Class of 1961 Fall 2019 Letter

Fall 2019

Dear Classmate,

As this school year begins at Luther, change and hope is in the air.  .  . another new first year class, new President of the College, new classes and incredible opportunities, seniors will be ready to move into the world with their great gifts in just nine months. Meanwhile, the news from around the world challenges hopefulness. Suffering and hate between folks is rampant. How can we bring some hope from our small corners of the world? I can feel very small and unable to effect change for the better when I view the conditions others have to face each day. How can I make a positive difference?  I assume, you, like I turn to join others when discouraged and find more hope when making those old and new connections with other people. Sharing ideas, resources, and getting to work on trouble brings new hope and strength. The old barn raising community events still exist, but more often our community efforts take different and new to us forms. Let's dare to bring our contributions to raise the hope level around us.

This past week I came across a listing of those colleges in 2018 and 2019 being recognized for their efforts to address environmental/energy needs on their campuses. I recommend reading the list; you’ll be proud to read how high on that list Luther College stands. you will then want to know the details of this recognition by reading the various reports of Luther's efforts to be creative and responsible consumers of energy and other resources. It takes many folks with ideas and skills to make broad significant changes around a big problem. Luther College is doing just that.

I often say I wish I was an independently wealthy person. My small pittances don't make me hopeful that much will happen when I send off my checks.  Perhaps you also feel that way. But, as small donors or large we are able to help many students through the Luther Fund. Here, added together, our donations support many students.  I suppose you are tired of my writing that "any amount we give is a help so please don't delay giving until you believe you can gather a bigger donation".  Not at all wonderful writing, but true nonetheless. Please give what you are able this fall. Students who receive our support also receive hope.  We can be part of the hopefulness in the air at Luther this fall.

Yours truly a friend,

Karen (Gulsvig) Johnson
1961 Class Agent
28311 County 93; PO Box 145
Laporte, MN 56461
[email protected]

P.S.  In two years, our class will be celebrating our 60-year reunion. Please send me your thoughts and ideas about how we might have a meaningful experience that weekend in 2021 (contact information listed above).


LaVonne Marie (Anderson) Hawkins of Rochester, Minn., died Dec. 14, 2018, age 79.

Frances M. (Womeldorf) Jeffers of Decorah died June 28, 2019, age 95.

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.