Class of 2007 Spring 2017 Letter

Spring 2017

Dear Luther Class of 2007,

Where Jon and I live in Wisconsin, we can also see Decorah’s weather forecast on our local news. I’m always looking at that radar to see what the weather is in Decorah on any given day. Is this crazy? Maybe. Is it strange? Maybe. But I think I do this, subconsciously, as a way to connect with Decorah and Luther on an ongoing basis.

I will definitely be checking Decorah’s forecast for the weekend of October 6-8. Why? October 6-8 is our official 10-year Luther class reunion. Will you be there? I sure hope so, because even though it is great staying connected with Decorah through the weather forecast, it will be even better seeing all of you in person.

Luther people are different than others. We have this strong love of Luther and Decorah. We get overly excited when we see somebody with a Luther ring. We teach our 3-year-old children to recognize the Luther logo. When we get married, we insist on having a Luther picture. We run into a Luther classmate who we haven’t seen in nine years and talk to them for hours. Luther is different. Luther is our home.

Recently I was talking about Decorah with one of my new colleagues. She looked at me, shook her head, smiled, and said, “Oh, you Luther people. I’ve never met one of you who is not obsessed with that place!” It’s true! We are obsessed with Luther. Why wouldn’t we be? It is the place where we became who we are. It is where we made some of the best friends of our lives, some of us met our spouses, and we became independent. It is a place where we discovered our sense of vocation and grew into the spirit-led people we are today.

Please join me and all of our classmates this October as we reflect, reconnect, and just have a lot of fun together. Remember, lodging fills up quickly in town, so, get your reservations in soon. If you have any questions about our reunion, please feel free to contact me or any of the class agents and reunion committee members. We all want to make sure you are able to join us in Decorah in just a few months.
Soli Deo Gloria!

Megan (St. Clair) Nelson,            Daniel Le Guen-Schmidt,         and   Sarah (Quick) Olejniczak
[email protected]           [email protected]        [email protected]


Jenny (Silseth) Binversie is an assurance senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Milwaukee.

Sam Kemp Carlin and Paul Carlin ‘12 live in Des Moines, Iowa. Sam earned a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Walden University and is a national certified counselor. She is a family based services counselor for Youth and Shelter Services, Inc., and is a member of Chi Sigma Iota.

Emily Holley is director of communications and marketing for the Iowa Environmental Council in Des Moines, Iowa.

Ben Knutson is senior manager at Ernst and Young in Minneapolis.

Emily (Brueggen) Lilly is a registered nurse at UCHealth Cancer Center in Fort Collins, Colo.

Sarah Schlee is a supervising resource coordinator at Youth Guidance in Chicago.

Melissa (Biermann) Schulz is a substitute teacher for the Waseca and Waterville/Elysian/Morristown school districts in Minnesota. She also maintains a private voice and piano studio out of her home, is involved as pianist and singer with the Waseca Chorale, teaches a dance-cardio exercise class twice a week, and is pianist for North Waseca Lutheran Church and Faith Lutheran Church.

Paul Stellmacher is assistant professor in the Department of Medicine in the Divisions of Hematology and Oncology and General Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He specializes in hospice and palliative medicine as well as hospitalist medicine.

Staci Sudenga is assistant professor of medicine in the epidemiology division at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Joe Svendsen earned a doctorate of musical arts in choral conducting from Texas Tech University. He is assistant professor of music and assistant director of choral studies at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

Tom Swenson is an executive resolution analyst at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Joe Timmer is band director at Faribault (Minn.) Senior High School.

Emily (Lillegard) and Soren Tryggestad ’05 live in Minneapolis. Emily teaches music at Arete Academy and provides in-home music therapy services.

Andrew Wannigman of Norman, Okla., was the third place winner of the 2016 Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award in the men’s professional opera division from The American Prize.

Laura (Johnson) Young is lead registered nurse at the Spring Valley (Minn.) Olmsted Medical Center branch clinic.


