Class of 2013 Spring 2017 Letter

Spring 2017

Dear Classmate,

Winter has me reminiscing on the beauty of Luther College’s January-Term. I remember hitting reset on my goals and aspirations during a January in Holden Village with Jim Martin-Schramm, and again during Scandinavian Fine Handcrafts with Harley Refsal. J-term offers the time and space to explore a new culture, dive deeper into a specific subject, and exchange ideas.

These opportunities continue for today’s Luther students. In J-Term 2017, 292 students and 34 program leaders participated in programs around the globe. You can read the J-Term course blogs at  J-Term offerings are just one of many reasons why I support Luther College with financial gifts.

Speaking of which, make giving back to Luther a habit and join me in Luther’s Loyalty Society! The Society recognizes donors who have made gifts at any level for three or more consecutive years. For easy giving, you can sign up to make a monthly contribution of any amount at

Another way you can support Luther is by recruiting new students. Alumni play an integral role in advocacy and can even nominate prospective students who show promise. This summer, the Admissions Office will be rolling out a new book voucher program for prospective students. Stay tuned for details.

In addition to raving about Luther, I am a constant advocate for Decorah too! Seriously though, have you been to both Toppling Goliath and Pulpit Rock Brewery yet? Decorah also boasts three coffee shops–Impact Coffee (be sure to stop and say hi to Sean Brown ’13), Java John’s, and Magpie Coffeehouse. Maybe I’ll see you at one of these places (or walking Water Street) during Nordic Fest this year!

Your gifts and advocacy ensure Luther can continue offering high-quality education and inspiring meaningful vocations. Thank you, again, for continuing to support Luther’s mission. And please, reach out to Jessie or me with any tidbits you’d like included in our next letter.

Wishing you the best,

Clara Bergan                             Jessica Zenchak
[email protected]                  [email protected]


Devan Benjamin teaches fourth grade at Willard Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa.

Stephanie Branchaud and three friends, who met as summer guides at Wilderness Canoe Base (WCB), completed a summer-long canoe trip in support of WCB, a camp in the Boundary Waters. Stephanie was first introduced to WCB while at Luther when taking Winter Biology, a J-term course. Their canoe trip, which the women dubbed “Journey 4 Renewal” began at WCB on Seagull Lake in the Boundary Waters and finished 1,239 miles (and 66-days) later at York Factory at Hudson Bay in Manitoba. Upon their return, the women found that they had raised $40,000, nearly reaching their $50,000 goal, which will be matched by a generous donor. More information and photos from the trip can be found at

Clara Byom of Albuquerque, N.M., earned two master’s degrees from the University of New Mexico, one in clarinet performance and the other in musicology. She performs klezmer, English Country, contra dance, Scottish dance, and classical music on clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, and accordion. She is a founding member of Di Kavene Kapelye, Rusty Tap, and Duo Mozzafiato and co-founder/co-director of New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble. She also performs frequently with the Rebbe's Orkestra, the Thrifters, and New Music New Mexico.

Stephen Dahle is the choir director at New Richmond (Wis.) Middle School and assistant marching band director at Hudson (Wis.) High School.

Benjamin Feldkamp is a paramedic at Allina Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis.

Amanda (Wiger) Leisinger earned a master’s degree in teaching and learning from Saint Mary’s University. She teaches kindergarten for the Rochester (Minn.) Public Schools.

Mario Martinucci is consulting analyst at Cerner Corportation in Kansas City.

Quinn Meyer is a school psychologist at Intermediate District 287 in Plymouth, Minn.

Kelsey Moler is a child and family therapist at SummitStone Health Partners in Loveland, Colo.

David Pedrick is program manager for Earthcraft Communities in Atlanta.

Regina Preston is a financial assistant for the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Katie Schwartz of Stillwater, Minn., is a bank examiner for the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Emily Streeper is a brand specialist at Amazon in Seattle.

Erin Underdahl of Bloomington, Minn., is a registered nurse at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.

Ashley Wright is a marketing and patron services manager at Civic Music Association in Des Moines, Iowa.

Jessie Zenchak is a graduate research assistant at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant.

Elise (Allen) and Tyler Zinnecker ’12 live in Lee’s Summit, Mo. Elise is a senior accountant at Ernst & Young.


KURT BEARINGER and HANNAH BYGD '12, Sept. 24, 2016





TAYLOR (SPILDE) and MATT AMUNDSON '05 welcomed a son, Cason in April 2016.

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.

Taylor (Spilde) Amundson
Katherine Anderson
Emily Banitt
Charles Banta
Joel Barkel
Kurt Bearinger
Daniel Belay
Callie Bergan
Clara Bergan
Vivek Bisen
Mary Bissen
Michelle Boike
Adam Bradley
Kelsey Brown
Maria Brown
Charles Bruer
Grant Burke
Rebekah Campbell
Daniel Cavero
Laura Christensen
Michael Crowe
Caley Danielson
Mitchell DeFauw
Samuel DePagter
Karla Dietmeyer
Rebecca Dominiczak
Alexandra Drube
Amanda Dunn
Collin Dwyer
Sarah Edwards
Sophia (Brown) Engelman
Christopher Erikson
Benjamin Feldkamp
Daniel Fernelius
Alicia Findley
Blake Funke
Hannah Glesne
Melanie Grangaard
Alysse Haferman
Tyler Hagy
Julia Ham
Brittany Hansen
Leslie (Palmer) Harvey
Nicholas Harvey
Kirsten Hash
Megan Hatfield
Kayla Hatting
William Haugen
Kaylee Helgemoe
Dustin Hines
Elizabeth Holmes
Shari Huber
Maxwell Hull
Cooper Jacks
Ann Janneke
Trinda (Phelon) Jevne
Sarah (McWilliams) Kaspryk
Kimberly (Cavanagh) Keeney
Bryce Kilker
Mariel Kise
Heidi Kistenmacher
James Knutson
Jason Knutson
Shannon Koenders
Valerie Krych
Micah Kust
Jessica Landgraf
Alyssa Landin
Evin Lantz
Kirk Lehmann
Rachel (Zimmerman) Linderman
Erika Lord
Michelle (Gohman) Lursen
Kristina (Nienhaus) Mansheim
Mario Martinucci
Andrew Meland
Quinn Meyer
Rachel Miessler
Cameron Miller
Kelsey Moler
Nicholas Mozena
Hannah Myott
Evan Neubauer
Lauren Nielsen
Jacob Nowosatka
Courtney O'Hara
Kelsey O'Leary
Eva Perry
Jevita Poer
Leslie Rawson
Tyler Reece
Denise Richter
Addy Rickels
Alex Rigdon
Daniel Robb
Kimberly Rooney
Erin Rouse
Matthew Rubins
Peter Sandstedt
Amanda Schaefer
Cody Scheer
Paige Schneider
Eric Schoer
Alyssa Schutter
Jena Schwake
Hannah Shatzer
Lindsay Sheridan
Amy Shishilla
Sheila Sinha
Jordan Skaar
Anthony Smith
Austen Smith
Katelyn Spindler
Kelsey (Rohs) Spohn
Emily Streeper
Seth Streeter
Colby (Engel) Supernaw
Sarah Thell
Jeffrey Thompson
Jordan (Mortensen) Thompson
Paul Tuskowski
Erin Underdahl
Isaac van Bruggen
Christina (Storlie) Weckwerth
Tyler Wedemeier
Kevin Wenger
Georgianna Whiteley
Macaulley Whitlock
Allison Wittig
Ashley Wright
Christina Yates
Jessica Zenchak

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].