Class of 2006 Fall 2017 Letter

Fall 2017

Dearest Classmate –

Eleven years into being an alumna, I still find myself constantly sharing how grateful I am for my time at Luther. Even just this morning, I was proudly talking about my Luther roots – my husband and I have been trying to find a church home here and were first-time visitors at a new (new-to-us) church. This extra special Reformation Sunday was a great day to visit – for those of you that can relate, the Lutheran in me felt right at home when “A Mighty Fortress” was the first hymn!

My husband and I were quickly identified as musicians when making connections after the service, and they immediately got us in touch with the organist and the music director… before you know it, I’m sure we’ll be in the choir, handbell choir, chamber ensembles, etc. Mostly, I was excited to once again be able to tell them all about my alma mater; not as many folks know about Luther over here in Michigan, so I feel an extra responsibility to be a Luther ambassador and bring the Luther love here to Michiganders! Kalamazoo does have a strong musical culture thanks to the music programs at the local universities, so I’m very much at home here, but I pounced on the opportunity to brag about what a great musical experience I had while at Luther, and how that set me up for success in all of my musical adventures since, including my years teaching, starting a community concert band, and making music at home with my family.

Since moving to Michigan last year, the drive to Luther now takes about 7.5 hours, as opposed to the quick 2.5 hours from Madison, Wis. While I love new adventures, including uprooting and moving to somewhere new, Luther pulls at my heartstrings a little harder the further away I get from it, in both distance and time. It feels great to know that I can still make a difference for current and future students by donating to the Luther Fund (formerly known as the Annual Fund), even if I won’t be able to make it back there as often as I used to. Help me make sure this opportunity, this legacy, is still intact for future generations – future Luther ambassadors!

Although Luther’s Annual Fund has a new name (the Luther Fund) and look, nothing else has changed. It is still driven by these key facts:

1. Our students are diverse.

2. They come to Luther with needs as individual as they are.

3. Donations to the Luther Fund support all students (and their varied needs).

Donations to the Luther Fund have a hand in just about everything students need: scholarships and financial aid, field study trips, music tours, student organizations, volunteer opportunities in the community, college ministries, well-kept residence halls, a beautiful campus, well-equipped classrooms, building maintenance, intramural sports, student/faculty research (you get it, the list goes on and on). So, when you donate to the Luther Fund, you're supporting all this (and more). You're supporting students. It's that simple.

I leave you with this quote I found in a homecoming presentation on the strategic planning process that, to me, sums up the tradition we all need to help Luther continue: “Luther College was founded by immigrants who had a vision for a more just society, and named for a man compelled by conscience. For both, education was the key. This is not just a legacy for us. It’s who we are.”

Soli Deo Gloria,

Jamie Sue (Schultz) Knight

2006 Class Agents:

Chris Bellinder
[email protected]

Jamie Sue Knight
[email protected]


Chris Bellinder is a sales professional with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Southern Coast Real Estate in Charleston, S.C.

Jonathan Curry is managing director at Geosynthetic Materials Association in Roseville, Minn.

Tyler Forsythe of St. Paul, Minn., teaches choir at Robbinsdale Cooper High School.

Claire (Brenton) Haedike is a psychologist on the behavioral health practice staff at Winneshiek Medical Center Decorah (Iowa) Clinic.

Lauren Kraus Keller and David Keller ’09 live in Westminster, Colo. She is an admissions counselor at 2U in Denver. He earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Denver School of Nursing and is a cardiac ICU registered nurse at the University of Colorado Hospital.

Tyler Mattison is outsourcing manager for Eagle Technology Management in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Marte Pohlmann earned a master’s degree in public service (nonprofit sector) from Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Laura (Schuurman) Rasmussen teaches fourth grade at Cap Cana Heritage School, a project-based school for preschool-high school in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.


ELIZABETH HARIG and Jason Alvarado, Oct. 8, 2016

ALLISON KIMBALL and Mark Uhlar, Nov. 7, 2016


ERIN (GALLAGHER) and CHRIS BELLINDER welcomed a daughter, Ashlynn, in April 2016.

JILL (DINKLA) and Bryan Borrall welcomed a daughter, Lillian, in October 2015.

JENNY (GRAUPMANN) and Jefferson Campbell welcomed a son, Benjamin Thomas, in September 2016.

KRISTY (STROM) and Tom Carmody welcomed a son, Rhett Thomas Thornton, in August 2016.

SARAH (OLSON) and Robbie Cutcliffe welcomed a daughter, Wells Rhea, in May 2016.

SARAH (SCHULTZ) and Brian Doyle welcomed a daughter, Elizabeth Emily, in January 2017.

LEAH (SCHWARTZ) and Jason Ethen welcomed a son, Joel, in April 2016.

LISSA FLAATEN welcomed a son, Kaleb Kenneth, born in July 2015, adopted April 2017.

JILL (KNUTSON) and Joe Gierok welcomed a daughter, Jacqueline, in January 2017.

AMANDA (OELRICH) and NEIL HELLER '05 welcomed a daughter, Emily, in February 2016.

KATIE (OSTREM) and Eric Holten welcomed a daughter, Anya, in September 2016.

ANDREA (CRAVEN) and Scott Ingalsbe welcomed a son, Graham David, in September 2016.

MICHELLE MONSON KLISANICH and Michael Klisanich welcomed a daughter, Anja, in December 2016.

JILL (BURKE) and DAN RING '04 welcomed a daughter, Macy Erica, in October 2016.

KELSEY (EISENMANN) and Kent Shook welcomed a son, Grayson Russell, in January 2017.

SARAH (MURRELL) '07 and KARL SWENSON welcomed a daughter, Sydney Grace, in March 2017.

ANNA (WINTER) '07 and ADAM TLOUGAN welcomed a daughter, Reese Everly, in January 2017.

LAURA (MONSON) '08 and TONY VANDEN HEUVEL welcomed a daughter, Evelina Emmy, in February 2017.