Class of 1957 Fall 2019 Letter

Fall 2019 

Dear Class of ‘57, 

OK, I discovered that the Class of ‘57 is not into responding to questions from the Class Agent. I received a total of two (thank you, Marilyn Martinson and Elaine Looft) but I will abandon that strategy. 

But, I have to share with you a letter I received from Stephen Ostercamp after he and his Mom, Janet Freed Ostercamp ‘57, visited me last year. 

“ mother took your advice, Hildy, on throwing out old newspapers, and she agreed it did not make sense to keep anything older than 18 months. She agreed for me to make stacks of catalogs, magazines, concert programs, etc. Mom specified that I must save her Luther College and Gather devotional magazines but I could throw everything else. Here’s the punchline. I weighed and measured each stack. It amounted to a total of 325 pounds of paper, and all together the stacks measured 15 feet high!” 

Come on, classmates, share some of your good stories with me. If you are reading this letter, it means you’re still alive. And that’s something to be grateful for. Now here’s the latest from good old Luther. 

It promises to be an exciting year for Luther. In November, the college inaugurated its eleventh president, Dr. Jenifer K. Ward. President Ward joins the Luther community with more than three decades of experience as an educator, scholar, and academic leader after serving, most recently, as provost and dean of the college at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. Prior to joining Centenary, President Ward served in several leadership roles at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, including dean of the college, interim provost, and associate provost. She was also a faculty member at Gustavus Adolphus College, where she taught German.           

In a message to the Luther community, President Ward said, “Our work together must be strategic, collaborative, creative, and—most importantly—must articulate what it means to be both grounded in Decorah, Iowa with a face to the world, and set goals for how we can adapt Luther’s past and present for a sustainable future.”

A self-described extrovert and lover of art, film, and literature, President Ward started her duties at Luther July 1, and her official inauguration took place November 1–3.

Learn more about President Ward—including her thoughts on food, art, Twitter, Decorah, and higher ed—on Luther’s YouTube channel (, then search “Luther College President Ward”) or in the fall issue of the Luther Magazine:

Also, while you’re at it, use this checklist to up your Luther social media game:

❏    Follow Luther College on Twitter: @LutherCollege

❏    Follow Luther College on Instagram: @LutherCollege

❏    Follow the Luther College Alumni Facebook page:

And, finally, keep in mind that Christmas at Luther takes place December 5–8. This year’s theme is Whom Angels Greet with Anthems Sweet. Luther would be happy to see you there! 

Until next time,

Hildy (Grevstad) McGown
1957 Class Agent
106 Nautilus Drive
Madison, WI 53705
[email protected]


Irene Ann (Holtze) Knutson of Minneapolis died Jan. 15, 2019.

D. Terry Woodford, Jr. of Appleton, Wis., died Dec. 13, 2018, age 85.

The full obituaries of classmates listed in this letter can be found on the Luther College website at:

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.