Class of 2016 Spring 2017 Letter

Spring 2017

Hello, Luther College Class of 2016,

As the New Year swings into full gear, we have found ourselves NOT missing the bitter cold, but reminiscing on our past J-term trips or wishing for another opportunity to study abroad with a Luther crew (although Jacy is currently living in Australia, so Hailey and Laura are vicariously living through her). As second semester at Luther unfolds, we hope you find yourself continuing to settle into the rollercoaster that is the real world. We’ve seen some updates on jobs, licensure and credential completions, graduate school acceptances, and movement around the country! Heck yeah for new adventures!

And now for your Luther updates: At 94 years old, Dr. Weston Noble ’43 passed away on December 21. Weston was known for his profound impact on the choral world, not only directing Nordic Choir, but also spreading his love of music around the world. He will be dearly missed as a part of the Luther community. There will be a celebration of his life on May 13 in the CFL and the ceremony will be live-streamed. In more uplifting news, Dr. Andrew Last ’97 has been appointed the new director of Nordic Choir as well as choral affairs! This choir has been conducted by incredible musicians in the past, so the opportunity of carrying on a fantastic tradition is a grand honor. Dance Marathon is on April 8 this year and, do not fret, you can still donate to teams no matter where you are! FTK! Finally, a reminder that the Career Center will always be ready to help you, even as alums! Use their tools to help connect with other Luther grads in your career field, find jobs, nail an interview, or write great cover letters.

As you most likely know from Facebook, Luther held its second annual Giving Day on March 9. This event aimed to raise as much money as possible in 15 hours that will flow into the Annual Fund, which provides scholarships to new and current students, supports teaching and learning in and outside of the classroom, and subsidizes living at Luther. We hope you felt the spirit to let your fundraising freak flag fly! More than $500,000 was raised that day! Awesome. If you missed it, it’s not too late! We know funds are tight, ours are as well, but giving anything at all will help current and future Norse to have an exceptional experience at Luther, just as we did.

We hope everyone is doing well, and we’ll be in touch with more updates soon!

Soli Deo Gloria,

Hailey Johnson
[email protected]                 

Jacy Mahoney
[email protected]               

Laura Vestle
[email protected]


Krista Anderson is a cardiothoracic surgical/transplant registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Grant Barnes is a software engineer at IBM in Rochester, Minn.

Ben Beaupre is choir director at Independent School District 15 in St. Francis, Minn.

Ryan Bennett is an IT engineer at Optiver in Chicago.

Jordan Blank is a reading tutor with the Minnesota Reading Corps in St. Paul, Minn.

Taryn Bolea teaches math at Northeast Metro 916 Schools in Little Canada, Minn.

Shelby (Oelschlager) Bowman is a registered nurse at UnityPoint Health in Waterloo, Iowa.

McKenzie Brace is a medical/surgical unit registered nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Katie Brandt is manager of social media for Target Corporation in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Takudzwa Chawota is a project coordinator for IBM in Minneapolis.

Bailey Devine is demand forecast analyst for Best Buy in Richfield, Minn.

Cecilia Douma is a scientific applications associate at Integrated DNA Technologies Inc.

Emily Dufford is food justice organizer at Cross Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.

Lisel Edberg Caldwell is an auditor at Ernst and Young in Minneapolis.

Hannah Fredrickson is a caseworker at Lutheran Services in Iowa in Ames.

Tayler Jenks is assistant women’s basketball coach and hall director at Luther.

Anna Johnson is a visitor experience associate and event liaison at the Rochester (Minn.) Art Center.

Carter Johnson was selected to participate in the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission Program in summer 2017.
Carter will be in Jerusalem/West Bank assisting with English classes in an early elementary setting.

Madi Johnson is a grant writer and resume writer for Ministry of Caring Inc. in Wilmington, Del.

Bamwesiga Kabete is an accounts payable specialist at General Cable in Highland Heights, Ky.

Paige Lobdell is a producer at WMTV-NBC 15 in Madison, Wis.

Bongani Maseko is a sales coordinator at Fastenal in Winona, Minn.

Hannah Mick is the after-school program coordinator for the School District of La Crosse (Wis.).

Blake Moen is recreation director for the South Winneshiek Community in Calmar, Iowa.

Katelynn Pankratz teaches Spanish at Fairbault (Minn.) Senior High School.

Isabela Rosales is an activity aide in Decorah.

Blaise Schaeffer is a Watson health software and development engineer at IBM Corporation in Durham, N.C. After graduation, he spent ten weeks biking across the U.S.

Tricia Serres of Platteville, Wis., was awarded a 2016 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, a one-time, non-renewable educational grant of $7,500 for high achieving student athletes.

Raleigh Sims is a fellow in the Trinity Fellows Program in Charlottesville, Va.

Clare Slagel of Dubuque, Iowa, received the 2016 NCAA Women of the Year Award, honoring her excellence in academics, athletics, service, and leadership.

Saydi Stewart teaches K-4 music at the Medford (Wis.) Area Public School District.

Laura (Boran) Storlie is head boys swimming coach at Decorah (Iowa) High School.

Maggie Sulentic is an actor in the National Theatre for Children in Minneapolis.

Casey Tecklenburg teaches vocal music for the Hudson (Iowa) Community School District.

Lenny Ulloa Silva teaches Spanish at Lakes International Language Academy in Forest Lake, Minn.

Shayla (De Jong) Van Hal is an organist and pianist at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Overland Park, Kan.

Ryan Vijums is a quality analysis lab technician at Dakota Growers Pasta Company in Minneapolis.

Janele (Holt) Waterman is a university advancement services assistant at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn.

Andrew Welch is an accountant at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Anne Wermedal is consulting analyst at Cerner Corporation in Kansas City.

Rachel Wiebke is a clinical lab technologist for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.



ALLISON DIPPEL and Jacob Rykes, July 12, 2015


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.

Benjamin Beaupre
Jenna Dengler
Emily Gehlsen
Dakota Gray
Philip Hanson
Joy Harris
Kurt Hellmann
David Kramer
Maryanne McNutt
Tyler Moon
Carli Radil
Michael Rahman
Rachel Rem
Peiheng Xie

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].