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! Until then, best wishes for a fall that’s as beautiful as it is in the Oneota Valley.
2012 Class Agents:
1118 W. Willow St.
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Danielle (Gibbs) Frees
2323 W. Dunlap Ave, Apt. 203
Phoenix, AZ 85021
5252 47th Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55417
2221 Sherman Avenue, Apt. 303
Madison, WI 53704
Samantha Anderson is an animal caretaker at Williamson County Animal Shelter in Franklin, Tenn.
Elisabeth Archer is associate attorney at The Weinhardt Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa.
Allyson Batis and Aaron Schmaltz live in Minneapolis. She works at Esker Grove, a restaurant at the Walker Art Center, and he is director of operations at Bortel & Co. in Minneapolis.
Hannah (Swanson) Booth is an occupational therapist at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago.
Michelle Boursier earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a postdoctoral research fellow at Promega Corporation in Fitchburg, Wis.
Jenna Dosch is an accompanist at McLeod Summer Playhouse in Carbondale, Ill.
Melissa Erickson is creative marketing producer at KING 5 Television in Seattle.
Andrew Finanger is a commercial solar consultant at Independent Power Systems in Boulder, Colo.
Jonathan Grieder earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He teaches social studies for the Waterloo (Iowa) Community School District.
Hannah Grundhoefer earned a master of fine arts degree in media design from Full Sail University. She is a flight attendant and inflight instructor with Endeavor Air in Minneapolis.
Courtney Guntly earned a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a coordinated entry network specialist for the Institute for Community Alliances in Des Moines, Iowa.
Meghan McCall is the policy associate and special assistant to the president at Ploughshares Fund in Washington, D.C.
Collin Meyer is advisory manager at Deloitte in Minneapolis.
Meghan Pedersen is associate manager of cause marketing and community partnerships at KARE TV 11 in Minneapolis.
Teresa Procter was one of eight ensemble members who performed for the Houston Symphony’s production of Wozzeck, which won a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.
Anne Proescholdt is program associate for member services at the Wisconsin School Music Association in Madison.
Laura Reutlinger earned a master’s degree in sport and exercise psychology from Minnesota State Mankato. She is employee wellness specialist at Winona Health in Winona, Minn. Laura was also the lead writer of the chapter “Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable: Expanding Your Competence Zone” from the book, The Peer Guide to Applied Sport Psychology for Consultants in Training.
Jessica Samuelson is visitor services specialist at the Pahranagat and Moapa National Wildlife Refuge in Alamo, Nev.
Taylor (Froehle) Schmahl is operations coordinator at Pratt, Kutzke & Associates in North Mankato, Minn.
Greg Siems is assistant director for The Institute for Freedom and Community at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.
Kelsey Simpkins earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Alyse (Eggebrecht) Simondet is director of annual giving at St. Paul Academy and Summit School in St. Paul, Minn.
Chad Sonka is a lecturer in voice and the opera studio director at Iowa State University's Department of Music and Theatre in Ames.
Alaina Stegehuis-Wilfer and Matthew Wilfer ‘10 live in Westminster, Colo. She is a registered nurse at Good Samaritan Medical Center. He is a grounds and nursery worker at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Tyler Stevenson earned a juris doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and is an attorney at Koeck Kirk & Graves Ltd. in Praire Du Sac, Wis.
Scott Sundstrom is a teacher, summer school coordinator, and tennis coach for the Mounds View School District in Shoreview, Minn.
Andrew Weckwerth is a business analyst at Optum in Eden Prairie, Minn.
JASON BLOCK and MARIA KEMPF '13, May 21, 2016
AARON BURK and JAIMIE RASMUSSEN '14, Nov. 18, 2017
ABBY CHRISTIAN and Brian Gwyin, June 10, 2017
TAYLOR FROEHLE and Braidon Schmahl, May 6, 2017
ABBY (CHRISTIAN) and Brian Gwyin welcomed a daughter, Isabella Joy, in June 2017.
SAMANTHA (STYKEL) and TYLER STEVENSON welcomed twin daughters, Camille Ruth and Elinor Mary, in September 2017.
CHRISTINA (STORLIE) '13 and ANDREW WECKWERTH welcomed a daughter, Heidi Sharon, in November 2017.