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.
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: theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356.
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.
While changes are afoot at our alma mater, Luther also holds tight to its traditions, like keeping in touch with valued alumni. We hope you’ll let us know what’s new in your life, too, and the easiest way to do this is online at luther.edu/alumni/update.
Until then, best wishes for a fall that’s as beautiful as it is in the Oneota Valley!
2005 Class Agent
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Brian Clark is a partner at Lockridge, Grindal, & Nauen (LGN) PLLP in Minneapolis. He was named as one of LGN’s 2018 Rising Stars.
Sarah Corbisier teaches music and is the student support coordinator at Kongsberg (Germany) International School.
Erin (Radke) Flaherty is a development communications manager at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Adam Hart earned a master’s degree in secondary school administration from the University of Northern Iowa.
John Jaeger earned a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration from the University of Concordia-Irvine. His is a physical education teacher and head baseball coach at Ottumwa (Iowa) High School.
Cynthia Kamikazi is head of partnerships, gender, and women at the African Development Bank. She earned a master’s degree in theory and practice of human rights from the University of Essex, Colchester in the United Kingdom, and a Ph.D. in health and international relations; health and human rights from Geneva School of Diplomacy. Cynthia returned to Luther in Jan. 2018 to speak with Luther students about her experiences at Luther, and international work opportunities for Luther graduates.
Sohaib Khan of Lahore, Pakistan, earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Surrey.
Danelle Larson is senior paralegal at General Mills in Minneapolis.
James Meyer is senior systems sales engineer at MMCI Automation in St. Louis.
Tina Muell is a training specialist at Pearson Professional Center in Baltimore.
Anna (Haug) Pena is service coordinator and interim director of first year experience at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.
Angie Stille is a genealogy librarian at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.
Jen Stoa is a registered nurse at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Madison, Wis.
Nick Torgerson is a hematology/oncology fellow at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill.
Dain TePoel is instructor of sport administration at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.
LIBBY (NUSSDORFER) and Charlie Chmielewski welcomed a son, Callum, in April 2017.
Candice and JAMES MEYER welcomed a son, Ryan Oliver, in April 2016.
Paige and AARON RICHARDS welcomed a daughter, Lennox Marie, in October 2017.
JEN (STOA) and Adam Joyce welcomed a son, Finley Adam, in November 2017.