Dear Fellow Members of the Class of 2004,
2018 has brought a whirlwind of change for our family! We both began new and challenging jobs and we also welcomed our beautiful, energetic, determined, and focused daughter into the world last fall. Now, as she approaches completing her first trip around the Sun, we have seen her grow over six inches and triple her weight. She learns new things at a seemingly incredible rate. What was once impossible for her in one week often becomes routine in the next. As fun as it is to watch her grow it also requires us to constantly adapt to a rapidly changing life, a life which requires intense supervision, new ways of thinking to accomplish important goals, improvisation, and a dedicated team of loving people to support each other. Thankfully, we have been blessed to have the love and support of so many incredible people to help us through this journey. It has also been challenging for us to ask or even accept offered help when we used to be the ones who would offer our help to others. It can be humbling, sometimes even a little embarrassing, to admit when we need the support of friends and family.
Luther College in some ways is in a similar boat. For over 150 years, this institution of higher learning has worked to develop young minds, teach important skills, and provide important examples of service and good character for many generations. Of course, Luther College does not do this alone. Molding future generations requires the help of thousands. It certainly can be a challenge to ask for this help though. But even a little bit of help can make such a difference. We were awed by how a simple act of a friend bringing over a casserole or a friend/grandparent offering to babysit could reduce our stress levels considerably. If you think about it, even just a simple gift of $5, $10, $20 can add up quickly if the Luther Alumni community of 2004 unites to support our Alma Mater. We know many of you have provided quite a bit of love and support for our school, and your continued support means so much to those who have come after us.
For all of those who have benefited from a Luther College education, to those who have helped before and those who just haven’t been able to provide help yet, please consider what you can do to support Luther College do what it does best. We know that you all will do what you can and maybe more. We are confident that the Class of 2004 will rise to the challenge.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Sara (Bowman) Andrus earned a doctorate in K-12 education from Edgewood College. She is superintendent of Sharon (Wis.) Joint School District #11.
Jon Butler is vice president and broker of record at Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Pasadena, Calif.
Erik Fern is member-manager at Putnam, Fern and Thompson in Decorah.
Jacob Johnson is CEO and founder of Innovosource, an innovation tech scouting and investment consulting firm in Minnetonka, Minn.
Jeff Miller Jr. earned a master of legal studies degree from West Virginia University and is senior manager at Wipfli, LLP in Minneapolis.
Steffanie Purucker teaches fifth grade at Pasadena (Texas) Independent School District. She is also curriculum instructional materials manager and is on the campus leadership team. In 2015 and 2017, Steffanie was named Teacher of the Year.
Erica (Wanless) Rheinschmidt coaches winter cheer at Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Scott Roland is structural loads and dynamics engineer at Blue Origin in Kent, Wash.
Chris Walline is co-owner of 4 Seasons Restaurant in Mahtomedi, Minn.
Tiffany (Jones) Wogsland is director of youth and family ministries for Ezra Church in Stoughton, Wis.
ERIK FERN and Beth Kalemkiarian, March 11, 2017
BRIDGET BOEHMER welcomed a son, Josiah Fritz, in November 2017.
Melissa and JACOB JOHNSON welcomed a daughter, Clara, in December 2017.
LAURA (LENIUS) and Steve Nelson welcomed a son, Jack William, in June 2016.
STEF (DICKENS) and Chris O'Keefe welcomed a son, Harvey, in September 2016.
TARA (WILKINS) and ERIK SHERIDAN '03 welcomed a daughter, Evelyn Charleen, in July 2017.
AMANDA (RECK) and Matt Thoendel welcomed a daughter, Hazel Rey, in October 2017.
KATE (VASKE) '08 and JUSTIN WRIGHT welcomed a son, Weston Roland, in October 2017.