Class of 2009 Spring 2018 Letter

Spring 2018

Dear Member of the Class of 2009,

Even though it may seem at times as though the Midwest is still in the middle of winter, we know spring is just around the corner. If this season has you daydreaming about taking a trip, you might get your fix by reading Luther students’ J-term blogs at This January, 286 students participated in one of Luther’s 17 programs around the globe, studying everything from choral singing in Namibia and South Africa, to religion and corporate culture in Japan, to entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley.

These experiences have profound impacts on students. As Izzy Michaud ’19, who studied environmental issues at Holden Village in the Pacific Northwest, writes, “My time at Holden has . . . renewed my faith in people and in God. It has allowed me to find parts of myself that I believed to be lost, and it has given me good courage for the journey ahead.” Experiences like Izzy’s are hallmarks in a Luther College student’s journey.

If a trip abroad or to Holden Village isn’t in your near future, remember, Decorah is also a great place to visit, especially in the spring/summer. Consider making plans to attend these upcoming events:  the Oneota Film Festival, April 19-22 ( and Nordic Fest, July 26-28 ( Also, did you know there are two breweries in Decorah? Toppling Goliath ( and Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. ( have made Decorah a beer tourism destination! If you haven’t been to Decorah recently, be sure to check out for area hotels, B&Bs, coffee shops, restaurants, and shopping. 

Also, as many of you know, Thursday, March 8, was Luther's third annual Giving Day! Thousands tuned in to an all-day livestream from Marty's and joined the fun through social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more). Overall, a whopping $478,193 was raised for the Luther Fund - WOW! If you'd like to relive the fun (and see the 12-hour livestream), visit THANK YOU to all who donated and made this day such a success!

Finally, Luther’s Board of Regents voted in February to approve a new strategic plan: “Inspired. Empowered. Engaged.” The new five-year plan is designed to make Luther more dynamic and innovative in its support of the 21st-century liberal arts student. Expect to hear more about the exciting changes ahead as we begin implementing the plan.

Thank you to all who supported Luther in 2017. Please consider supporting Luther students with a donation to the Luther Fund this year. Use the attached form and the reusable envelope or visit to give!

Best wishes for a happy, healthy spring season!

Justin Madsen
2009 Class Agent
[email protected]

Julian Stanke
2009 Class Agent
[email protected]


Natalie (Schultz) Barria is director of human services and payroll for G.O. Fresh in Minneapolis.

Erin (Torkelson) and Jesse Bunge ’11 live in Gypsum, Colo. Erin teaches K-5 music at Gypsum Elementary School. Jesse earned a master’s degree in music education from the University of Kansas and is the 9-12 vocal director at Eagle Valley High School.

Ashlee (Wicks) Carpenedo earned a master’s degree in ESL from Hamline University. She teaches ESL at South Washington County Schools in Cottage Grove, Minn.

Andrea (Schenk) Dye teaches fifth grade for the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Kyle Lilly of Minneapolis received certification as a professional soil scientist by the Soil Science Society of America Soils Certification Board.

Andrea (Johnson) Mierau is the lead physical therapist at National Dizzy and Balance Center in Blaine, Minn.

Matt Myers earned a master’s degree in choral conducting from Northern Arizona University. He is a doctoral student in choral conducting at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La.

Danielle (Armbruster) Walters is the accounts manager at Maxim Healthcare Services in Madison, Wis.

Mandy (Wubben) Weister is a career counselor in the Career Development Center

at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Kristin Youngmeyer is a city manager fellow for the City of Hamilton, Ohio, and a program compliance intern at the Ohio Housing Finance Agency in Columbus.



ROBBIE COE and Amber Svoboda, July 22, 2017

ANDREA SCHENK and James Dye, July 27, 2013

ASHLEE WICKS and Tom Carpenedo, April 8, 2017

MANDY WUBBEN and Joshua Weister, Oct. 8, 2016



ASHLIE PATTEN '12 and CORY LEE welcomed a son, Bode, in August 2016.

ANDREA (JOHNSON) and ALEX MIERAU welcomed a daughter, Madelyn Mae, in May 2017.

MANDY (WUBBEN) and Joshua Weister welcomed a son, Oliver James, in September 2017.

AMY (EKLAND) and PHIL WORDEN '08 welcomed a son, Baer, in May 2017.