Class of 2004 Spring 2017 Letter

Spring 2017

Dear Class of 2004:

A lot of people will agree that 2016 was a rough year for many reasons. Chief among them is the sheer number of amazing, creative people we lost: David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds…and most notable to members of the Luther College community, Weston Noble ’43.

Like the others, Mr. Noble’s passing took many of us by surprise and saddened us. Even those who were not in music or choir, I’m sure, would not deny how essential his life’s contributions as a choirmaster were to our alma mater. He defined music at Luther, in my opinion, more than anyone. Take the Dave Matthews Band for example; I doubt they would ever have been inspired to give a concert in the Center for Faith and Life were it not for the musical tradition that Mr. Noble cultivated so passionately. Or think back to senior year, when Ben Folds closed his solo concert standing on the good Steinway conducting a concert hall made up probably 60 percent of choir geeks through “Not the Same.” He did that in a musical house built by Mr. Noble.

To me, even the famous ones—as thrilled as we get to see them or meet them and as sad as we feel when they leave us—their legacies will never mean as much to us as the work that touched our lives in real space and time. That was Mr. Noble’s work. He made musical excellence real and tangible for our college and for so many other people beyond Luther. Regardless of whether we sang under his direction or not, I think we have all been blessed by his influence in one way or another.

As I think about Mr. Noble’s legacy, it makes me think also of Luther’s future. One of the things that I find so special about being part of a small college is that I have the opportunity to contribute to an intimate community of individuals who do great things through simple contributions—whether it be teaching, singing, nursing, accounting, sustainable landscaping, or what have you. Mr. Noble’s simple contribution was to build a choir that was so excellent and so beloved that it was heard all across the world for over 50 years. I wonder what other simple contributions we will see come out of our school as a result of our continuing support.

Thank you to all fellow classmates who made contributions in 2016! As I mentioned, it was a rough year, but, I’m sure the gifts we made last year made it a good one for many students. I hope you will continue your support or considering giving for the first time, as you are able.

Thank you again, and I hope you have a very blessed spring!

Dave and Rachel Miller-Bleich

[email protected]; [email protected]


Brenda (Rengstorf) Bauch is a nursing professor at Oklahoma City University.

Sara (Goudschaal) and Terry Blessing ’05 live in Lamoni, Iowa. Sara is an instructor in music a Graceland University and received the Graceland University Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching for the 2015-16 academic year.

Melissa Christopherson is a faculty associate in the Department of Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She was invited to the White House last spring for the announcement of the National Microbiome Intitiative because of her work with undergraduates at the university.

Jen (Weier) Gipp is an optometrist with Gundersen Lutheran Clinic of Decorah. She earned a master of business administration degree in healthcare administration from Western Governors University.

Mandy Henderson is dean of students at Temple Grandin School in Boulder, Colo.

Katie Konrath of Saint Paul, Minn., competed for the U.S. team at the 2016 Underwater Hockey World Championships in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The U.S. team was awarded 6th place.

Erick Weeg is director of investments at Ascent Private Capital in Minneapolis.


KELLY (HICKEY) and Karl Erbach welcomed a daughter, Grace, in May 2016. Grace joins brother Wyatt.  

KATIE (CZECHOWICZ) and Nathan Gerlach welcomed a daughter, Alyce Marjorie, in July 2015.

MARCY (EHLERS) and Adam Rasmussen welcomed a son, Everett Henry, in July 2016.

MELISSA (FROMMELT) and Jordan Weber welcomed a daughter, Olivia Germaine, in April 2016.

The Annual Fund – make your gift today:
Your gift. Put to work, right away, where it is needed most.

Last year more than 10,000 alumni, family, and friends supported Luther’s Annual Fund with gifts from $5 to $100,000. Your gift makes a difference for each and every student at Luther, and we are grateful for your support.


This list includes all gifts received January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016. Making a gift each and every year is an investment in the lives of Luther students and a show of support for the Luther College community. Thank you for your support of Luther College through your giving.

Vanessa Abbe
Courtney Allensworth
Carolyn (Younes) Almelien
Adam Anderson
Meredith (Eilertson) Azeem
Marshall Barker
Brenda (Rengstorf) Bauch
Kristell Benson
Carrie (Christiansen) Binnie
David Bleich
Jonathan Bunge
Sarah (Spaete) Bunge
Jonathan Butler
Angelina Calderon
Mary Canton
Stephen Carlson
Bradley Carlton
Cassondra (Lee) Carpenter
Lauren Christel
Melissa Christopherson
Lindsay Colwell
Kristine (Hanson) Cook
Kristen Corr Rod
Nicole (Oliver) Daeger
Janelle (Feine) Dahl
Amber Dolphin
Alyson Doty
Kelly (Arneson) Egan
Holly (O'Brine) Fencl
Brandon Fields
David Fleener
Lucas Giambelluca
Jennifer (Weier) Gipp
Kati (Henderson) Gosselin
Berit Griffin
Christina (Welzien) Hauer
Anna Haugen
Lindsey Heim
Sarah Henning
Tyler Hesseltine
Ryan Higbea
Eric Hudson
Amanda (Roiger) Huinker
Trevor Huinker
Kelly (Weum) Isaacson
Kelly (Flynn) Janson
Anne (Ellinghuysen) Jeneary
Thomas Johnson
Erica (Crowser) Klaetsch
Katherine Kuhlman
Kari (Mohs) Kusek
Joshua Larson
Michael Layden
David Lenninger
Erin (Brown) Lenninger
Jillian Lynaugh
Leann McDowell
Rachel Miller-Bleich
Anna (Blem) Milner
Anthony Mudra
Katharine (Kaboord) Mudra
Anne (Peterson) Murphy
Evan Nelson
Kari (Peterson) Nelson
Andrew Olson
Kristen (Bailey) Olson
Ryan Overholt
Yaw Owusu
Phillip Pappano
David Paquette
Kirsten (Sparks) Paulsrud
Kevin Pennekamp
Nicholas Peter
Rachel Peterson
Amy (Lieffring) Pfeifer
Justin Pieper
Rebecca (Knott) Porter
Steffanie Purucker
Genevieve Reinkoester
Erica (Wanless) Rheinschmidt
Scott Rheinschmidt
Matthew Richardson
Rebecca (Bellin) Richardson
Lindsay (Hagen) Riebe
Amy Rod
Christopher Rothfuss
Rebecca (Longmuir) Rothfuss
Gwendolen Rudy
Aaron Sandstrom
Ann (Herrman) Sandstrom
Bethany Schmidt
Brandon Schwegel
Kaia (Nordal) Sherburne
Alison Shirk
Aaron Simpson
Peggy (Whittle) Simpson
Miriam (Blom) Skrade
Paul Skrade
Ryan Sommers
Holly (Harris) St. Germain
Marja (Cox) Steinberg
Sam Steinberg
James Stellmacher
Aaron Stewart
Sara (Ochsankehl) Stewart
Robert Stone
Emily (Knuth) Stork
Timothy Stork
Adam Strand
Jennifer (Mason) Swoboda
Jean (Mans) Tass
Peter Tass
Amanda (Reck) Thoendel
Carissa Thomas
Hans Thurmer
Bergen (Papka) Torgerson
Meredith (Welton) Voight
Holly (Johnson) Voigt
Erick Weeg
Jeffrey Weideman
Rebecca (Scharpe) Wenthold
Tiffany (Jones) Wogsland
Deneb Woods
Justin Wright
Samuel Yamoah

Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. If an error has been made, please accept our apology and contact the Luther Development Office at 800-225-8664, or email [email protected].