Dear Classmates of 1951,
The latest news from our Alma Mater is the retirement of our 10th president, Paula Carlson in July and the inauguration of our 11th president, Dr. Jenifer Ward in November. If I counted correctly, I think we have known 8 of the 10 presidents, beginning with Ove J.H. Preus, when we first arrived at Luther in the Fall of 1947. All of you are probably remembering J.W. Ylvisaker the most, in our college years. I was personally able to get to know Richard Torgerson and his wife, Judy, when Luther and I traveled with them, Weston Noble, and Nordic Choir on their two-week tour of Norway in June, 2000. We learned many of the connections of Luther College and Decorah to people and sites there from John Christianson, a retired history professor. When we were at Eidsvoll, where the Norwegian Constitution was signed, he told us Lauritz Oftedahl who was a signer, was the grandfather of the first president of Luther College, Lauritz Larson.
Luther's new strategic plan, “Inspired. Empowered. Engaged.” was written and adopted under Carlson's leadership. It calls for an educational model that “must be dynamic and open to innovation and renewal.” She envisioned Luther a “leader in re-imagining a liberal arts education for a global society.” Dr. Ward, coming from her position as Provost and Dean of Centenary College in Shreveport, LA, expressed a similar vision when she is quoted as stating, “We are at a crucial inflection point in the history of liberal arts education in our country, and in a world that needs the kind of graduates Luther College fosters.” I'm sure you join me in supporting and praying for their vision and mission for Luther's future.
If you are wondering about any of our '51 classmates and are able to access the internet, you are encouraged to find information in the Alumni Directory, luther.edu/alumni/directory. If you haven't established a password before, call 563-387-1000. It's interesting to see over 80 names from our class and where each of you live. Since my last letter, there have been no deaths to report.
I had a very interesting letter from Cornelia Lien Waterford in Norwich, Ver. We all knew her as Beth Lien. She volunteers at Dartmouth College for a professor of film, and also audits some courses. I hope many of you are able to volunteer in ways that are beneficial to our society and to you personally or find ways to keep on learning. I am kept busy volunteering for the many resident activities we have at 7500 York Senior Cooperative, plus at Fairview Hospital in the Cancer Data Department, and at tax time for AARP doing free taxes for seniors and low income families. When we all have either reached our 9th decade or are well on the way, I treasure each day the Lord gives me with health and opportunities. I am thankful for the way Luther College prepared me and continues to provide such excellent liberal arts education.
Best wishes to all,
IvaNell (Mundt) Monson
1951 Class Agent
7500 York Avenue S, #842
Edina MN 55435-5633
Robert “Bob” Dean of Winter Park, Fla., died Sept. 29, 2018, age 95.
Harold C. Freid of Eau Claire, Wis., died July 13, 2019, age 95
The full obituaries of classmates listed in this letter can be found on the Luther College website at: luther.edu/in-memoriam
If you would like a printout of the obituaries listed above in their entirety mailed to you, please contact us at: [email protected], or 563-387-1509.