calmar, Iowa, died Jan. 16, 2018, age 62.
The full obituary of the classmate listed in this letter can be found on the Luther College website at: luther.edu/in-memoriam/
If you would like a printout of the obituary listed above in its entirety mailed to you, please contact us at: [email protected], or 563-387-1509.