MELISSA BIERMANN and Corey Schulz, June 25, 2016

EMILY BRUEGGEN and Aaron Lilly, Sept. 26, 2015

SARAH SCHLEE and Arjun Sharma, July 17, 2016

MEAGAN SOUKUP and Adiya Devalapalli, June 13, 2015



KASSIE (PETERMANN) and JEFF BECK '06 welcomed a daughter, Ada Grace, in July 2016.

PAIGE (BRANT) and PATRICK BURZLAFF '08 welcomed a daughter, Penny, in June 2016. Penny joins sister Nora.

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.

Nicole Albee
Eric Albjerg
Christopher Angelica
Sarah Bane
Christina (Gaard) Baumgart
Joseph Beatty
Megan (Anderson) Beatty
Raymond Bissen
Casey Bouska
Erin Brock
Derek Broman
Timothy Bruett
Molly (Sheppard) Burk
Paige (Brant) Burzlaff
Matthew Busche
Jenna (Trygstad) Cavallin
Sarah Chwaszczewski
Kelsey Cochrane
Denise (Peterson) Cook
Cody Dannen
Erin (Smock) del Cid
Gretchen (Gustaf) Engledowl
Mara Erickson
Adam Frye
Christopher Giuliani
Lauren (Musolf) Giuliani
Jennifer (Jefferson) Gustaf
David Haas
Sarah (Anderson) Haas
Bryce Haemker
Margaret Hamilton
Rachel (Appelt) Hansell
Benjamin Hanson
Gretchen (Klaus) Hazelton
Allison (Kruger) Herman
Holly Hirstein
Jeffrey Hoden
Kimberly (Reichert) Hoegh
Matthew Hoegh
Kristin Irwin-Crouse
Carrie (Beaver) Jaeger
Lilly (Steinberg) Jensen
Mark Jensen
Joshua Johnson
Mindi (Scott) Johnson
Alexander Kindred
Benjamin Kissling
Zachary Klobnak
Benjamin Knutson
Rebecca (Ballandby) Knutson
Merideth (Smith) Koehn
Kari (Lunde) Kramer
Elizabeth (Callender) Kuboushek
Andrew Lantz
Haylee (Easton) Latta
Daniel Le Guen-Schmidt
Morgan (Sterzel) Lentino
Amy (Kristapovich) Logan
Amanda (Schmall) Lorentz
Adam Loy
Michael Ludeking
Amanda (Ellson) Madsen
Patrick McDermott
Peter McNamara
Paul Meirick
Nicole (Brown) Miller
Jonathan Nelson
Megan (St. Clair) Nelson
Ryan Nelson
Anna (Amundson) Oksnevad
Sarah (Quick) Olejniczak
Crystal Olson
Chantel Olufsen-Lepa
Carmen (Cline) Rangel
Katherine (Kruse) Rather
Nathan Rengstorf
Dana Roberts
Jason Rude
Lisa (Huinker) Rude
Megan Schaefer
Brett Scheetz
Erin Schmidt
Karl Schroeder
Melissa (Biermann) Schulz
Heidi Schwanz
Keshar (Nadkarni) Sheridan
Robert Sheridan
Frederic Smith
Devin (Seemuth) Sodergren
Katherine (Lovell) Stedman
Sarah (Murrell) Swenson
Eric Thorsen
Anna (Winter) Tlougan
Ryan Torkelson
Heather (Johnson) Trachte
Nicole (Haugen) Tranby
Sarah (Deutsch) Valle
Ashley (Darland) VanDeWalker
John VanDeWalker
Jennifer Voss
Sarah (Warner) Warbuck
Anna (Dyrud) Wedekind
Todd Wedekind
Lucas Westby
Sarah (Nesheim) Westby
Gavin White
Bethany (Neuendorf) Wicks
Kevin Wicks
Darci (Kunz) Wilson
Rebecca (Buls) Wissmiller
Morgan (Waterstraat) Woods
Katherine (Harrold) Worthington
John Xavier
Sandra Youngmeyer

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].