Class of 1998 Fall 2017 Letter

Fall 2017

Hello, Classmate of 1998: 

Maybe it’s my crushing mid-life crisis. Maybe it’s our impending 20-year reunion (more on that later). Most likely it’s the fact Luther is now doing the class agent letters through a mail house and you’re going to have my insane ramblings physically arrive in your mailbox. If you’ve been online, you’ve probably read my stuff under the byline of Jane Doe. But frankly, being in print is a lot of pressure and it’s giving me a terrible case of writer’s block. Over the last four years I’ve referenced The Naked Gun movies; Ghostbusters; Caddyshack; the Back to the Future movies; and America’s greatest artist, Bob Ross. Now that I think about it, I suppose there really isn’t any pressure. I’m not sure I could write anything so absurd it would get cut. Theoretically it’s possible, though by now it seems unlikely. But let’s find out. Let’s explore the space. You and me. Together. 

You may have recently received a mailing from the Luther Fund. Despite the new name and new look, the former Luther College Annual Fund is otherwise unchanged. Your donation is still unrestricted, still gets put to work as soon as it is received, and still provides financial support in just about every aspect of student life-scholarships and financial aid, music tours, volunteer opportunities in the community, intramural sports, student/faculty research, and countless other areas. Any contribution you can make is greatly appreciated and helps today’s students have the same great Luther experience we did. I understand money can be tight, so, if you want we can all just put it on the Underhills’ American Express card. 

Exciting news from the intersection of alumni support and athletics. On October 25, in celebration of Coach Kent Finanger’s 85th birthday, an anonymous Luther alumna and her husband provided a gift of $1 million to establish the Kent Finanger Endowed Chair for Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field. It is the first endowed coaching position in the history of Luther College. Even if you never ran for Coach Kent, you know how profound his impact on Luther has been. Wow! Fun! Wow! 

Recently announced is the new Luther College Alumni Ambassador Program. This program gives you the chance to help recruit new students to Luther. Opportunities include hosting student receptions, representing Luther at a college fair, and reaching out to prospective students. There’s even a $1,000 yearly scholarship available for students you refer to Luther!  And since there’s no limit to the referrals, you can feel free to nominate many students. Go to to find out more. 

I’m sure you’re aware (if for no other reason than I mentioned it in the first paragraph) our 20-year reunion is coming up at Homecoming next year (Oct. 26-28, 2018). It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly five years since our last reunion, when all of you cleverly hoodwinked me into serving as class agent. I hope you’re all looking forward to it as much as I am. Planning is underway - as far as you know. You can expect fantastic menu options including Bloody Marys, steak sandwiches, and... steak sandwiches. For a musical playlist, look forward to an evening of “MmmBop” on repeat. We’ll also have a special tribute to the Father of Internal Bushings, Fred “The Dorf” Dorfman. You won’t want to miss it! 


Doug Ross

1998 Class Agents:

Doug Ross
[email protected]

Joel Zylstra
[email protected]



Nikki Aden is director real estate counsel for Target Corporation in Minneapolis.

Jon Anderson is associate professor of music composition at Wayne State University in Detroit. His musical composition “Scatter,” an interactive computer music composition for saxophone and Kinect motion camera, was selected for performance at the 2017 National Conference for the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS).

Joe Grimstad of Decorah is executive vice president of Decorah Bank and Trust.

Arika (Anderson) Hage of Lakeville, Minn., is manager at Beautycounter.

Sheri (Osborne) Hansen is the director of communications, advocacy, and public outreach at AIA Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Carl Refsal is senior benefits manager at Ferguson Enterprises in Newport News, Va.

Gabriel Scheer is partnership director at Tech Inclusion and director of strategic development at LimeBike in Seattle. He is also a freelance advisor on urban mobility, sustainability, business, and impact innovation.


NIKKI ADEN and Rob Mikkelson, June 11, 2016

Amy Stetzel and JOEL ZYLSTRA Oct. 2, 2016


KARI BERSAGEL BRALEY and MATTHEW BERSAGEL BRALEY ‘97 welcomed a daughter, Matea, in December 2010.

ARIKA (ANDERSON) and Erik Hage welcomed a son, Murphy Lee, in June 2016.

SHERI (OSBORNE) and Bill Hansen welcomed a son, Joseph Robert, in April 2017.

AMY (ERICKSON) and Chad Klopp welcomed a son, Toren, in February 2012 and a son, Anders, in November 2014.

NIKKI (ADEN) and Rob Mikkelson welcomed a son, Elliot, in July 2016.