Class of 2011 Spring 2018 Letter

Spring 2018

Dear Member of the Class of 2011,

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!

Kelsey Leppert
2011 Class Agent
[email protected]

Alex Ulfers
2011 Class Agent
[email protected]

Kelsey Wauters
2011 Class Agent
[email protected]


Aleesa Baakko is the Allamakee County victim-witness coordinator in Waukon, Iowa.

Katie Deaver earned a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). She is associate director of admissions at LSTC. 

Emily Ellson teaches first and second grade at Riverside Central Elementary School in Rochester, Minn.

Sylvie Hall earned a master of public health degree from the University of Iowa College of Public Health, and a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. She is a clinical pharmacy resident at Cleveland (Ohio) Clinic Health System.

Ellie (Neubauer) Kuennen is a registered labor delivery nurse at Northfield (Minn.) Hospital.

Ufra Mir is a peace psychologist in the Kashmir region of India, and works with women and children through her non-govermental organization Paigaam: A Message for Peace, and as a counselor at a private school.

Jaclyn Ohnemus is the vocal music director at Linn-Mar Community Schools in Marion, Iowa.

Kelly (Schneider) Sheldon is an elementary teacher in Frankfort, Ind.

Vaughn Tackmann is a track and field coach graduate assistant at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis.

Marybeth (Cannon) Wheeler is a nurse practitioner at Yakima (Wash.) Neighborhood Health.

Kelsey (Anderson) Wilson of North Liberty, Iowa, is an account manager at Dartlet.




AMBER HENDRICKS and Junichi Takano, March 25, 2017

WILL LAYTON and Hannah Simpson, June 24, 2017

PAUL MEYER and Rachel Gerber, Oct. 14, 2017

KELLY SCHNEIDER and Addison Sheldon, June 24, 2017

RACHEL SCHUTTER and Matthew Nielsen, Sept. 24, 2016




MICHELLE (VOIGTS) and RYAN BOUSLOG welcomed twins, a daughter, Sophie Joy, and a son, Charles Jeffrey, in July 2017.