Class of 1959 Fall 2019 Letter

Fall 2019

Dear Classmate,

The new production schedule for class letters means we cannot include Homecoming news in our fall letter as in years past.  Thus, we have decided to devote our entire letter to updating you on Luther’s new president, Jenifer Ward.  Your class agents think she is off to a great start.  One of her first Decorah public appearances was in the Nordic Fest Parade surrounded by a marching horde of Luther alumni.  Maybe a first for a Luther President.

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! 

Classmate news:  Marva Jean Paulson Baldwin shared sad news about her husband of 59 years, Gary, who passed away on August 7, 2019.  A celebration of life memorial service was held at Evergreen Lutheran Church in Evergreen, Colo.

Please keep in touch with your friendly class agents.

Best Regards,

David J. Roslien
1959 Class Agent
602 Iowa Avenue
Decorah, IA 52101
(563) 382-4597
[email protected]

Walter Rugland
1959 Class Agent
100 W. Lawrence Street
Appleton, WI 54911
(920) 830-9999
[email protected]


Helen (Hagen) Hanson of Monona, Iowa, is retired.

Mary Lou (Carter) Rauk-Snitker of Decorah died June 12, 2019, age 82.

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.